Tagged as the Internet of Blockchains, the Cosmos network is a unique project that aims to take on the issue of interoperability, where siloed blockchains cannot talk with one another.
The project aims to get around this problem by creating a network of blockchains that are linked together by open-source tools and can process transactions across any chain within it.
While monolithic blockchains such as Solana scale in a linear way, and Ethereum is opting for a modular approach using separate execution and settlement layers, Cosmos is a hub of different blockchains that can communicate with each other via the Inter-Blockchain Communications or IBC protocol. The basic premise is that Cosmos chains can communicate with one another in a trust-minimized way. Each network is an application-specific blockchain, known as a “Zone” within the Cosmos ecosystem.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest blockchains within the Cosmos ecosystem that rely on its open-source tools to connect with the wider network.
Namada is a security-focused blockchain within Cosmos that’s notable for being the first fractal instance of the Anoma protocol. Anoma is essentially a Layer-0 that powers the operation of networked fractal instances that interoperate with one another, although they each use their own architecture and security model.
With Namada, there is a big emphasis on transaction security, which is enabled through the use of shielded actions that obscure transaction details using cryptographic techniques known as ZK-proofs. While the transaction’s outcome is recorded onto the blockchain and verified, the exact details of each transaction, including the token involved and the amount sent, are hidden from observers.
Namada uses ZK-proofs based on the Multi-Asset Shielded Pool, where different assets can share a single anonymity set. It incentivizes participants who perform shielded transactions, and in this way it’s trying to implement the concept of “privacy as a public good”, where privacy should improve significantly as more participants contribute to the network.
While other blockchains have implemented their own take on ZK-proofs, Namada is unique in its ability to support the shielded transfer of any kind of asset, such as crypto tokens and NFTs, across Ethereum, EVM- and IBC-compatible blockchains. In the case of Ethereum, it connects to that ecosystem via a two-way trustless bridge to support private and anonymous transactions across two of the biggest individual networks in the blockchain industry.
2. dYdX Chain
dYdX Chain is a blockchain that’s designed to support its namesake decentralized exchange for perpetual futures contracts. The platform provides deep liquidity with zero fees and leverage of up to 20X. It was originally built upon the Ethereum L2 network Starkware, before switching to a Cosmos app-chain with its V4 release.
The team behind the project justified the move to Cosmos by saying it will enable greater decentralization and higher transaction throughputs with lower costs.
The main goal of dYdX’s team is to enable secure trading with low gas costs and low transaction fees. The expansion to Cosmos is a significant development, enabling the exchange to interoperate with that ecosystem, in addition to any EVM chain.
dYdX Chain has reached $20 BILLION in lifetime trading volume 🚀🚀🚀 pic.twitter.com/uTfjBI5vkX
— dYdX (@dYdX) January 21, 2024
dYdX also offers a staking mechanism that has become especially attractive with its users. That’s primarily due to the uncanny stability of the DYDX token itself, which means investors can be assured of more predictable rewards.
The exchange platform has emerged as the decentralized exchange with the highest trading volume in crypto with over $20 billion traded across perpetuals and margins since the launch of V4. With more than 3M USDC awarded to over 9,000 stakers, the chain is poised for exponential growth in 2024.
The Osmosis chain is an automated market-maker that supports cross-chain trading across the entire Cosmos ecosystem. It enables developers to create customized AMMs with their own, sovereign liquidity pools. Within each AMM, key parameters such as swap fees and token weights, plus fundamental components such as TWAP calculations and curve algorithms, can be fully customized, paving the way for the creation of different exchange platforms and DeFi apps.
Osmosis is connected to 45 zones within the Cosmos ecosystem, making it the most interoperable of all Cosmos chains, even ahead of Cosmos itself.
As one of the only AMMs to offer such unique flexibility and customization, Osmosis is ushering in a new wave of innovation within Cosmos’ growing DeFi landscape. In future it will also add support for new capabilities such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), order books and lending.
Cronos is another EVM-compatible chain within the Cosmos ecosystem. It was built with Ethermint, an implementation of the EVM that was, in turn, created by the Cosmos SDK.
The Cronos network launched in November 2021 and has emerged as one of the biggest and most important within the Cosmos ecosystem, with more than 825,000 unique wallet addresses performing transactions to date.
Cronos has become home to an extensive collection of more than 120 decentralized applications. It’s notably interoperable with Crypto.com’s second blockchain, Crypto.org, via the IBC protocol. The main difference is that, while Crypto.org is a standalone network that aims to deliver fast transactions and lower fees, Cronos is compatible with all EVM chains. It’s used to build dApps that can utilize smart contracts.
Whereas with Crypto.org, the only thing users can do is stake their CRO, the Cronos chain offers an extensive range of dApps for users to play around with.
Cronos has recently announced the launch of its zkEVM chain, initially as a testnet, based on Matter Labs’ software tools, making them the first public testnet to use Matter Labs’ ZK Stack.
Juno excels as a low-cost blockchain where transaction fees can be up to 35,000-times cheaper than other Layer-2 blockchains. It’s built atop of the CosmWasm framework, which allows developers to create and deploy smart contracts that can interact with any other Cosmos-based chain.
The project has grown to become the home of more than 50 dApps and a staggering 2,000+ decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). It supports all segments of the crypto industry, including DeFi, NFTs and blockchain gaming, and offers strong transaction privacy. The Juno project is 100% community-owned, as it didn’t undergo any seed, private or public token sale. Instead, 47% of the genesis supply of JUNO tokens was airdropped to those staking ATOM tokens on the primary Cosmos blockchain.
The community-owned nature of Juno sets it apart from other Layer-1 networks such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, where large amounts of tokens are owned by so-called “whales”. In addition, it also boasts one of the most active communities in the Cosmos ecosystem.
Tyler Fields is your internet guru, delving into the latest trends, developments, and issues shaping the online world. With a focus on internet culture, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies, Tyler keeps readers informed about the dynamic landscape of the internet and its impact on our digital lives.