Driving growth of the Interchain through Open Source software

The Interchain Foundation
4 min readFeb 13


The current landscape of the Interchain is that of a complex and interconnected ecosystem. With over $60 billion in digital assets is locked across 70+ sovereign chains; each of which have dozens if not hundreds of dApps built on them; all of which rely on the Interchain Stack — a collection of software that has been developed and maintained by dozens of organizations

Weaving together these robust strands of complex development are multiple entities including the Interchain Foundation. We take pride in our role to responsibly support this new technological paradigm that is open-source, interoperable, and community-owned.

At the Interchain Foundation (ICF), we strongly believe in the values of open source software development. Open-source software drives innovation, allowing developers to collaborate and share best practices for the collective benefit of everyone.

The ability to utilize code freely also means more developers are looking at and using open-source code, leading to stronger security and wider compatibility. More developers means more integrations, each with different use cases, and the greater the chances of bug spotting and compatibility fixes. Furthermore it becomes the interest of many development teams that their shared foundational technology is secure. Open-source principles allow for mutual benefaction and collective effort, which is the leading intention of the ICF.

Open-source ethos has always been at the core of the Interchain, and has guided software developed through the ICF’s funding. Since 2019, much of the work we have funded and/or supported has been released under open-source and permissive software licenses like Apache 2.0. This includes Cosmos SDK, IBC Go and CosmJS to name a few.

Yet open source is free to use but not free to maintain.

Since our inception, the Interchain Foundation has and continues to fund different engineering teams to develop and maintain the Interchain’s core infrastructure — Tendermint Core*, Cosmos SDK and the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC). We have also provided significant financial support to the development of technologies like CosmWasm and Ethermint — technologies that are now forming the foundations of smart contract and EVM-compatible blockchains. In addition to the core functionality of the Interchain Stack, the ICF funds projects to drive the adoption and use-cases for our technology — from the running the Interchain Developer Academy and the Builders Program, to funding the development of Interchain NFT and efforts to integrate IBC with Polkadot, among many others.

Combined, the Interchain Stack and its related technologies is arguably the most robust blockchain technology in the world, as evidenced by the on-going migrations of projects like Delphi Labs’ Mars Protocol and the dYdX decentralized exchange.

Why does the ICF fund this work? We do this in service of the app-chain “thesis” — a “thesis” that is now gaining traction and is effectively becoming the new model for blockchain development.

The flexibility that the Interchain Stack affords developers in creating their own chains has positioned the Interchain as the most compelling community to build. This stack, in whole or parts of it, has become a core part of many of the most significant projects in the industry today, including DyDx, Crypto.com, Cosmos Hub, Osmosis, Binance Beacon Chain, and BSN’s WenChang Chain. And almost all of these chains contribute back to the open source software — be it by contributing new code and functionality, enriching the software with their use-cases, or aiding existing developers with constructive feedback. This, in turn, strengthens the Interchain Stack by making it more attractive and valuable to new projects and blockchains.

Ensuring the backbone of the Interchain Stack is up-to-date and secure is our stake in the ground of embracing and celebrating principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.

The Interchain — the collection of independent blockchains connected via IBC — stands as a hub of open-source innovation supported by free-to-use technological infrastructure. We could not have gotten to this position without the collective participation and innovation of the open-source ecosystem.

The enthusiasm of the Cosmos community has made the Interchain what it is today — a sovereign, secure, and sustainable ecosystem of decentralized networks.

p.s. We are currently finalizing key contracts for 2023, and will share an update about the core development of the various aspects of the Interchain Stack shortly thereafter.

* ICF engineering teams (in-house and external) previously worked on the Tendermint Core consensus engine. We recently released CometBFT — a fork of Tendermint Core. Read more about it here



The Interchain Foundation

As stewards of the interchain, we advance the development of an interoperable, sustainable, and community-owned decentralized ecosystem. https://interchain.io/