Kava 9 Is Coming: IBC and More

Tristan Willis
Oct 21, 2021 · 4 min read

The Kava 9 mainnet upgrade is coming, and it’s bringing a number of exciting changes aimed at expanding the Kava Ecosystem by adding new ways for users and projects to bring their assets to Kava. Chief among these is the upgrade to version 44 of the Cosmos SDK, which will implement the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol (IBC).

This will allow holders of all IBC-enabled assets to seamlessly bring their assets to Kava and earn with them on Kava’s best-in-class products. Existing Kava users will also gain access to an array of new in-demand assets to use in the Kava Ecosystem.

The Kava 9 testnet has launched successfully and the upgrade will go live on the Kava mainnet at 16:00 UTC on January 19, 2022.

What’s In The Box?

The Kava 9 mainnet upgrade includes several features that will prepare the Kava Ecosystem for massive growth in 2022 and deliver quality-of-life improvements for Kava users at launch. The full feature list is:

  • IBC integration

IBC Integration

As a Layer-1 blockchain built using the Cosmos SDK, it has been a goal to integrate IBC and unlock the benefits of Kava for a wider audience since its launch in March. As with all things that Kava does, ensuring the security and stability of any major change is the top priority. With Kava 9, the infrastructure will be in place to integrate safely and begin connecting to the Cosmos ecosystem without putting users at risk.

This is a huge step for Kava, as it will mean unlocking the ability not only to bring assets from IBC-enabled chains onto Kava, but also to easily move $KAVA, $HARD, and $SWP off Kava to be used on other chains. This will provide a number of new onramps to the Kava ecosystem, new earning opportunities for users of the Kava Platform, and new utility for the existing native Kava assets.

Earning with IBC Assets

One of the biggest benefits of the IBC integration will be the ability to bring IBC assets onto the Kava Ecosystem and earn with them in Mint, Lend, and Swap. This includes $ATOM, $LUNA, $UST, $OSMO, and many more. This will create new ways for users to onboard to the Kava Ecosystem and offer a more diverse set of earning, lending, and borrowing options on the platform.

At launch, no new assets will be enabled on the Kava Platform. Shortly after launch, multiple proposals will be put forward to the governance of the platform and the individual protocols to determine which IBC assets will be integrated into each protocol. Potential uses for IBS assets will be:

  • Supply IBC assets as collateral and mint USDX

Kava Launchpad

Kava Launchpad is one of the first major steps to opening the Kava Ecosystem up for new projects to onboard. It will allow projects to raise funds and increase their brand awareness prior to launch by distributing tokens as rewards to $KAVA stakers. These will function in the same way that $KAVA rewards do now, with users selecting a vesting period in the web app and claiming rewards as they do with $HARD and $SWP.

Any tokens that are launched on the Kava chain via Kava Launchpad will also be added to Swap so that users can trade and stake them as with any assets on the Kava chain. In the future, Kava may also incentivize certain Swap pools or Lend in the same way to distribute new assets and accelerate liquidity for new projects.

ETH Bridge Core Infrastructure

While the focus is initially on fully enabling IBC, Kava 9 will also implement the core infrastructural changes required to activate the bridge between Kava and the Ethereum Network. These modules will enable the ability to mint or burn wrapped ERC-20 tokens, control deposit limits, and whitelist certain tokens.

The bridge will not be active at launch. However, implementing the core infrastructure for the bridge in the Kava 9 upgrade enables the activation of the bridge without a chain upgrade. This will be the primary goal after the Kava 9 upgrade, with the initial focus likely on bridging $ETH and $USDC.

Developer Tools

In addition to the major interoperability and useability upgrades that Kava 9 brings to the Kava Ecosystem, it will also deliver several essential pieces of developer functionality. These will pave the way for the onboarding of new projects to the ecosystem and improve useability for existing validators and users. These include:

  • Easy integration with third-party apps


The Kava 9 mainnet upgrade is underway and scheduled for late Q4 2021 to Q1 2022. It will upgrade the Kava mainnet to v44 of the Cosmos SDK, implementing IBC and connecting the Kava Ecosystem all IBC-enabled chains. This will provide several new onramps to Kava for users and bring a number of new assets onto the Kava chain.

In addition, it will lay the groundwork for the continued growth of the Kava Ecosystem in 2022 with Kava Launchpad, the foundation for an upcoming ETH bridge, Kepler wallet support, and several quality-of-life improvements for developers and users.

Kava Labs Blog

This publication features news and articles from the Kava…

Kava Labs Blog

This publication features news and articles from the Kava Labs team. Kava Labs is a developer of the Kava blockchain, the first cross-blockchain DeFi platform.

Tristan Willis

Written by

Senior Content Manager for Kava Labs

Kava Labs Blog

This publication features news and articles from the Kava Labs team. Kava Labs is a developer of the Kava blockchain, the first cross-blockchain DeFi platform.