What is Cosmos?
Cosmos (ATOM) is a Proof of Stake coin and blockchain that bills itself as “the internet of blockchains.” Its goal is allow developers to create applications that allow different blockchains to be able to communicate with one another, transferring data and value accordingly. It does this by providing a developer kit (SDK) that facilitates the interoperation of multiple parallel blockchains while retaining their individual security properties. Atoms (ATOM) are the native tokens of the Cosmos network that allow holders to vote, validate, or delegate their votes to other validators. Atoms can also be used to pay for transaction fees in order to prioritize transactions or mitigate spam.
History of Cosmos
The Cosmos token sale ended on April 6th, 2017, and after nearly 2 years of development, the Cosmos main net was finally launched in early 2019. The token sale reached its hard cap limit of $17,300,000, and thus far it has been one of the biggest coin launches of 2019. There is a total supply of 237,928,231 ATOMs, 190.6 million of which are currently in circulation.
How Cosmos Works
Cosmos is powered by a novel Proof of Stake algorithm called Tendermint, which is an ultra-secure Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) protocol that heavily emphasizes scalability and fork accountability. Tendermint is governed by unique means of consensus that allow it to process potentially thousands of transactions per second, making it ideal for linking blockchains of significant magnitude to one another. Cosmos itself is a network of independent blockchains, the first and foremost being known as Cosmos Hub, which allows for tokens to be moved in and out of other blockchains. This is what allows for Cosmos to provide seamless DApp interoperability, scalability, and upgradability.
Cosmos is a unique blockchain project which contains several advantages over existing projects, which mainly derive from its ability to allow for cross-blockchain talk. Some of these advantages include:
- Cryptocurrency bridge – through its concept of “privileged zones,” Cosmos uses multisignatures and smart contracts to store funds from other blockchains (for example, BTC and ETH), sending information about their balances to a central “hub,” which is used to calculate a value of the stored holdings and estimate a balance output through the coin of another blockchain.
- Distributed exchange – Cosmos can make exchanges developed around its protocol less vulnerable to hacks by running its operations on a blockchain, thereby making them trustless when it comes to trading and storing funds.
- Scalability – as the Tendermint consensus algorithm can add blocks faster than Ethereum, it is ready to take on an ever-increasing workload of as blockchains of other coins become bigger and more widely used.
- Multi-application integration – the framework provided by the Cosmos SDK means that applications (DApps) written and developed in its language can run on a multitude of blockchains, including those belonging to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zerocash, and any CryptoNote-based coin. It also allows pre-existing DApps to run across a multitude of blockchains.
- Network partition migration – in order to avoid interruptions in achieving consensus among network participants, the network voting structure is partitioned into geographic zones, which enables network activity to persist even if the hub activity suddenly halts due to a temporary network partition.