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Cosmos is a network and tool ecosystem for building collaborative blockchains. Its main chain, Cosmos Hub, serves as a central ledger for Zones, a group of interoperable blockchains. Each Zone has extensive customization options that let programmers create unique cryptocurrencies with unique block validation settings and other features.
The Cosmos SDK, which offers the fundamentals required for creating a Cosmos blockchain, is used to establish these Zones. Tendermint Core, the default consensus layer for Cosmos SDK, offers a validator-based consensus mechanism that may be applied to many Cosmos blockchains. However, each Zone has complete control over how its validators are chosen.
The blockchain selects 100 validators for the Cosmos Hub mainnet from the top nodes staking ATOM, the network’s utility token. Depending on how much ATOM was bet, each validator is given a certain amount of voting power. Following that, a leader validator suggests fresh blocks for discussion. Users who stake ATOM behind their chosen validator receive a block reward for successful blocks, which is distributed to the validator and the stakers.
In addition to the Cosmos Hub’s consensus system, ATOM is utilised to settle transaction costs and participate in governance elections. Validators must participate in proposals as well or risk punishment.
Interoperability has always been a major issue in the blockchain industry, along with scalability. We now have a number of options when it comes to interoperable blockchain networks after more than ten years since the launch of the first Bitcoin blockchain. With its Tendermint consensus method and open-source developer tools, Cosmos is arguably one of the most well-liked options available. Let’s examine the specific reasons Cosmos has continued to be a popular option and how it makes it simple for blockchains to interact.
The goal of the Cosmos project is to build an interconnected network of several blockchains. The Cosmos network, which was established in 2014 by Ethan Buchman and Jae Kwon, comprises of a mainnet Proof of Stake blockchain and zone-specific blockchains.
The primary chain, Cosmos Hub, provides a shared layer of security while transferring resources and data between the connected Zones. Tendermint, a unique consensus algorithm created by Cosmos, along with a common application interface, enable these to all function together. Cosmos fees are payable in ATOM, the network’s cryptocurrency.
Three different layers make up the Cosmos network:
The main blockchain of Cosmos that connects other zone-specific blockchains is called Cosmos Hub. It accomplishes this by monitoring each Zone’s status using the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBCP). Information can simply go between any Zones connected to Cosmos Hub using this protocol.
In the ecosystem where Zones trade IBC messages, Cosmos Hub serves as the ecosystem’s primary ledger. IBC uses two different types of transactions: an IBCPacketTx and an IBCBlockCommitTx. In any given Zone, the first transmits the hash of the most recent block. With the second, a Zone may demonstrate that a packet of data was legitimately broadcast by the application of the sender.
Consider two DApps that are located in two distinct Zones and want to connect with one another. IBC messages are sent to Cosmos Hub in order to do this, and it then logs the communication. Messages are transmitted via Cosmos Hub, and each Zone keeps a blockchain record of the results of its interactions. The activity is then supported by evidence across three different blockchains. The “Internet of Blockchains” moniker for Cosmos refers to the capacity of blockchains to communicate with one another.
Applications for the Zones, the unique blockchains created by Cosmos, range widely. The phrase is a another way to refer to sidechains, which you may already be acquainted with from blockchain initiatives like Polygon. Each Zone is able to mint its own tokens, authenticate its own transactions, and carry out unique advancements. Despite these variations, any Zone in the Cosmos system can interact with any other Zone if they have authorization to do so.
Zones utilise a hub-and-spoke architecture in which hubs serve as routers for various Zones. Although Cosmos Hub is among the most well-known, there are other Hubs as well. Being completely permissionless, anyone can construct a Hub blockchain or Zone on the network. Each Zone or Hub, however, has the authority to forbid other blockchains from connecting to them.
A blockchain can connect to any Zone connected to the same Hub by connecting to a Hub, and vice versa. A hub can link to another hub as well. The Cosmos Hub can also be forked, and anyone can release their own version, exactly like Binance Chain did in 2019.