One of the most frequent questions we get asked is about the technology choice of Cosmos. Why do you use Cosmos technology ? why didn’t you choose Bitcoin or Ethereum ?
The answer is simple : Horizontal scalability.
At the beginning of computing history there were only a few few computers called Mainframes. The first (Bitcoin) and second generation (Ethereum) blockchains are like Mainframes: a single large computer where everyone shares the same computing resources and writes code with Cobol-like languages. Vertical scalability on these blockchains is limited, and horizontal scalability is impossible.
This includes methods to scale the blockchain itself. Moving away from Proof-of-Work and optimizing its components, Tendermint BFT can reach thousands of transactions per second. The bottleneck factor is the application itself. For example, an application such as a virtual machine (e.g., the Ethereum virtual machine) will impose a much lower limit on transaction throughput than an application where transaction types and state transition functions are directly embedded in it (e.g., standard Cosmos SDK application).
This is one reason why application-specific blockchains make sense.
Even if the consensus engine and application are highly optimized, at some point the transaction volume of a single blockchain inevitably hits a wall that it cannot cross. This is the limitation of vertical scaling. To overcome it, the solution is to move to multi-chain architectures. The idea is to have multiple parallel chains running the same application managed by a common set of validators, making blockchains theoretically infinitely scalable. The details of horizontal scalability are quite complex and beyond the scope of this introduction.
We need the Internet. A network of networks where everyone runs their own server. We need the Internet of blockchains.
Cosmos is a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each powered by the same consensus mechanism: Tendermint.
What is a Cosmos blockchain?
A Cosmos blockchain is a digital ledger maintained by a set of validators that remains correct even if some validators (less than a third) are malicious. Each validator stores a copy of the ledger on their computer and updates it according to the rules defined by the protocol protocol when they receive transaction blocks.
Cosmos technology makes sure that the ledger is properly replicated, which means that every honest party sees the same version of the ledger at all times. A Cosmos-based blockchain has the ability for actors to share a ledger without having to rely on a central authority.
Achieving 15,000 transactions per second, was one of the goals of commerce.network and the only technology that can do this with 100 validator nodes is Cosmos.
For this reason in 2018 we chose Cosmos.