Blockchains currently communicate using pinned solutions (government channels, sidechains, swaps, bridges, etc.). With the Stargate update on Cosmos on February 18, the tools for native blockchain interoperability will be available on the mainnet.
“This is a long-awaited release for many Cosmos-based projects,” Band Protocol’s Kevin Lu told CoinDesk via email. “For us, this will enable seamless and easy integration into any cosmos-based decentralized application and forward Oracle data in a highly scalable and tamper-proof manner.”
Iqlusion’s Zaki Manian, who leads much of development for Cosmos, stated that after Stargate launches, a governance vote will be needed to turn on inter-blockchain communications (IBC). It will take two weeks to complete.
All systems that opt for IBC will be in early March at the earliest. However, tendermint chains need to be updated to the Cosmos SDK for this to happen. Manian said this is probably a week or two of work for most development teams and they don’t have to wait for Stargate to turn on to get started.
When Tendermint-based chains activate Stargate en masse, it could be a big moment – not just for Cosmos, but in the entire history of crypto.
So far, many standalone bridges have been built between blockchains, but Stargage could usher in a new era of compositional skill where we see a great system that allows many different chains to trade value and build on each other’s strengths.
Lots of chains
There are more notable Tendermint-based projects out there than many may realize.
A new location called Cosmos-Cap tracks the market capitalization of projects in the ecosystem and is currently valuing all chains together at nearly $ 13 billion. Cosmos’ native token, ATOM, is currently trading at around $ 8 and a market cap of $ 1.9 billion.
While Celo isn’t on that list, the payments and wire transfer blockchain has also taken steps to connect to Stargate.
THORChain, which allows assets to be exchanged across chains (similar to Uniswap), told CoinDesk: “THORChain is Stargate-enabled, but more work needs to be done to make it IBC-enabled, which is currently in the works is. ”
Other teams are also busy.
“The current plan for Band Protocol’s Stargate connection is to have Testnet from Q1 and Mainnet from Q2 for Stargate support,” Lu wrote, giving the team time to be very confident about the implementation.
Do Kwon, co-founder of Terraform Labs, which operates the Terra chain, confirmed that an upgrade would be done, but only after Stargate has spent some time in the wild. “The earliest time to upgrade is May,” he wrote in an email.
Celo and Oasis spokespersons confirmed that the teams are working towards IBC implementation, but without specifying a timetable.
Binance, whose BNB coin represents the greatest value in the ecosystem, sent CoinDesk the following statement: “We will not be able to join the Stargate timeline to support the IBC. The Binance Chain Community will discuss when and how this initiative can be supported. “
THORChain also emphasized that, like many major upgrades, Stargate will offer other benefits for Tendermint-based blockchains, such as: B. faster throughput and the implementation of the Google standard for protocol buffers (which should also be good for interoperability).
Close followers of the project may have heard that Stargate would launch on January 28, but the date has been postponed. Manian told CoinDesk that decision was due to a bug that was found and fixed. It was still useful as the exchanges weren’t ready for the update just yet.
As of 2019, the Cosmos project has been as volatile as cryptocurrency in general.
While CoinDesk determined the project’s financial health in late 2019 thanks to conservative treasury management, it seemed to fall apart from a staffing perspective by early 2020. By the summer, however, Cosmos seemed to have weathered its internal storms.
Every time a blockchain clicks in IBC, it will likely put pressure on other Tendermint projects to do their upgrades. With just a few interoperations, compositional skills should begin, and FOMO will get the stragglers on board quickly.
It could get very interesting; While Ethereum is testing its beacon chain, Cosmos will have something very similar to a sharded system on the mainnet, tossing the value back and forth at will.