Lesson 1- Entering the Cosmos
This is the first lesson of many simple short tutorials geared toward teaching new users how to interact with the Cosmos Ecosystem. Through out these lessons, you will learn to buy $Atom, Delegate/Stake, swap, trade and provide liquidity, buy NFT’s, transact with other chains, use IBC and become a full fledge Cosmonaut.
What is Cosmos?
Cosmos is referred to as the internet of blockchains. It acts as a hub, for several blockchains all interconnected by a technology called IBC (inter-blockchain communication protocol). Cosmos token is named $Atom.
Why should I bother joining the Cosmos?
Cosmos runs an advance blockchain architecture and offers unparalleled tools and capabilities for developers to run their own blockchains, deploy interoperable smart contracts and interact with hundreds of other blockchains, all with ease. As the bitcoin blockchain can’t interact with the Ethereum blockchain and Ethereum blockchain isn’t compatible with Avalanche or Solana blockchains, all blockchains within the Cosmos are compatible, interoperable, and interconnected without the need of building bridges, or relying for complex technologies.
You can freely move assets from one blockchain to another, trade a coin for another, or participate in different protocols in different blockchains using the same wallet seamlessly and with total freedom and ease. Contrary to the other blockchains, you can use the same wallet to automatically interact with all cosmos blockchains.
Where do I sign, how do I join?
$Atom can be bought in all major exchanges everywhere. You will want to download Keplr wallet either as a chrome extension to use with your browser or as a phone app in apple/google store.
To be able to fully participate in everything Cosmos has to offer, it is better to use the chrome extension as it makes it easier to participate in the many activities Cosmos has to offer.
How does Keplr wallet work?
You can set up a wallet using a google account or by creating a new account. As a true believer of decentralization, I will cover the latter and show you how to use the “create new account” option.
After installing Keplr, click the create new account button. It will prompt you to backup your mnemonic seed phrase securely. A mnemonic seed phrase is a set of 12 or 24 unique words you need to write down, keep secret, and store safely as they are your passphrase to recover your wallet in case of any loss of data.
Never share your seed phrase with anybody and never enter it anywhere even if it’s prompted by a seemingly trusted website or party.
The only instance where you will ever need to use your seed phrase is when you install keplr on a new devise or reinstall keplr after a loss of data. At that time, you will want to recall your wallet with the “Import existing account” button. You will be prompted to enter your seed phrase like shown below, and it’s the only time its safe for you to use it.
Known phishing scams target users seed phrases to trick them into revealing it or typing it somewhere. They can then import your wallet in your stead and steal your funds, this is the reason behind the previous warnings.
A crypto wallet is all, but a seed phrase (mnemonic seed) letting you access and control your data and assets forever stored on the blockchain such as your coins and their balance.
If you ever uninstall your keplr application or chrome extension, lose your phone, have a problem with your computer, you can recall your wallet by simply using the import wallet option of Keplr and entering your saved mnemonic seed phrase. Everything will be restored. Nothing is ever lost on the blockchain.
I bought some $Atom on an exchange and installed Keplr wallet, now what?
Now you can send and receive $atom. By taking self-custody of your atom, meaning taking it out of the exchange and putting it in your wallet, you are taking the first step toward controlling your funds and interacting with the internet of blockchains. The highlighted address in the image below is your Cosmos address used to receive $Atom. Clicking it will copy it. Clicking receive will show the address in QR code form.
First step is to head to the withdrawal page of your exchange and withdraw you’re $Atom. The exchange will ask you for a cosmos address and a memo. Since you are withdrawing your $Atom to your newly created Keplr wallet, you don’t need to worry about a Memo. It is not needed and leaving it blank is perfectly fine. Memo is only needed when sending coins to an exchange. It is used to link the deposits to the user account. It is not something used in self custody or decentralized finance.
As such, all you need to do, is copy your Keplr cosmos address, enter it in the receiving/withdrawal field and confirming the transaction. You will soon receive custody of your $Atom in your newly created Keplr wallet.
As shown in this image, make sure to select Cosmos as a network, enter your address, the amount of $Atom, and hit Withdraw. No need to fill the Memo field as stated previously.
You should see your new $Atom balance in your Keplr Wallet. Now the possibilities are endless, and sky is the limit. Worry not, I shall not leave new cosmonauts in the dark, and will cover every use case available in the cosmos ecosystem through these lessons.
Here’s a list of what’s possible within the Cosmos. All these topics will be tackled under this medium account:
- Stake your tokens and earn fees/rewards/airdrops.
- Use your staked tokens to participate in governance votes and participate in the decision making of the Blockchains.
- How to choose a validator.
- Defi (decentralized finance) inside Cosmos. Use a decentralized exchange to buy, sell, swap coins.
- Provide liquidity in a decentralized exchange to gain swapping fees and incentive rewards.
- Mint your first NFT.
- Use an NFT marketplace, to buy and sell NFT’s.
- Discover and interact with Juno Network.
- Discover and interact with Osmosis Zone.
- Discover and interact with Secret Network.
- Discover and interact with Stargaze Zone.
- Discover and interact with Akash Network.
- Discover and interact with Sentinel Network.
- Deploy a website on the blockchain using Akash Network.
- Use a decentralized VPN to connect privately to the internet using Sentinel Network.
- Asset your name and identity in the Cosmos. Replace your wallet address by any name to receive crypto using Starname.
- What are the tools available for developers and advanced users within the Cosmos?
- Use CLI (command line interface) to delegate, undelegated, query nodes, and vote.
- Set up a node.
- Set up a validator.
- Update and Troubleshoot a Validator.