Cosmos is the blockchain project aiming to provide developers with a scalable cross-chain solution for creating decentralized apps. Similar to the ‘Internet of Things’ technology that allows for the connection of any utility device to the internet, be it a smartphone or a washing machine, Cosmos developers create their own “Internet of Blockchains”. The Cosmos project covers the following important technical features that make it stand out amongst other so-called leading blockchain solutions:
- Cross-blockchain bridges
- Blockchain interoperability
Let’s review in detail each of these technical elements.
Scalability is one of the main problems that Bitcoin and Ethereum came across when the popularity of blockchain technology spiked in 2017. Bitcoin processes seven transactions per second, Ethereum struggles at nineteen, while VISA copes with several thousand. Such small throughput prevents decentralized applications from being used on a mass scale. Cosmos plans to resolve this problem by breaking down the whole set of connected blockchains into smaller parts or “zones”. Thus, you eventually get many small blockchains running in parallel and can process a much bigger number of transactions in a certain timeframe.
Building Cross-Blockchain Bridges
Since the introduction of Bitcoin, many more blockchains have been invented, including Ethereum, EOS, TRON, and Waves. Each of these decentralized platforms has its own pros and cons, but their main problem is that they all exist in their own cells with no connection to each other. For example, you can’t freely send your ETH from Metamask to a TRX wallet. To do that, you will have to go through a tiresome procedure of getting yourself an account on an exchange, uploading and withdrawing funds and losing money to pay the fees on every step. Cosmos implements an Interblockchain Communication protocol (IBC) that allows blockchains to communicate between each other and resolves the problem of interoperability.
The IBC technology allows to connect different blockchains through a central Cosmos hub
Is Tendermint the Missing Link Between Blockchains and Developers?
Tendermint is the consensus algorithm making it possible for blockchains to interact. One may think of it as of a link between developers and the massive set of open-source code that has been created by their predecessors.
Any blockchain consists of three main layers – consensus, networking and applications. Tendermint takes the first two of them and packages them into a convenient customizable foundation that developers then use to create their apps. This helps developers to focus on apps creation only and saves many hours of work time.
Tendermint packages consensus and networking making it easier for developers to create decentralized apps
The Cosmos Ecosystem
The features and benefits provided by the project have attracted many developers. Currently, the full list of projects developed on Cosmos ecosystem already counts more than 100 elements. Here are the most popular ones:
- Binance Chain – The trading platform with the highest daily volumes plans to make use of Tendermint in order to develop its own decentralized exchange where users can freely exchange coins between their own wallets.
- e-Money – One of the top European providers issuing stable coins backed by fiat currency.
- IRISnet – An enterprise solution for developing cross-chain applications.
- Lino.Network – A decentralized content-sharing economy helping writers monetize their content.
- Start ICO: 4 Apr 2017
- End ICO: 4 Apr 2017
- Token: COS
- KYC: No
- Raised: 16,800,000 USD
During the ICO in April 2017, the project raised 17 million USD in just 28 minutes. Mind that the ICO craze was at its early stages at that time, there were no technologies such as lotteries and Dutch auctions. If this is not a success story, then what is?
Cosmos mainnet was launched on February 9th, 2019. The nearest milestone that the project aims to cover concerns governance. The community participants are required to vote for the proposals regarding the transfer of Atom, the native token of the network, and the support of IBC.
Will Cosmos Make Waves?
Although it’s been a while since its ICO was conducted, Cosmos caused a stir only recently due to the launch of its mainnet. The problems that it aims to resolve are really acute for developers and the goals it sets to achieve are really ambitious.
Many exchange platforms starting from Binance have already listed Atom tokens and aim to implement Tendermint technology to facilitate the exchange process between multiple cryptocurrencies. There have been attempts to develop a cross-chain solution before, but none has gone that far, so Cosmos is truly a project worth keeping an eye on.