by Ricardo Ferreira | Notional
Cosmos is a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each customisable, secure and scalable, powered by BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerant) consensus algorithms.
Ecosystem apps and services connect using IBC, the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol, enabling the frictionless exchange of assets and data across sovereign, decentralised blockchains (zones).
The Cosmos vision is to create an “internet of blockchains” that resolves both scalability and interoperability issues in blockchains today. Blockchain communities built on the Cosmos SDK retain their sovereignty without sacrificing connectivity with sibling chains.
Robust Fast Consensus
The Cosmos SDK is supported by California-based Tendermint Inc and has a stable production-hardened track record in excess of 2.5 years, compared to many other platforms released as recently as the current year.
The Cosmos SDK has been in ideation and development since January 2014, when it was founded by Jae Kwon and later its whitepaper was released in 2016 and ICO held in 2017 followed by March 2019 genesis launch.
Cosmos chains make use of the novel Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism known as Tendermint BFT; considered to be among some of the most secure and stable chains in the blockchain space. Theoretically handling speeds of 10,000 transactions per second (tps) on an average 5 second block time.
Tendermint chains are extremely robust and can remain in operation even if 1/3 of the validators are offline or trying to corrupt the network. When a Cosmos validator goes down, in most cases, its state does not get corrupted and can simply synchronise from the block height on which it last went offline.
Sovereign Governance, Sovereign Capital
Cosmos remains one of the few ecosystems where chains have their own governance and voting proposals, not beholden to a parent chain.
ATOM serves only as a base reserve currency for the ecosystem and its Cosmos Gaia blockchain being the proof-of-concept production product; therefore there are no network fees or costly auctions to join the IBC network; eliminating the fiscal and policy restrictions for chains to hold a Token Generation (TGE) Genesis event on the Cosmos interchain network.
Ease of development
The Cosmos SDK development toolkit facilitates the development of blockchains from the ground up in weeks instead of years. In addition to the positive impact of the oversight organisation, Tendermint Inc., the ecosystem has, since inception, garnered a large and diverse developer and professional community which is available to tap into by new projects joining the network.
In India, Cosmos ambassadors reach into the thousands, with the Cosmos SDK even being taught by professors as part of their curriculum in certain academic institutions.
Notional has a wide cross-chain relationship base in the Cosmos community, validating on 9 chains, in addition to close ties with Tendermint Inc. and other projects and investors. Blockchains developed and launched by Notional will benefit from such synergies and symbiosis.
Low Carbon Footprint
Tendermint Proof-of-Stake consensus is extremely resource-efficient, with some chains being able to run nodes on Raspberry Pi 4 edge-of-network devices, reducing energy consumption and reducing dependency on centralised datacenters.
In contrast, Ethereum energy consumption is currently rated at around 76 TWh per Year, emitting 36.18 Mt of CO2 globally, which is comparable to the entire carbon footprint of New Zealand.
Network of Blockchains
The Cosmos SDK is more pervasive than most may realise; large-cap Binance Smart Chain (BSC) with its native BNB token and the Terra blockchain with LUNA and USDT and other token currencies are both based on the Cosmos SDK and both sporting top 20 market cap ranking.
Terra started as an independent Cosmos SDK blockchain, not connected to the existing Cosmos Hub network, but has recently undergone a network upgrade (Hard Fork) to integrate with the Cosmos Hub. The Terra LUNA and USDT currencies will soon be available on Cosmos Decentralised Exchanges (Dexes), bringing with them additional large-cap liquidity and userbase.
In addition to synergies of Cosmos sibling chains, the IBC facilitates communication with potentially any Proof-of-Stake chains. Support already exists for Substrate based chains such as Polkadot and Kusama; more recently support has been expanded to Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) blockchains, including Ethereum proper.
It is now possible to launch genesis by injecting existing Ethereum and BSC address public and private keys; making it possible to airdrop on these massive capital markets with relative ease. Bespoke attestation address capture mechanisms can also be employed to airdrop onto existing addresses on non-compatible chains such as the Blurt Graphene blockchain to receive an airdrop by Notional launch partner https://digchain.org.
The Ethereum Proof-of-Work (PoW) is suffering from high fee costs, which is a hindrance to the cognitive user experience, especially in NFT marketplaces which experience congestion and high fees, not uncommon in the hundreds of dollars for minting a single NFT, essentially doubling the acquisition cost of the item!
A single Ethereum transaction can spend as much as 182 kWh, emitting 86.5 kgCO2 which does not lend itself to sustainable investing Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance ESG guidelines.
Conversely, Cosmos SDK chains benefit from low customisable fees and minimal emissions, which more than satisfy ESG requirements.
First-mover NFT Advantage
While NFT (Non-Fungible Token) modules exist on the Cosmos development stack, they have only debuted as Liquidity Provider tokens (LP's) on the Osmosis Dex and not in the traditional sense as representations of digital creative works.
Notional currently has engagements with three visual NFT projects, which will be among the first to launch with high visibility in the Cosmos ecosystem, benefitting from the low competition and community-wide support.