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Cosmos, the Internet of Blockchains, explained

Cosmos is a crypto project created in 2019. It’s a sprawling network, whose main goal is to provide other users with the means and environment to create their own blockchains. They all operate within the same ‘Hub,’ which is what they call the primary chain. They are all part of the big ecosystem, which ensures their complete interoperability.

Cosmos is also known as the ‘Internet of Blockchains’. It was created specifically as a hosting project. It provides the foundation and the interoperability features, but everything else is completely within the rights of developers. Many things, including the consensus mechanisms or rules, can be changed.

It’s remarkable for developers, but does it really hold water?

Cosmos hub-and-zone system

Cosmos operates on the ‘hub-and-zone’ system, which largely detaches the main chain from all of the other blockchains created in the system.

Hub is the foundation. It’s the main network with a myriad of features, mechanisms, and rules to make your journey towards your own blockchain softer. It also connects the various blockchains located in the Cosmos system, allowing them to communicate, share, and integrate.

Zones are other, user-created blockchains. It’s the main attraction of the network, the reason most people have heard about it. The concept of user-made blockchains located inside a bigger framework isn’t new, but Cosmos implemented it well. You can customize a lot of things inside your blockchain, ensuring that it fits your vision and your needs.

The hub and the zones are connected directly, ensuring the seamless exchange of data between the two and the other zones. The zones are autonomous, but not completely independent. The base security measures and some features are still carried over from the hub to the zones. However, you can build over it and, oftentimes, basically negate the default settings with your better features.

Is Cosmos good?

In terms of sheer user experience, Cosmos should be immensely more comfortable to use compared to the regular means by which people develop and access projects on crypto. Much of Cosmos' functionality is designed for developers and businesses, but its features also affect the way regular users experience it.

For developers, Cosmos offers a streamlined well-built way of creating a personal network. Since most developers are just app developers, the majority of them have to put up with any limitations the likes of Ethereum impose on their imagination. Ethereum is good, but you can’t just mold the environment to your needs and the peculiarities of your app.

On Cosmos, it’s completely within your purview. Moreover, it’s what they expect you to do. They encourage you to change basically everything besides the bare carcass. As mentioned, the hub is mostly detached from its zones. It provides tools and interoperability, meaning that it’s mostly just a hosting service and a security provider.

For visitors, the experience mostly depends on whatever the developer decides to do with their corner of the Cosmos. Obviously, it’s going to follow the bare protocol, and it’s impossible to have a malicious network. The security is provided and enforced by the command center.

Since not every blockchain will be starkly different from how the hub is structured, you can expect that many of these projects will have the same consensus mechanism, tokens, and so forth. So, there is also this sense of uniformity when it comes to browsing the blockchains here.

Consensus mechanism

The consensus mechanism found on Cosmos is called the Tendermint Consensus. It’s a Byzantine Fault Tolerance mechanism, which itself is based on the Proof-of-Stake protocol. Here’s how it works.

The BFT mechanism enables a large myriad of users to quickly decide with precision upon the creation of new blocks. It’s achieved by two rounds of voting:

  1. The validators first decide which one of them will propose a new block.
  2. Upon selecting the leader and receiving the proposal, the nodes vote upon the creation of this block.

The process repeats in quick succession until the block is created. The process is streamlined: it’s fast and secure. The ‘Byzantine’ part in particular refers to the different malicious or faulty nodes, which could undermine the transparency and effectiveness of the voting process. Thanks to this system, the process can continue at the same speed even when several participating nodes are compromised.

This mechanism governs the hub, as well as the SDK (the creation kit, basically). Any new blockchain created on Cosmos can adopt a different consensus mechanism.

ATOM

ATOM is the inner token of the hub, although it can be used in other blockchains. This token is mainly used to participate in the creation of new blocks, pay fees while on the hub, and exchange assets on the marketplace. The ‘marketplace’ is basically a digital exchange for assets created on Cosmos, where people from various blockchains come together to swap tokens.

It’s also listed on exchanges outside of Cosmos, where it’s currently traded for $7. It was way more valued back in the day, rising massively in early 2021 when Cosmos entered the spotlight. It’s currently in the top-30 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, reflecting the popularity of its native platform.

Conclusion

Cosmos has been a massive success. It offers a massive degree of freedom to its users by basically giving them a free hand in developing their personal blockchains. Its role on the network is limited, but still very important. It provides immense interoperability between projects built on its network, as well as an excellent toolbox for creating PoS blockchains. It’s also incredibly secure and streamlined.

Exchange Cosmos to e-currencies

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