Why Sovereignty Is Key For Crypto Projects Cosmos And Akash
Cosmos and Akash strive for Crypto Project of the Year
By: André Beganski
December 14, 2023
Over the next several weeks, Coinage is coming to a consensus on which Web3 endeavor shall be crowned Crypto Project of the Year — and it’s truly up to you. Vote to crown the winner from 16 crypto hopefuls!
When most imagine the cosmos, a celestial stew of matter and energy likely comes to mind. Made up of individual stars and galaxies, it appears connected from the perspective of Earth, yielding a vibrant vista that stretches as far as light can reach.
Within the world of Web3, Cosmos is not so different, according to Cryptocito, the pseudonymous co-founder of CosmoverseHQ. Even though ATOM, the native token of Cosmos Hub, is recognizable as one of the ecosystem’s first tokens, the asset represents just one network amid a sprawling and sovereign mix.
“I think sometimes people might mistakenly consider ATOM as equal to Cosmos, whereas Cosmos is basically an ecosystem of sovereign [networks],” he said. “In that sense, it’s very unique because there's not one core organization that runs the show.”
As a blockchain ecosystem that’s supported hundreds of projects since it was co-founded by Ethan Buchman and Jae Kwon in 2014, Cosmos’ developer tools allow people to create blockchains that are unique but can communicate seamlessly. Sometimes referred to as The Internet of Blockchains, the interoperability that underpins Cosmos is core to its ethos.
In 2021, an interoperability standard for blockchains was launched within Cosmos’ ecosystem called the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC). As it develops, Cryptocito said the system could eventually connect common crypto networks like Solana and Ethereum, unlocking new ways for developers to pick and choose what elements of a network suit their needs best.
“As Cosmos matures and IBC gets more resilient and more robust, you will see more synergies with other ecosystems,” he said. “Modularity is going to be the name of the game because it allows us to combine different tech stacks.”
Akash Network, a decentralized computing solution also nominated by Coinage as a Project of the Year, chose Cosmos over other Web3 options for precisely those reasons.
As an open-source network that lets users buy and sell computing resources, such as the power necessary to fulfill AI-related tasks, Overclock Labs Founder Greg Osuri said there was no other Web3 ecosystem out there that could support Akash better. Leveraging Cosmos gave developers total control over aspects of Akash like its blockspace and scalability, he said.
“Without Cosmos, Akash cannot exist,” he said. “We tried that [with] Ethereum first in 2016, and it was a drastic failure.”
The decision to build Akash on Cosmos wasn’t motivated by a grant or some other initiative by an organization trying to promote growth within Cosmos’ ecosystem, Osuri added, describing it as a “bet” that Akash could perform better if Cosmos’ continued progressing. As AI shaped business trends in 2023, Osuri pointed to Akash’s recent growth.
“Our last three months, the amount of adoption in terms of usage we got, exceeds all the years combined and that’s because of the GPU marketplace,” he said. “High growth [and] high utilization only means it's going to get higher and higher in the coming year.”
In terms of Cosmos' focus on interoperability, Cryptocito said it could create opportunities for developers building on different chains to collaborate while tamping down on the divisiveness between advocates of different networks.
“We really need to get over this and unite more,” he said of crypto’s coin-based camps. “It's not coin A against coin B. And me being mostly in Cosmos does not mean that I hate every other crypto ecosystem and I want it to go to zero.”
As of this writing, Cosmos is buzzing with activity in decentralized finance, where self-executing code has taken the place of financial intermediaries. According to DefiLlama, Cosmos’ four largest chains — Cronos, Cosmos, Osmosis, and THORChain — have a combined TVL or total value locked of nearly $990 million. But there are projects on Cosmos aimed at the real world.
While Cosmos’ community has embraced interoperability, the political backdrop of on-chain governance determining its direction has been contentious. Earlier this year, a vote narrowly passed dropping ATOM’s max inflation rate to 10% from 14%, even though the move was opposed by Cosmos co-founder Kwon.
Cryptocito described it as a “pivotal” moment for Cosmos because it captured decentralized governance at its best, and how voters can outweigh founders. He said, “We have on-chain proof that neither the founder nor core validators can actually decide” how Cosmos progresses.
Which project deserves to move forward in Coinage’s Crypto Project of the Year? Coinage Over the next several weeks, Coinage is coming to a consensus on which Web3 endeavor shall be crowned Crypto Project of the Year — and it’s truly up to you. Vote to crown the winner from 16 crypto hopefuls!