Cosmos. The Internet of Blockchains

Today I’m taking a deep dive in to Cosmos.

Cosmos makes it easy for developers to build Blockchains and allows these Blockchains to interact with one another.

Cosmos’ goal is to create an ‘Internet of Blockchains.’ This is a network of Blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way. Cosmos aims for Blockchains to maintain sovereignty, process transactions quickly and communicate with other Blockchains in the ecosystem.

Cosmos is fostering an ecosystem of networks that can share data and tokens programmatically, with no central party facilitating the activity.


Cosmos was initially developed by Tendermint creator Jae Kwon.

Jae Kwon is a blockchain software architect and co-founder of Tendermint, and the president of the Interchain Foundation. The Interchain Foundation is (ICF) is a Swiss non-profit foundation that was formed to support the development of Cosmos and the ecosystem that will contribute to the Cosmos Network.

Before Cosmos and Tendermint Kwon worked as a developer at Alexa, and at Yelp where he led the mobile application development team. He also cofounded iDoneThis, a productivity service.

Ethan Buchman is also a co-founder.

Ethan Buchman joined with Jae Kwon to develop Tendermint after they met at the Cryptocurrency Research Group and Crypto-economics Conference in 2015.

Buchman was Vice President of the Interchain Foundation for 4 years.

He is currently CEO of Informal Systems. Informal Systems is a company that specializes in the security of interblockchain protocols.


The Cosmos network is made up of three layers.

  • Application Layer – Processes transactions and updates the state of the network.
  • Networking Layer – Allows communication between transactions and Blockchains.
  • Consensus Layer – Helps nodes agree on the current state of the system.

To tie all the layers together, Cosmos relies on a set of open-source tools.

The main element of this layered design is the Tendermint BFT (Byzantine Fault Tolerance) engine. This allows developers to build Blockchains without having to code them from scratch.

Tendermint BFT is an algorithm used by the network of computers running the Cosmos software to secure the network, validate transactions and commit blocks to the Blockchain. It connects to applications through a protocol called the Application Blockchain Interface.

Central to Tendermint is Tendermint Core, a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) governance mechanism that keeps the distributed network of computers running Cosmos Hub in sync.

For the participants or validator nodes to power the Blockchain and vote on changes, they need to first stake ATOM. ATOM is the native token of Cosmos.

A node needs to be in the top 100 nodes staking ATOM to become a validator. Voting power depends on the total amount of ATOM staked.

Users can also delegate their tokens to other validators, allocating votes to them while still earning a portion of the block reward.

Validators receive incentives to perform honestly, since users can switch between the validators to whom they delegate ATOM (depending on their voting preferences).

The Cosmos Hub was the first Blockchain that launched on the Cosmos network. It effectively acts as a channel between all the independent Blockchains created within the Cosmos network. These independent Blockchains go by the name of ‘zones.’

Each zone is able to carry out its essential functions on its own. This includes authenticating accounts and transactions, creating and distributing new tokens and executing changes to its own Blockchain.

The Cosmos Hub facilitates interoperability between all the zones within the network by keeping track of their states.

Zones connect to the Cosmos Hub via the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC). This enables information to travel freely and securely between each connected zone.

Once a zone connects to the Cosmos Hub, it is interoperable with every other zone connected to the hub. This means that Blockchains with different applications, validators and consensus mechanisms can exchange data.

The Cosmos team also built the Cosmos Software Development Kit (SDK). This kit enables developers to build Blockchains using the Tendermint consensus algorithm.

Developers can also create plugins to add any additional features they want to have.


ATOM is the native token on the Cosmos network, and it fuels smart contracts. New ATOM coins generate to serve as rewards for network validators every time a block of transactions receives approval.

By owning and staking ATOM, users can vote on network upgrades, with each vote being proportional to the amount of ATOM they stake.

