The Top 5 Projects Building on Cosmos

At this point it is hard to argue with the fact that most projects in the crypto space are being built on Ethereum, but there are many upcoming smart contract platforms that may present an alternative for developers. The Cosmos Network is one of these highly anticipated “third generation” blockchains. Cosmos is using a modular architecture and allows for easy developability and better scalability, if you want to learn more about Cosmos and its value proposition check out our introductory blog post here.

This post is introducing some of the top projects that are currently developing on Cosmos and what made them choose the Cosmos Network to host their applications.

#1: IRISnet

IRISnet aims to build an interchain service protocol for building next-generation distributed applications. The goal is to provide an interface to integrate business services from heterogeneous systems into the Cosmos Network. IRISnet is extending the Cosmos inter-blockchain communication protocol (IBC) through standard transaction types with the goal of functioning as an adaptor of business logic from other private or public blockchains or even legacy systems.

An overview of the layers in IRISnet and their connection to the Cosmos Network.

The project is a strategic partner of the Interchain Foundation and Tendermint, who are the main driving forces behind the Cosmos Network. The IRIShub will potentially be the first hub to interoperate with the Cosmos Hub and its connecting zones. Bianjie.ai, the core team from China behind IRISnet, is currently focused on getting their hub ready for mainnet and developing the IRIS Service layer. IRISnet has started its own incentivized testnet, where participating validators can earn IRIS tokens for completing tasks. There are plans to launch a hackathon titled Game of Genesis after the final Cosmos testnet competition Game of Stakes took place. If everything goes as planned, the IRIShub will be live shortly after the Cosmos Hub, with a targeted launch date around the end of Q1 2019.

When asked why IRISnet chose to build on Cosmos, Suyu Huang from the Bianjie.ai team said the following:

“IRISnet believes in the vision of an internet of application-specific blockchains and aims to amplify the value of business applications. The interoperability solution of Cosmos (IBC) was a natural fit for this problem.”

#2: Sentinel

Sentinel is building a multi-protocol network layer to provide access to services and distributed resources for P2P and decentralized applications. Their first service is a decentralized Virtual Private Network (dVPN) that allows users to redirect and mask their internet traffic through a set of high-bandwidth nodes.

A screenshot of the Sentinel dVPN Desktop Client Alpha running on a Tendermint testnet.

Each service on the Sentinel network will be a Tendermint zone with its own network of service nodes and validators staking tokens, which will be able to interoperate within the Cosmos Network. Another exemplary service on the Sentinel network is Swixer, a cryptocurrency mixer that is utilizing cross-chain swaps allowing users to anonymously convert tokens. The Sentinel team is planning to develop a SDK to enable easy integration of third party applications that require access to distributed resources and services.

Sentinel is being built using Tendermint and the Cosmos SDK due to their core strengths in the areas of scalability, governance and interoperability:

  • The Tendermint ABCI (Application Blockchain Interface) layer enables separation of application and consensus logic, allowing developers to program in a multitude of languages.
  • Horizontal scaling by having a blockchain zone for each service.
  • Ability to create payment agnostic services utilizing the IBC protocol.
  • Incentives and governance through Cosmos SDK staking and slashing modules.

#3: Agreements Network

The Agreements Network is a decentralized contract management platform aiming to serve as the legal layer for the networked world. Lawyers can generate template agreements and represent them on the network using a toolkit consisting of standard processes like signatures, payments and registrations. These templates can then be invoked and operated in an automated fashion and at scale, with the network providing data assurance for contract formation, chain of custody and fulfillment of obligations.

Agreements Network Introductory Video

The Agreements Network is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain based on Hyperledger Burrow utilizing Tendermint consensus and a custom EVM implementation optimized for executing legal processes. The project’s goal is to function as a hub within the Cosmos Network through which other zones can access and interact with the legal agreements between participants stored on the Agreements Network.

The advantages of this approach are:

  • The ability to outsource functions like cross-chain escrow, connecting with Ethereum, identity management, etc. to the Cosmos Network
  • Increased scalability by limiting consensus messaging to transactions that need to know about each other’s state

#4: FOAM

FOAM aims to bring location-based information to the world of blockchains and smart contracts. By combining low-frequency radio hardware with a peer-to-peer network of nodes staking the FOAM token and token curated registries (TCRs), the FOAM network is incentivizing the creation of a GPS alternative including a world map filled with information (Points of Interest). The project aims to enable parties querying the network to provide a so-called “Proof of Location” to smart contracts, which could be useful in many applications spanning from blockchain gaming to trade finance.

FOAM Proof of Location Introduction Video

The team raised around $16.5 million at the end of July 2018 through an innovative token sale approach that required users to interact with the protocol before being able to sell their tokens.

FOAM will utilize Tendermint consensus in combination with staking FOAM tokens for consensus between nodes belonging to a FOAM zone. A zone in FOAM refers to a set of radio beacon nodes covering an area of the world within the FOAM network. The team is currently developing an architecture for how such zones could connect to the Cosmos Network.

#5: TruStory

TruStory is a social network application that wants to bring an end to fake news by identifying the truth behind claims through a decentralized network of topic experts. TruStory is using tokens to incentivize identifying accurate and refuting inaccurate information. In the first version, TruStory will be purely focused around cryptocurrency-related questions.

A screenshot from the TruStory website showcasing a prototype of the TruStory application.

The team behind Preethi Kasireddy creating TruStory decided to develop on Cosmos for a number of reasons:

  • Tendermint consensus is fast and efficient, providing finality and better scalability compared to existing alternatives.
  • Cosmos is flexible, you can easily add modules like governance and customize incentive structures for network participants.
  • The programming language (Golang) provides a good developer experience and has a lot of great tooling.
  • The IBC protocol provides the potential to interoperate with other blockchains.

Conclusion

The Cosmos Network is positioned as an attractive platform to host decentralized applications. The separation of the consensus and application layer logic (ABCI) together with the modularity of the Cosmos SDK allow developers to easily compose applications with modules fitting to their use case.

Application-specific blockchains utilizing fast finality Tendermint consensus that are able communicate through the IBC protocol could help to usher in a new era of scalable and interoperable blockchain applications. We are excited to see how the Cosmos Network will evolve and are looking forward to help secure this ecosystem in our role as validators. If you are searching for validators for your zone on the Cosmos Network, don’t hesitate to reach out to us through our website or our other channels linked below.

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Originally published at blog.chorus.one on November 29, 2018.