At the moment, one of the blockchain industry’s main stories centers on interoperability.
As new cryptocurrencies and decentralized financial (DeFi) projects continue to pop, blockchain communication is increasingly important. Fortunately, all of this is now possible because of the Cosmos Network and its token, ATOM.
The alternative to proof-of-work protocols, which are typified by their slow speed, high cost, inability to scale, and environmental impact is now a reality!
History: How Cosmos came about
In 2014, Tendermint Inc’s co-founder Jae Kwon explored the possibility of a Proof-of-Stake blockchain working with a Byzantine Fault-Tolerant (BFT) consensus mechanism. Working alongside other co-founders Zarko Milosevic and Ethan Buchman who helped to develop this project in 2015, the Cosmos Network was launched within a year.
Credit also goes to the Interchain Foundation (ICF), a Swiss non-profit dedicated to supporting open-source blockchain projects. The ICF joined the team in 2017 to further develop the network’s underlying technology.
One of the key objectives of the Cosmos project is to act as a springboard for all future blockchains across the globe. It seeks to establish an ecosystem of connected blockchains that are linked together in order to combat “slow, expensive, unscalable, and ecologically damaging” proof-of-work methods such as those used by Bitcoin.
Polkadot pulls a similar effort to that of Cosmos and is a fantastic example of how blockchains can function together. However, Cosmos in contrast to Polkadot places a higher value on the sovereignty of decentralized blockchains. This means that blockchains are more secure, able to govern themselves and run their own validators.
How it works
Cosmos has three layers, each of which has a distinct function.
Application – this is responsible for transaction processing and updating network positions;
Networking – connects transactions and blockchains with each other;
Consensus – assists nodes in coming to an agreement on the current status of the network.
Cosmos relies on the following set of open-source tools to connect these 3 layers.
This makes it easy for blockchains to be developed. Thus, the Tendermint BFT engine takes center stage in this multi-layered scheme.
This is an algorithm used by the network of computers running the Cosmos software to secure the network, validate transactions, and commit blocks to the blockchain. It connects to applications through a protocol called the Application Blockchain Interface.
It is a proof-of-stake (PoS) governance mechanism that keeps the distributed network of computers running Cosmos Hub in sync.
Cosmos Hub and Zones
The Cosmos Hub was created with the goal of acting as a connection/bridge for all “zones,” also known as autonomous blockchains; that make up the Cosmos network. Therefore, each zone is able to carry out its essential functions without the support of others. It also involves verifying the legitimacy of users and transactions, issuing new tokens, and making changes to the blockchain that underpins the system
What makes Cosmos stand out?
The Cosmos Network has a few key advantages over other blockchains when it comes to development. Here are a few examples that make it stand out as it scales to meet the needs of a growing user base.
The most exciting component of Cosmos’s ecosystem is the inter-blockchain communication protocol (ICBP). Using this technological architecture, Proof of Stake blockchains that operate independently can now transfer value and communicate with one another.
Cosmos Network also embraced scalability as a primary design consideration during its development. This makes the distribution and deployment of blockchain apps easier for developers. As a result, the name “internet of blockchains”.
In addition, the Cosmos network makes it simple for developers to create their very own blockchains. This in turn offers an entirely new world of possibilities, as projects have more development opportunities as opposed to being built on top of other chains (like Ethereum).
The $ATOM Token
The network uses ATOM as the principal digital currency. Validators stake it for the sole purpose of ensuring the safety of the hub. This draws the interests of the various players in the ecosystem, such as holders, users, and developers, into alignment.
Following the launch of the Cosmos mainnet, the initial ATOM tokens were created and distributed to the Cosmos Foundation, those who had participated in the token sale, and the core developers.
It is possible to trade ATOMs on a number of different exchanges, the largest of which being Binance, and Poloniex.
there are two ways to acquire ATOMs – through staking directly as a validator or indirectly as a delegator.
As more interoperable projects such as Polkadot enter the fray, there are high possibilities that new projects will emerge on the Cosmos blockchain ecosystem by 2023. Therefore, the Cosmos project is quite remarkable, and it has some exciting visions for the future.
However, the Cosmos network, which was created only recently and is still in the early stages of development, has yet to fully actualize the promise laid out in its whitepaper.