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Cosmos (ATOM): Beginner-Friendly Guide

After the rise of bitcoin in 2008, the world became familiar with fascinating and decentralized blockchain technology. This digital peer-to-peer currency was using a novel consensus mechanism known as Proof-of-Work (PoW), and it was the first decentralized application built on the blockchain.

Building on top of the blockchain

In a short time, people recognized the potential that blockchain technology has to offer, and started to look for possibilities of building new applications with the help of blockchain. And to do that, they had two options.

One of them was forking the bitcoin codebase, and the other one was building on top of it. And that is when problems arose. You see, the thing is that the bitcoin codebase is quite monolithic, and its scripting language is limited. The community needed a new hero. So Vitalik Buterin decided to create one.

Ethereum – deploying blockchain through smart contracts

In 2014, Vitalik Buterin created platform Ethereum, which enables people to build decentralized applications on a single blockchain. To achieve this, Ethereum uses a virtual machine called the Ethereum Virtual Machine. However, it turned out that Etherum also has its limitations.

One of them is scalability. This means that applications developed on Ethereum are inhibited by a shared rate of 15 transactions per second. The other limitation is usability, which means that developers aren’t granted high flexibility. Also, they can use only a few programming languages, and without automatic execution of the code.

But that’s not all. Building applications on Ethereum also means that each application is limited in sovereignty. Since every application shares the same underlying environment, they can’t do anything without the acceptance of the governance of the Ethereum platform.

All these limitations and obstacles with building decentralized applications led the community to search for a single platform that would fit all use cases. And this is where Cosmos takes the stage.

Cosmos – Internet of Blockchains

Cosmos is a decentralized network of parallel blockchains, which are independent. and can interoperate with each other. According to its website:

The vision of Cosmos is to make it easy for developers to build blockchains and break the barriers between blockchains by allowing them to transact with each other. The end goal is to create an Internet of Blockchains, a network of blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way.

This means that Cosmos can solve the problems the developers have faced so far when building dApps. With Cosmos, blockchains in the ecosystem not only have sovereignty, but they can process transactions faster as well. To achieve this, the platform is using open source tools such as Tendermint, the Cosmos SDK, and IBC.

Who are the people behind the Cosmos?

There are numerous companies and foundations behind the project. However, the main support for the platform comes from the Swiss non-profit foundation The Interchain Foundation (ICF). The ICF joined forces with All in Bits Inc. to develop the Cosmos network and its ecosystem.

The founders are Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman. Jae is also the founder of Tendermint, which he founded in order to decrease wasting electricity to secure distributed ledgers. Ethan is a co-founder and an Internet biophysicist.

It’s worth mentioning that the team is quite active. For example, they run a blog and regularly post development updates, and they have a Telegram channel, which counts around 10,000 members.

ATOM – token behind the Cosmos

Cosmos held its ICO in April 2017, and it managed to raise $17.3 million in just 28 minutes. However, the team decided not to release the actual tokens until the main net went live. And on March 14, 2019, the actual tokens went live. In April, tokens got listed on the Binance Exchange, and as of the beginning of May, the price is $4.82.

When it comes to wallets that you can use with the token, you have several options, from hardware wallets such as Ledger to numerous mobile wallets like  Cosmostation and WeTez.

Also, the ATOM token is available on several crypto exchanges such as Binance, Kraken, Huobi Global, OKEx, and more.

Future of Cosmos

Cosmos has proved to be an ambitious project trying to solve problems related to current blockchain platforms for building decentralized applications. Moreover, the launch of Cosmos brought a lot of excitement and noise to the crypto community.

Still, there are several upgrade proposals lying ahead. One of them is including Hub Support for the IBC protocol and connecting SDK applications to the Hub. Also, the team has a task of enabling ATOM transfers, as well as enabling IBC and the main net launch.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the team behind the Cosmos is serious about what they’re doing. With its powerful partners and founders, the project aims on becoming the Internet of Blockchains, which is quite an ambitious statement. So we’ll have to keep an eye on this project in the coming months.


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Tamara Jones