Bitnob Changing Lives in Africa

Africa is adopting crypto at a crazy rate, and so far, Nigeria and Kenya top the charts. In fact, a recent report by reveals they are two of the top 10 countries globally for crypto adoption (Kenya is 5th while Nigeria is 6th). Let’s take a look at a project that is helping to drive this trend, Bitnob.

Based in Nigeria, Bitnob is a platform that makes it easy for individuals and businesses to buy and save Bitcoin. Users access Bitnob through a mobile app that’s available for both Android and iOS. With staggering rates of inflation, Nigerians are always on the lookout for ways to save money, so it’s no surprise that platforms like Bitnob are really taking off.

Cool Features

Not only does Bitnob help people buy and hold Bitcoin, they also release free weekly educational webinars. These webinars teach people how to use Bitnob and everything they need to know about Bitcoin and investing. These webinars play a major part in Bitnob’s mission to help people achieve financial freedom.

Bitnob has some really nifty features including a referral program based on the concept of Ubuntu, a Zulu word that means ‘community.’ According to co-founder Adeolu Akinyemi

 ‘In Africa, we depend on each other, rely on each other and really need each other. It’s a concept called Ubuntu: when we are good, then I am good’

The program is designed to celebrate and reward Bitnob users and encourages them to spread the word about its efforts to lower the barrier to entry to Bitcoin.

With the referral program, users can earn cash rewards when they encourage their family and friends to sign up for Bitnob. To add a further fun twist to the program, there is also a leaderboard where people can earn points for the number of successful referrals they achieve. People on the leaderboard are known as Bitnob Ambassadors, and there are several levels they can attain including Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Ruby, and MVP.

Another interesting feature of Bitnob is that it provides an easy way for users to Dollar-cost average (or DCA) Bitcoin. Dollar-cost averaging is an investment strategy used to reduce the impact of volatility when purchasing high-risk financial assets like stocks and cryptocurrencies. With DCA, you schedule regular purchases at a set amount. Using Bitnob, people can regularly buy as little as $1 worth of Bitcoin. There is also a handy Dollar-cost averaging calculator. This makes it easy for people to work out their earnings based on the current market value.

At present, it’s not possible to buy Bitcoin in Nigeria using a bank account. In February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered banks to close the accounts of crypto traders.

However, Bitnob figured out a clever workaround to counter this problem using Ovvar vouchers, which are sort of like mobile phone top-ups. First someone must buy an Ovvar voucher from a vendor, which are apparently common in Nigeria. Once a voucher has been purchased, a code is sent directly to the purchaser’s mobile phone. They then input this code into their Bitnob account, and the money is transferred. Simple right?

Bitnob also offers NobCredit, which allows users to make use of instant crypto-backed loans. With NobCredit, users can take out flexible loans with zero hidden fees or penalties and use their Bitcoin balance as collateral. In this way, Nobcredit allows users to meet urgent financial obligations while continuing to HODL their Bitcoin.

 Lightning News

As if all these cool features weren’t enough Bitnob, recently announced that they had successfully integrated the Lightning Network into their platform. On August 19th 2021, Jack Mallers Tweeted a video of himself sending money from his US bank account to Nigeria using Bitnob and the Lightning Network. The transactions took seconds!

So what does the Lightning Network mean for Bitnob? So through the integration of this revolutionary technology, Bitnob becomes a node within the network. This means it can connect to other Lightning Nodes for processing transactions. As a result, Bitnob users can easily send Bitcoin to other platforms and Bitcoin wallets that have Lightning Network functionality.

The Lightning Network means faster transactions, so Bitnob users can confirm deposits and withdrawals within a few seconds instead of several minutes.

In addition, the Lightning Network allows users to send smaller amounts of money that would not have been possible with the on-chain network due to high fees. This opens Bitnob users up to a new world of possibilities including paying for utilities, buying data, and performing mobile airtime top-ups.

Bitnob is just another example of one of the ingenious crypto projects operating out of Africa. With a large and educated population of young people and rampant financial instability, it’s no wonder why Bitcoin adoption is gaining pace in Africa.