A few years ago – in the early days of Blockchain – a lot of people were taken with the idea of a multifunctional chain on which all transactions could be handled.
After Ethereum was launched in 2014, its advocates were talking themselves hoarse about the transformative opportunities the platform introduced. Decentralized applications, they predicted, along with all sorts of value transfers would be executed exclusively on Ethereum from that point on, and no other networks would ever be needed.
However, that belief didn’t last long: experts saw major networks facing scalability issues when trying to increase their user bases and, also, they saw the frequent hacking.
After a while, there were but a few people left who supported the concept of the “one mighty chain”.
Now, most leaders in the industry embrace, quite sensibly, the idea of a multitude of blockchains. They encourage and often fund generously the developers who come up with promising and innovative blockchain tech, and they stress repeatedly the need to make these networks interoperable.
There are several projects out there that, seeing the market fit, concern themselves with bringing “Internet of Blockchains” to life. Today, we’ll discuss a few of them.
Decentralization on Ethereum, some think, is not properly to be called decentralization. Even though there’s modularity on the blockchain, which stems from the smart contracts functionality it enables, the blockchain users are still protected by a single network. And if there’s ever a fail in terms of governance (check the DAO incident to see what we are getting at) people might incur disastrous losses.
There are also strict rules and a constant need to maintain consensus across Ethereum. Its developers, therefore, have not a freedom to experiment; they can’t implement changes quickly and test out, with immediate feedback, their innovations.
Bitcoin is too a prime example of how inefficient governance might lead to prolonged stagnation. The network, that was once expected to reshape our whole economy, has been suffering for years from the lack of meaningful improvements applied to it.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are now a few projects in the blockchain space that are planning to bring distributed ledgers closer. They want to launch networks of individual and interoperable chains that, according to the founders, will enable programmers to innovate, allow for quick value transfers and seamless scalability.
Cosmos’ Internet of Blockchains
The first such project we must mention here – one that has done an ICO recently and raised over $17m in about 30 minutes – is Cosmos.
These zones are built in a standardized fashion, sort of like web pages, and, due to their being interoperable, coins and tokens can be transferred across the chains with little effort.
Cosmos blockchains will all use Proof of Stake. A security deposit will be required from validators, malicious actors will be penalized and possibly lose their bonds.
The underlying mechanism behind Cosmos is Tendermint – the general purpose blockchain consensus engine which, too, has been developed by the Cosmos crew. Essentially, Tendermint is a development kit; a template, if you will, on which Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT) blockchains can be quickly manufactured.
Cosmos hubs, on the other hand, are blockchains that glue the zones together; they administer, efficiently, the communication between sub-chains and coordinate their interactions.