Deep Dive into the Cosmos Hub with Shahan

r/cosmosnetwork AMA with Shahan Khatchadourian — Cosmos Hub Lead

Upcoming r/cosmosnetwork AMAs

🌱 BitCanna — Jan Scheele
June 10th, 7AM PDT

💻 AgoricDean Tribble
June 11th,1PM PDT

💎 Persistence — Tushar Aggarwal & Abhitej Singh
June 14th, 8AM PDT

🧪 OsmosisSunny Aggarwal
June 15th, 8AM PDT


Here we are with the transcript of the Cosmos Community AMA with Shahan Khatchadourian, Cosmos Hub Dev lead!
I have to admit that this is definitely one of my favorites so far, as it clearly emphasizes the amazing releases what the near future holds for us.

If you’ re curious to find out why Cosmos Hub is considered by many to be the game-changer that the blockchain industry has been waiting for, dive into the reading and if you have any questions get in touch with us via the Cosmos Official Channels linked below!

See you on Cosmos!

Daniela 🐾

Shahan — Cosmonaut Profile

Shahan Khatchadourian is an experienced software developer and researcher with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.

Shahan worked as a technical lead at the Rouge Valley Health Systems, just after his role as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Toronto.
Before working with Cosmos, he successfully founded Pegasys (a protocol engineering group that develops next-generation secure, scalable enterprise-grade blockchain platforms) and built it from the ground up leading to its acquisition by ConsenSys.

Since he joined the Interchain GmbH team, Shahan has been working as Engineering Manager of the Cosmos Hub.

Drawing on decades of startup, industry, and domain experience, Shahan focuses on bridging enterprise technology stacks, such as relational and graph databases, with blockchain paradigms including decentralization, cryptography, and virtual computing.

🦄 Follow Shahan on:

AMA Transcription

Cosmos Hub ($ATOM)

With which system in real life can Cosmos Hub compare?
If you mean which star system, then I’d say the Milky Way because it spans many stars, and in a way encompasses humanity.
If you mean which system on earth, then I’d say that the Cosmos Hub is a botanical garden because modules and different Cosmos chains are curated carefully, and they can cross-pollinate ideas and support each other in myriad ways.

Is there a plan to implement ATOM to be the more usable currency for everyday transactions?
There’s a Cosmos Cash proposal that motivates the use of Cosmos technology for CBDC purposes. Separately, the new Cosmos Hub roadmap (which will be released within the next few weeks) does focus on making ATOM more usable for everyday transactions, but probably not with “paying for coffee/beer” as the target, and more like UX and account management mechanisms for those who transact using the CLI/API.

Would there be a new Whitepaper since we have completed the initial whitepaper?
The Cosmos Hub as a Port City post by Ethan Buchman and Sam Hart serves as a white paper that motivates and provides an important framing for the Cosmos Hub roadmap (which will be released within a few weeks).

After staking derivatives and shared security, what is next for the Cosmos Hub (ATOM Token)?
After Staking Derivatives and Shared Security, a couple of areas that are being defined and scoped include
• virtual machines / smart contract languages
• optimistic and zero-knowledge rollups
• bridges to other blockchains (e.g., Bitcoin)
• privacy

Could you run us through how an interchain dApp would use the cosmos hub?
The way an interchain dApp could use the Cosmos Hub is by having an IBC connection between the Hub and other chains. As a dApp on one chain, e.g., the Cosmos Hub, processes messages, it can then issue send through the IBC connection to the other chain, which would then be processed by the receiving module (which might be related to the dApp, or not).

Is there a limit to how many chains can connect to the Cosmos hub via IBC?
Aside from physical and OS-level restrictions, I don’t believe there’s a limit to how many chains can connect to Cosmos Hub via IBC. A way I think about this is that there may be many IBC clients that communicate with the Hub, e.g., solo machines, which allow independent operators to submit IBC messages.

