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What is Cosmos?

  • Cosmos is a chain like no other as it sets out to solve the issue of interoperability among blockchains by providing an in-house built framework that helps chains built on the Cosmos Hub to communicate with one another.

  • It designed the Inter-Blockchain Communication standard that not only enables chains to transfer tokens among one another, but provides further native communication.

  • With Cosmos’ lego-like infrastructure, many blockchains have successfully built scalable products, including Osmosis, Kava, and Akash.

  • Its native token, ATOM is used for governance, distributing fees to validators, and staking.

Cosmos is a blockchain that is created to tackle the issue of lack of interoperability among blockchains. In the landscape of current existing blockchains, each network is built in its own terms, without the ability to communicate with other chains. Although most major networks have a bustling ecosystem of their own, they miss out on the opportunity to build innovative, re-imagined applications based on exchanged data with other chains.

Enter Cosmos, which dubs itself the "The Internet of Blockchains". The project’s goal is to make blockchain technology less complex and difficult for developers through a more modular framework. The network uses an open-source framework known as the Cosmos SDK. Because of its interoperable framework, Cosmos is unlike any other network that exists today. Computer scientists, Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman, co-founded the Cosmos network in 2014 to provide tooling for chains to launch securely on their own. Today, Cosmos supports a vast ecosystem of interconnected platforms built for a decentralized future, including Osmosis, Kava, Akash, Juno, and Stargaze.

The issue of interoperability is a hot topic in DeFi. Typical bridging protocols are used to manage token transfer among blockchains. However, as the number of blockchains increases, the nature of bridging infrastructure does not accommodate to scale. Cosmos designed an interoperability standard, Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC), which is architectured beyond just the functionality of a bridging protocol. It allows message passing on a native level and can conduct communication beyond just token transfer. Additionally, its design is structured such that any additional IBC-enabled chain can communicate easily with other IBC-enabled chains, without putting too much stress on the interlinked communication structure.

Cosmos is a proof-of-stake chain that uses ATOM as its native token. The Cosmos network details three distinct use cases of ATOM:

  1. Spam-prevention mechanism Similar to Ethereum’s gas requirement, users are required to pay fees in ATOM for using computing power in the Cosmos ecosystem. The fees are deposited into a rewards pool for the network’s validators.

  2. Voting mechanism in governance ATOM holders can stake their tokens to participate in the governance of the Cosmos Hub.

  3. Staking tokens

Holders of the ATOM token can earn passively with their tokens by staking it on the network. Learn more about how to earn passively from staking your ATOM tokens.

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