What is the Cosmos
The Cosmos blockchain network, also known as the Cosmos Hub, is a blockchain protocol that serves as the underlying technology for an increasing number of sovereign, yet interoperable cryptocurrencies that are built using the CosmosSDK. Unique to the Cosmos Network of blockchains is their ability to communicate with each other through the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol.
The Tendermint Core team is the primary organization that drives development of Cosmos and plays an essential role in maintaining and developing Tendermint Core, the Cosmos SDK, and of course the Cosmos Hub. As an interoperable blockchain platform, the Cosmos Hub can connect with sovereign Cosmos SDK blockchains at the protocol level.
The Cosmos is known as the internet of blockchains due to an ever expanding ecosystem of interconnected apps, blockchains, and services. The Cosmos Hub serves as the economic center of the Cosmos network and is secured by the native token, ATOM.
What is ATOM
ATOM is the native crypto of the Cosmos and serves a driving force behind the Cosmos Hub offering a multitude of benefits to users. ATOM functionality includes:
• Incentivization to stake with network validators for consensus
• A medium to transfer value and is used to pay gas fees to mitigate network spam
• A mechanism for voting on network proposals or amendments governance
• Interchain security, where cosmos ecosystem chains can reduce centralization risks to their network.
ATOM servers as the backbone for the Cosmos blockchain.
What is the Cosmos SDK
The Cosmos Software Development Kit (SDK) allows developers to quickly and easily build sovereign blockchains using Tendermint Core for their consensus mechanism. The Cosmos SDK helps minimize complexity for development teams by offering common blockchain functionalities like staking, governance, and token generation. That means development teams can hit the ground running with an easier to deploy blockchain framework that can be expanded through plugins that add new features.
What is Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC)
While each blockchain built on the Cosmos SDK remains sovereign, they are known as Zones in the Cosmos ecosystem. With the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol, each sovereign blockchain can connect with the Cosmos Hub. The Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol allows the secure transmission of information between connected zones. By connecting with the Cosmos Hub, each zone becomes interoperable with every other zone that is connected to the hub. That means that data can flow freely between different applications, services, validators, and modified consensus mechanisms.
Essentially the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol enables interoperability of data between vastly different resources.
On a technical level, the protocol has two layers:
- The transport layer (TAO) provides the required infrastructure to securely connect blockchains and authenticate data.
- The application layer determines how the data should be packaged and interpreted by the connected chains.
The Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol has a wide range of applications and is being used to enable cross-chain token transfers, enable oracle data feeds, enable interchain accounts, and process non-fungible token transfers.
Vidulum App features built in support for Cosmos Hub blockchains with the ability to participate in consensus directly in app. Users can stake, vote on proposals, store their cryptocurrency all in self-custodial fashion. That means users own their private keys and seed phrases and are the only ones with access to them.
Get started at https://wallet.vidulum.app
This article was created to offer a high-level overview of the Cosmos Hub and ecosystem for informational purposes. For a detailed look at the underlying technology, Tendermint Byzantine Fault Tolerance, and the API reference guide, visit https://docs.cosmos.network/v0.46/intro/overview.html.