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The Solution to Scalability Challenges and Sovereignty Preservation: The Cosmos SDK Approach

How scalability gets hindered in blockchains while inter-operating? Generally, it happens because presently most of the blockchains have different consensus mechanisms and technology stacks that they use for operation. As a result, if they intend to interoperate among each other, they will have to fight for a fixed block space while connecting linearly with the interconnecting single layer chain. The practice has a cost to pay in the form of compromising their sovereignty. How?

For context, if numerous chains want to get the desired scalability as per their use-cases, they will have to make adjustments as per the single-chain platform that acts as the connecting layer for the blockchains. Even if they do so, the single chain platform has fixed block space that they cannot increase as per their will; thereby, significantly impacting the scalability.

Cosmos blockchain is fixing this problem through the introduction of horizontal scaling that allows all the blockchains to inherit the security of a decentralized ecosystem without having to compromise on sovereignty and scalability. Let’s understand how Cosmos is doing that.

How is Cosmos SDK Ensuring Scalability & Sovereignty During Interchain Operation?

Cosmos SDK appchains infrastructure is going to infuse`a new breather in the app-chain realm by resolving the blockchain trilemma issue in the following ways;

Using the Interchain Security

Generally when interoperability is happening, all chains are trying to compete with each other to get their transactions included. Now, this inevitable competition among the chain hinders scalability significantly. Cosmos is using CometBFT, Cosmos SDK and IBC that allows the concept of gated security to emerge. In a gated security model, the security of one chain is immediately protected by the following chain and the process continues. Therefore, not only it promotes decentralization but also significantly eases the burden of a single chain catering to the need of vertical scaling where every blockchain network is connected to a single underlying chain for communication.

Gated security model

Simplifying Development Through SDK

Now, through the use of the SDK, if new blockchains want to connect with the Cosmos Hub, they need not have to develop from scratch. Rather, they can use any language approach and the SDK APIs can help connect with the Cosmos Hub to interoperate with other networks without compromising the scalability.

For that reason, they can take help from the ABCI or (Application BlockChain Interface), which has been solely designed to provide finite, deterministic state transition for all the networks that are connected through the Cosmos Hub. Hence, they simplify both consensus and execution. As a result, there will be no need to compete for the block space because all the events will be relayed to the ABCI that will transmit the message to other chains so that state transition can happen simultaneously across multiple chains at a single point of time to enjoy near infinite scalability for all the blockchains interconnected among each other using the Cosmos Hub.

Implementing On-chain Governance without Diluting Sovereignty

You can think of the Cosmos Hub as the main head of the family. All the chains that are interconnected with each other through the Cosmos Hub will be informed of all the decisions in a transparent, auditable, and decentralized manner; however, it is not necessary that all the app-chains that connect to the Cosmos SDK must have to implement those changes. They have the freedom to just acknowledge the event and not implement those changes without forking; however, if they are updating their blockchains, they will have a say during the governance, that’s the trade-off of the Cosmos ecosystem.

In the Cosmos ecosystem, Chains have full control on what they are doing without having to bother about the scalability; but if they wish to participate in the Cosmos Governance ecosystem, they will have to acknowledge that Cosmos Hub is de facto social capital of the Cosmos ecosystem, which they must accept while participating as an independent chain in the Cosmos ecosystem.

Cosmos SDK has provided the ability where developers can for the first time create their own applications as per their own business logic without having to bother whether they will be able to interoperate at scale with the partner ecosystem. However, one must be mindful at the same time despite providing an expansive decentralized ecosystem, Cosmos Hub must have to maintain some degree of control in their own ecosystem.

As a result, they have introduced the system of all chains participating in the Cosmos governance through a single chain voting that doesn’t compromise their sovereignty, at the same time, provide such chains with equal opportunity and responsibility to feel that they are indeed operating in a decentralized ecosystem; even if they are getting near infinite scalability that other blockchain ecosystems have failed to deliver while providing scalability and interoperability.

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