Cosmos Network (ATOM)

Cosmos Network (ATOM)

Cosmos Network (ATOM)

Cosmos —— A Decentralized Network Of Interoperable Blockchain
  1. Cosmos is a network connecting many independent distributed ledgers (e.g., Ethereum, Bitcoin) to achieve interoperability across blockchains. Its goal is to "create an Internet of Blockchains", i.e., "a network of blockchains where each participant is able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way".
  2. Cosmos is built on a set of independent blockchains referred to as zones, which are powered by the Tendermint Core consensus mechanism - a Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism used to scale public Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchains.
  3. Defined as a "blockchain 3.0", Cosmos relies on three additional core elements: Cosmos Hub, IBC Protocol and Cosmos SDK.
  4. ATOM tokens are earned through a hybrid proof-of-stake algorithm, and they help to keep the Cosmos Hub, the project’s flagship blockchain, secure. This cryptocurrency also has a role in the network’s governance.

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What is Cosmos (ATOM)?

Cosmos (ATOM) is a decentralized ecosystem of independent blockchains that its creator, All In Bits Inc (dba Tendermint Inc), hopes is the foundation for the next generation of internet technology. Instead of participating in divisions between crypto factions, Cosmos brings them all together, enabling interoperability, currency exchanges, and an Internet of Blockchains (IoB).

The team essentially built two components to make this happen: Tendermint Core, and an Inter-Blockchain Communications (IBC) protocol, Cosmos SDK. Together, they form the Cosmos Network.

  • Tendermint Core – Tendermint is the open-source base layer that acts as a blockchain development platform. Anyone with an application can use this blockchain-in-a-box implementation to integrate their own decentralized/distributed network, along with their own BFT-compatible consensus model.
  • Inter-Blockchain Communications (IBC) – The next layer is the interconnectivity layer that enables communication between all the individual chains. This creates a series of interconnected zones and hubs that act independently, yet share a common system architecture. This is the key layer for token, data, and digital asset exchanges across chains.
  • Cosmos SDKA package of tools that expedites the building process for developers that want to create their own blockchains for their own apps.

The Cosmos project aims to create an entire ecosystem around a blockchain running on Tendermint BFT consensus to make blockchains easier to use, from providing developer SDKs to enabling interblockchain communication via a "Hub-and-Zone" model. The Cosmos chain will serve as the first hub, through which other chains and tokens can transfer information using Interblockchain Communication. Cosmos integrates processing/verification hubs to keep everything running together. Hubs use a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus to validate Tendermint transactions.


ATOM is the native asset of Cosmos and is used for on-chain governance. Specifically, ATOMs can be staked by zone validators to join hubs and conversely, their locked tokens would be slashed in case of malicious behavior (i.e., bonding mechanism). In addition, Cosmos Hub has a similar gas system as Ethereum, and requires ATOM to be used for transaction fees. The more ATOM staked, the more likely to become a validator node to validate a transaction and earn tokens. Cosmos has a total supply of 265,500,220 ATOM.


As per the project website disclaimer, "the development of the Cosmos project is led primarily by Tendermint Inc." - a private, for-profit entity, but the funding for the development comes from the Interchain Foundation, a Swiss non-profit.

The full Tendermint team, profiles, and backgrounds can be found on the Tendermint website.

Into the Cosmos Network

Cosmos is described as “Blockchain 3.0”, was initially conceived by Jae Kwon in 2014, and he was joined by Ethan Buchman a year later. They created the platform’s SDK to lower the barrier to entry for blockchain development and build a decentralized field for individual chains to communicate with each other.

Individual chains (which can represent decentralized applications, intranets, and more) are divided into zones and connected through Cosmos hubs. These hubs validate transactions and provide crosschain compatibility. This is what enables data and value transfers.

Each individual chain can choose and run its own independent governance. They have their own software stack (rooted in Tendermint Core through the Cosmos SDK), and they aren’t affected by the other zones. Pegged tokens (currently, a pegged Ethereum token called Ethermint is the only available Peg-Zone) are created to enable conversions between a Proof-of-Work (PoW) chain and the native PoS system in Tendermint Core.

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