We are a major investor in Cosmos ever since we contributed in early 2017, way before the crypto boom, with over 1 million ATOMs on our balance sheet. Cosmos is positioning itself as the “Internet of Blockchains”, which launched the mainnet late on March 13th and has been producing blocks since. This is the first of three phases of the Cosmos launch, ATOM transferability (by enabling “transfer” transactions) is expected this month and introducing IBC (Inter Blockchain Communication Protocol) is expected later this year. Cosmos has been in the making for years and the geniuses behind it are Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman, who had a vision of a boundlessly interconnected blockchain universe many years ahead of anyone. Some people think Cosmos will be bigger than Ethereum, even a well-known crypto sceptic says its brilliant.
If you want to recap the launch, the team hosted a recorded live-stream session during the launch with amazing outfits!
What is Cosmos?
Cosmos solves today’s hardest blockchain problems.
- Scalability: Proof-of-Work protocols like Bitcoin are slow, expensive, unscalable, and environmentally harmful. Tendermint (the ‘engine’ running the Cosmos blockchain) fixes this, Tendermint is a secure BFT consensus protocol that powers Cosmos’ Bonded Proof-of-Stake mechanism (one can even imagine solving Ethereum’s scaling issue based on this).
- Usability: Blockchain applications are complex and difficult to understand for developers. Cosmos fixes this, Cosmos is a developer-friendly, modular framework for building blockchains. Developers can take the Cosmos-SDK (Software Development Kit) and build an application-specific blockchain that can connect into the Cosmos Network. For the user, Tendermint’s fast finality (in one block thus approx. 7 seconds, maybe less) means much better UX instead of waiting for minutes or even hours for transactions to go through.
- Interoperability: Blockchain economies are siloed and cannot transfer assets between each other. Cosmos’ IBC protocol fixes this, Inter Blockchain Communication (IBC) is a TCP/IP-like messaging protocol for blockchains. Cosmos architecture allows ‘sovereign’ blockchains to connect to each other as opposed to the “single world-computer” idea.
On top of this, Cosmos is the first large and sophisticated project utilizing Proof-of-Stake successfully. Token holders earn yields from ‘staking’ tokens to secure the network as the network pays out a certain reward in native assets to provide security and economic guarantees for the network.
Cosmos is a decades-long public infrastructure project and we’re excited to be at the very beginning of it!
Who is using Cosmos?
Cosmos had the biggest and longest test cycle in the blockchain space with its successful testnets and Game of Stakes competition. The Cosmos team set a new standard for testing and launching a complex blockchain project.
Sounds pretty good but is anyone using it? Well, there are over 80+ large scale projects using Cosmos (and Tendermint). The most notable are…
Thailand National Digital ID System: Getting a government rubber stamp with 80 million users on the technology will be groundbreaking. This is real compared to other crypto PR stunts.
Binance Decentralised Exchange (DEX): Need we say more? Most DEXs fail due to bad UX and big Bid/Ask spread. Binance as the largest and most dominant centralized Crypto Exchange with CZ will try to solve that. It’s huge that they decided to build on the Cosmos-SDK as opposed to forking any of the thousands of different Ethereum-based decentralized exchanges. Watch many more DEXs move over to Cosmos.
Terra Stablecoin: South East Asian payments network with 45 million users and 45 billion in transactions.
Of course, many of our portfolio projects have aspects to them that are directly built on Cosmos or want to integrate with the IBC protocol eventually. Definite plans are in place for FOAM and Althea Mesh with many more possibly joining along.
Here are the other 80+ projects on Cosmos.
Tendermint Funding Round
With the Cosmos launch, the Tendermint (for-profit development entity) behind the Cosmos project also announced a successful funding round with Charles Noyes’ and Fred Ehrsam’s Paradigm (yes, the 400m USD Yale/Harvard-backed crypto fund), Bain Capital Ventures (yes, Bain), 1confirmation and a few others. Tendermint’s for-profit entity equity valuation was largely based on the amount of ATOMs that they hold from the Cosmos launch (approx. 10% of total ATOMs supply) on their balance sheet… happy days!
Cosmos Launch Congratulations
It’s very rare to see almost the whole crypto community completely agree on something… some notable tweets from very influential individuals in the wider crypto, Ethereum, blockchain ecosystem below about the Cosmos launch.
More Cosmos Content
Here’s a fun AMA with a Cosmonaut, an informative podcast with Jae (Youtube version), Zaki’s insights on the launch procedure at MIT Bitcoin and the most recent Epicenter episode with Ethan Buchman and Sunny Aggarwal.
Melon Protocol V1.0
Another super exciting launch this month was the Melon Protocol. After two years of continuous work, Melonport released V1.0 of the protocol and took a step back to give the governance of the Melon Protocol to the Melon Technical Council.
This doesn’t mean the team is doing something else of will stop working on the project! They will just re-group in a different entity that will have a different focus but still continue work to improve the protocol and gain traction with it.
As long-time investors in the Melon Protocol, we obviously couldn’t wait to try it out and put some money or tokens to where our mouth is or has been the last years.
With the V1.0 main-net release, one can now open funds, define the risk parameters and rules of the fund and invest in them so that is what we did. See below the trading and portfolio interface with our MLN Tracker fund by KR1.
In total, we deployed three passive tracker funds with assets from our balance sheet in them (not much but approx. 10 ETH worth of ETH, MLN and DAI) to test out the protocol. To comply with regulation we couldn’t allow anyone but our own address to invest in them.
Great work by the whole Melonport team!
OST Platform launched, now the fun starts: clients!
OST (formerly Simple Token) has launched their main product, OST Platform. OST is the first full-featured “no-code” blockchain platform meaning you can mint and distribute your own tokens without any programming. This is huge news for any brand or company wanting to start working with tokens but doesn’t want the technical challenge of developing on a blockchain. We are excited to be investors in OST. Read the full announcement here.
“Now the fun starts: clients.” Jason Goldberg, OST CEO
ADVFN International Financial Awards
We won the “Most Exciting Listed Blockchain Company” award in the 2019 ADVFN awards!
HFM European Technology Summit 2019
George went to this year's HFM European Summit to co-chair the event's Blockchain roundtable discussions. The event brought together hedge fund professionals from around the world to discuss the latest technologies impacting the fund management space. George, alongside Sol Girouard, from Harvard's Data Science faculty, led three rounds of lively conversation on everything blockchain. Central to the discussion was Melonport's Melon Protocol, the decentralised hedge fund protocol that KR1 were early investors in.
There was huge interest in the technology and a spectrum of attitudes from healthy scepticism to all-out maximalism. It’s a testament to how this technology finds the way into so many areas of business and beyond. There is no doubt that blockchain technology will have a role to play in shaping the future of the hedge fund world.
For UK residents ISA time has just gone on April 5th but if you missed it you can put KR1 shares into your 2019/20 ISA as KR1 is ISA friendly (yay!). You can put up to 20,000 GBP of KR1 shares into your ISA for tax-free gains! Find out how to do it here.
Follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates.
KR1 is Europe’s leading digital asset investment company supporting early-stage decentralised and open source blockchain projects. Founded in 2016, KR1 has been a notable first investor in many key projects that will power the decentralised platforms and protocols that form the emerging Web3 infrastructure.