Cosmos Hub is the first blockchain of Cosmos, a project that plans a collection of interconnected blockchains. Cosmos has just introduced its shared security model called Interchain Security.

1 What is Cosmos interchain security

By allowing anyone to participate in the Internet of Blockchains, cosmos interchain security is like the Bazaar model. There may be fewer guarantees of order or consistency, but this design allows for faster and more varied formation and development. This difference in structure and ideology has fueled the explosion of Cosmos-based blockchains with diverse features and stakeholders.

2 Comos Interchain Security mechanism

Why Cosmos interchain security is so important

Interchain Security is a shared security portfolio dedicated to Cosmos, built using the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC).

Interchain Security is introduced with many different terms such as Shared Security, Cross Chain Validation, Cross Chain Collateralization, Shared Staking, and Interchain Staking. For simplicity, pay special attention to three terms:

At a very high level, Interchain Security allows the provider chain (like Cosmos Hub) to be responsible for producing blocks for the consumer chain. It does this by sharing the set of validators responsible for producing blocks. Participating validators will run two nodes, one for the Cosmos Hub and one for the consumer chain, and receive fees and rewards on both chains.

To qualify for the production of blocks on the consumer chain, validators will use the ATOM tokens they have placed on the Cosmos Hub. If the validator does a bad job of generating blocks on either chain, they run the risk of having their ATOM tokens burned by a mechanism known as “slashing”. In this way, the security obtained from the value of the stake locked on the provider chain is shared with the consumer chain.

3 What value does Interchain Security bring

3.1 For Cosmos Hub

There are two main reasons why cosmos interchain security is valuable to Cosmos Hub. The first reason is that it enables “hub minimalism” and the second is to reduce the barrier to launching and running decentralized public blockchains with security. To learn more about these topics, please read more here.

Why Cosmos interchain security is so important

3.2 For the development team

Cosmos interchain security has taken an interesting approach to Web3 development. Instead of building a decentralized application on top of Ethereum or one of the Layer 2 sidechains, Cosmos creates a world where you set up your application-specific blockchains, interacting with applications or services on other chains through the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) protocol.

In a recent episode of The New Stack Makers podcast, Marko Baricevic, a software engineer with the Interchain Foundation, likened IBC to TCP/IP’s role as a communication protocol for networks. Just as TCP/IP established a common protocol used for networked computers to send and receive information, IBC established a means of sending and receiving messages between blockchains.

The Cosmos ecosystem today includes more than 250 applications and services, including some that Marko Baricevic wrote recently such as Agoric’s smart contracts and Web3’s AWS Lamda, Aleph.

As Cosmos continues to expand to new developers with additional dApps and services, that desire for integration is likely to continue to grow.

Cosmos interchain security enables Cosmos to be transparent with its philosophy of sovereignty and open source (like the Bazaar model) and allows blockchains to integrate economically but not politically. It’s an ambitious project but development is well underway, in my personal opinion this groundbreaking feature could appear on Cosmos Hub’s test network.

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