How Cosmos is Realizing the Dream of a Blockchain Universe?
- The Cosmos network aims to become the Internet of networks providing a single ecosystem for all the blockchains out there.
- It leverages powerful tools such as Cosmos SDK and Tendermint.
Cosmos’ socio-economic infrastructure was strongly influenced by a decentralized, open-source, and public network. The society accepted several blockchains that were built for specific purposes like Bitcoin (a payment system), zero cash (privacy-oriented), Ethereum (a smart-contract platform) which also provided several opportunities on its Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), and several others.
However, all these blockchains breathe and grow in their separate ecosystems. If blockchain and DeFi have to leap in the future, they should not just grow independently, but support each other, creating a single universe for the users. This will help in enhancing the use cases and attract more people to the ecosystem.
This united and organized system is harder to put into reality than to dream. The main issue comes from challenges in inter-chain communication which poses potential security risks. The Cosmos network aims to address the interoperability issue in particular and rises to become the Internet of Blockchains.
How Does the Cosmos Network Works?
The great ancestor of all blockchains, Bitcoin was launched in 2009. It had all three primary layers, the application, network, and consensus layer fused. This left developers with two options, to write the whole source code again or customize the base code resulting in hard forking. Several chains such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and almost all first-generation blockchains were the result of such hard forks.
Ethereum was launched in 2014 and separated the application layer from the other two layers. Its application layer was turned into a virtual machine called EVM, which provided a platform for developers to write and deploy dApps directly on the network without worrying about security and consensus. These programs were called smart contracts and invited thousands of developers over Ethereum.
However, soon its limitations started to reflect in the slow transaction speed of just 15TPS which was bothering the growing community. Another was because of the underlying governance structure which created difficulty for developers to solve any bug or modify their app. The two-layer sovereign structure demanded developers to depend entirely on the governance of the Ethereum platform.
The cosmos network has all three layers separate which increases its use cases and transforms it into a network of networks. The separation of the network layer allows some blockchains to operate privately while benefitting from underlying consensus and without broadcasting their data. It also opens the possibility for future networks to be application-specific rather than just another generic chain. Cosmos allows all these blockchains to communicate without compromising with one another.
The Key Features
The network offers a stack of tools like the Tendermint consensus, Cosmos SDK, and Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC).
The SDK provides developers with tools that can ease the process of building software over the tender mint protocol. All the various activities such as minting, staking, and distribution of tokens can be performed using the SDK tools. It is based on the two major principles of modularity and capabilities-based security.
With the help of Tendermint BFT, the time required for developing a blockchain has reduced from years to weeks. This engine is responsible for maintaining the overall security of the platform and managing all the staking and validators needed under Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus. It is powered by Tendermint Core and was developed by Jae Kwon in 2014.
The true interoperability between several blockchains is achieved by using the IBC protocol which acts as a central hub connecting several zones (i.e. independent blockchains). The protocol allows the transfer of tokens within public and private networks through a series of steps involving tracking, bonding, proof relaying and finally validating.
The platform has its own native ATOM token which can be used for staking, governance, and paying the network gas fees. While it is sure that more dApps will be launched by developers in the coming future to benefit from the endless opportunities present in the DeFi ecosystem, it is still unknown the path these developers will follow. The presence of a strong hub such as Cosmos could be valuable and serve as a channel of communication between them.