Cosmos (ATOM) is a decentralized network of independent blockchains, each powered by Byzantine Fault-Tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithms. Atom is the native staking token of the Cosmos Network. The Cosmos vision is to build an “internet of blockchains” that can scale and interoperate with one another.
Open source tools like Tendermint Core, the Cosmos SDK, and the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC) were created to accelerate the creation of blockchains in the Cosmos Network.
Tendermint Core is a BFT consensus algorithm. With the Tendermint consensus algorithm, users get “instant finality,” which means forks are never created as long as more than a third of the Validators are honest. Transactions are finalized as soon as a block is created (unlike proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum).
The Cosmos SDK is a generalized framework that simplifies the process of building secure blockchain applications on top of Tendermint Core. IBC is a protocol that connects independent blockchains together. IBC allows heterogeneous chains to transfer value or data to each other and can work with any “fast-finality” blockchain engine.
The Cosmos Network consists of independent blockchains called “Zones” which are attached to central blockchains called “Hubs.” Each Zone and Hub can choose its own BFT consensus algorithm and governance.
The first Hub in the Cosmos Network is the Cosmos Hub which launched in March of 2019. The Cosmos Hub utilizes Tendermint Core which is a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus protocol. At the time of this writing, there are 100 Validators who secure the Cosmos Hub. Validators get rewarded with Atom tokens for each block they produce. Every year, the maximum number of Cosmos Hub Validators will increase according to a set schedule. Atom token holders who do not qualify as Validators can stake their tokens with a Validator to earn rewards.
The Cosmos Network is supported by the Swiss non-profit organization called the Interchain Foundation (ICF). Tendermint Inc is a California-based software company contracted by the ICF to develop the Cosmos Network. Jae Kwon is the President of the Interchain Foundation and the CEO of Tindermint Inc. Before Cosmos, Kwon was a Lead Mobile Developer at Yelp and a Developer at Flywheel Networks.
Cosmos held their ICO in April 2017 and raised $17 million. 75 percent of the available token supply was sold in the ICO, 5 percent was withheld for seed investors, 10 percent was distributed to Tendermint Inc, and the last 10 percent was allocated to the Interchain Foundation.
The Cosmos mainnet launched on March 14, 2019. On the same day, the Tendermint team announced their Series A investment round, raising $9 million. The investment was led by Paradigm and included Bain Capital, 1confirmation, and other notable investors.Read More