While such payment services as PayPal and Visa can perform hundreds and thousands (respectively) transactions per second, the Bitcoin network makes even less than ten. This is the point when we start talking of scalability improvements in the blockchain-related financial processes.
The second issue comes from the siloed nature of blockchain economies. Different networks cannot transfer assets between each other, thus the users have to seek the assistance of various exchange services. This makes the operations expensive, complicated in terms of algorithm and pretty extended in time.
Thus, the developers of Cosmos aimed to solve all the problems at once by creating an “Internet of blockchains” instead of building one more chain with its benefits and costs. In fact, Cosmos network comprises several blockchains called “Zones” attached to the central one called “Hub”. Here’s the explanation given in the project’s white paper:
“The zones are powered by Tendermint Core, which provides a high-performance, consistent, secure PBFT-like consensus engine, where strict fork-accountability guarantees hold over the behavior of malicious actors. Tendermint Core’s BFT consensus algorithm is well suited for scaling public proof-of-stake blockchains.”
If you feel the necessity to go deeper in technical details, you can read the whole thing here.
While the zones are relatively independent and, therefore, they operate with their own cryptocurrencies, the hub is fueled by ATOM assets native to the Cosmos chain. Being quite a young currency (even in the context of a crypto market), ATOM already managed to crawl to the top of CoinMarketCap according to the trading volume and market capitalization. Right now it is ranked number 19 which means that the Cosmos blockchain native coin has already outrun such prominent assets as Ethereum Classic, Zcash, Tezos and Ontology, for example. Though its price at the moment fluctuates at around $4 for one ATOM, there’s a big chance of growth for the coin with the further development and adoption of the technology.
Since ATOM assets are required for transactions between blockchains and payments of commissions, it’s necessary to obtain some amount before starting to work with the Cosmos network. ATOM tokens are available on most popular trading platforms, can be bought within Guarda Wallet (due to its built-in cryptocurrency purchase feature) or can be gained through mining. Mining ATOM is carried out by using the Tendermint algorithm, which is a hybrid version of the PoS mining algorithm.
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