Tendermint is not a name most cryptocurrency users know, but it is a company that was partly behind the creation of the Binance Chain, Binance’s BNB token’s native blockchain. The Cosmos Network was initially built by the Tendermint team, often referred to as the “Internet of blockchains.” Cosmos is a “decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each powered by consensus BFT algorithms such as consensus Tendermint.”
CryptoGlobe recently caught up with Tendermint’s director, Zaki Manian, who revealed that he began to get interested in cryptography back in 2012, and that he began to learn about cryptocurrencies after setting up a civil liberties organization. Manian noted that he joined Cosmos as an employee in 2018 and was behind its launch earlier this year. When asked to explain the core idea of Cosmos in simple terms, he explained that there is a “wave of 2.0 blockchains largely inspired by ideas” that surround fast consensus algorithms, proof-of-stake that are emerging. However, his team observed people have different preference and “political” allegiances when it comes to crypto assets and blockchains, and they don’t believe there will be a “one size fits all” solution. We don’t think there will ever be one final system that includes everyone like that. Because I don’t think you can build very scalable blockchains for technical reasons. But for political reasons, you will never be able to get everyone to agree with each other. Manian added that the mission of Cosmos is, as such, to “build the minimum viable blockchain product of the next generation,” which will enable new blockchains to “interoperate economically without politically interoperating,” making them part of a larger economy.
When asked about the potential motivation behind his consensus algorithm for proof of stake, he noted that while the founder of Tendermint, Jae Kwon, believes that proof of work is a “waste of energy” and “incredibly damaging to the environment,” he is motivated because it’s more “technically complex.”
He added proof-of-stake opens up possibilities surrounding the types of blockchain and protocols that can be designed:
I’m excited about using this notion of staking and slashing and collateralization to build this sort of expansive universe of useful blockchain protocols. That would be really hard to do under proof-of-work. Proof-of-work definitely favors the simplicity of something like Bitcoin.
Shutting Down a Blockchain
CryptoGlobe then asked Manian if it wouldn’t be easier for bad actors who might one day be sponsored by the government to shut down a blockchain proof-of-stake than a blockchain proof-of-work. “be any easier for them to shut down Cosmos or a proof-of-work blockchain. I think roughly the same techniques apply.” He noted, however, that if governments were to attack the cryptocurrency space, they’d have a better solution.
Bitcoin Will Use Cosmos
er Manian, it might actually be easier for a government to “just ban Bitcoin mining on a large scale.” While he conceded that shutting down Bitcoin mining operations on a small scale would be “very difficult,” banning larger operations would not affect the security of the flagship cryptocurrency significantly.
All governments would have to do after shutting down every major BTC mining operation is do a 51 percent attack against it.
“When asked on what he would reply to a Bitcoin maximalist who doesn’t see value in altcoins as BTC may in the future absorb everything, Manian revealed he believes “Cosmos is the technology Bitcoin will use to absorb everything.”
“He noted that with Cosmos, Tendermint’s team didn’t create money, as the ATOM token isn’t intended to be money. Instead, ATOMs are intended to be a “form of collateral” users can use to “collateralized the security of many computational assets.”
So we’ve created an opportunity for money to get into the system, because obviously people who use our blockchains will need mediums of exchange, and I think many people in the project hope that medium of exchange will be big. He also noted that bitcoin is “radically far ahead” when it comes to being widely distributed, sound money, but he revealed that he doesn’t think it has an insurmountable lead.