Are there any plans for permissions innovation on the hub? (Besides Juno).
There are a couple of modules targeting permissions ranging from an authorization module, which allows issuing messages on behalf of another account, as well as fee grants, which allow paying fees on behalf of another account. The authorization and fee grant modules are expected to land by fall of this year. Other, more involved, approaches include the use of wasm for light clients and interchain accounts (e.g., permissioning what actions an IBC account can make).

Gravity Dex & Gravity Bridge

How will Cosmos spread awareness of the release of the Gravity Dex and Gravity Bridge? Are you hoping people will find it by chance or is there any marketing planned for the release?
There is a go-to-market plan for the Gravity DEX and Gravity Bridge, and for the DEX a lot of focus has been on finding the right partners to provide liquidity to trading pairs, and for the Bridge, the focus is (currently) on messaging and feedback loops with validators to ensure that the slashing conditions and motivations for why the Bridge is important are clear. There will be more specific gtm actions taking place over the next few weeks as we solidify the upgrade plan.

Will there be an incentive for early bridge adopters?
I believe there’s an incentive model built into relayers receiving fees for relaying messages; the documentation here looks to be improving. Afaik fees are collected on the Cosmos side, and I believe some designs are considering additional incentive/fee mechanisms as well (this latter mechanism may land later but likely requires something like meta-transaction capability).

Will Gravity Bridge support EVM options as well or only Ethereum itself?
The Gravity Bridge currently supports any EVM-based chain.

Is it possible to make running an Ethereum node optional for Cosmos validators with the Gravity Bridge’s launch? Can they opt-out of validating for the Gravity Bridge? Some may not be keen on running an Ethereum node.
In the current design, all validators would need to run an Ethereum node for the Gravity Bridge. This is because currently there isn’t a way to select a subset of validators to perform validation of a module. Interchain staking is designing an approach to allow validators to opt-in, though it’s still a few months away (and may require running additional software).

Which blockchain network do we expect to see supported at the launch of Gravity Dex?
There are a couple of tokens/chains that will be connected on the opening of the Gravity Dex in order to increase the liquidity of trading pairs, but I won’t mention them here yet since they probably need to be confirmed and announced officially by the DEX team (Tendermint Inc.).

When can expect to see more gravity bridges beside Cosmos<=>Ethereum?
More bridges are being planned a few months down the road, and at the moment we’ve been discussing with implementers around designs and timelines.

What project are you most excited to see come to fruition this year? And what can we expect to see from it?
I am most excited by the upcoming Gravity DEX and Gravity Bridge projects. I’m a big fan of DeFi and I believe these two projects will help to increase the liquidity on the Cosmos Hub and will open the door to more DeFi-related modules to potentially land on the Hub. Another project I’m stoked about is Staking Derivatives, which has a few design options and their tradeoffs and will provide a robust DeFi primitive.

Cosmos Network

How many onboard networks that connected to IBC right now? And when can we expect more networks?
Here’s a handy resource for tracking various Cosmos chains, including those that have enabled IBC and transfers. Also on that page, there’s a link to the Map of Zones, which depicts the IBC connections between zones/chains.

Will you release any more tutorials for development on Cosmos?
There’ll be more tutorials for development on Cosmos, and we’re in discussions with various teams on how we can ensure that the essential services that Cosmos Hub currently provides (e.g., governance, IBC, SDK) are better understood by our users. More to come on this over the next few weeks.

How will shared security work?
One part of the vision of shared security, which is also called Interchain Staking, is to allow validators from a parent chain to opt-in to validate blocks on a baby chain. It means ensuring that validators that have opted-in are also responsible for slashable events, i.e., they lose some of their stake on the parent chain if they don’t perform validation of the baby chain correctly. This also means that validator sets need to be tracked. As well, incentive values need to be maintained within appropriate ranges such as the value staked by validators on the parent chain is not valued less than the stake of validators on the child chain. The design is still fairly early and is making active progress.

Do you have any good book recommendations?
I’m a big fan of DeFi and the upcoming Staking Derivatives module, so I think Chorus One’s Staking Derivatives report could be a great read. A lot of options and tradeoffs in this space, and it’s interesting to me to see how Comos-specific nuances (like its staking and distribution model) can serve its community in a relatively low-lift but impactful way.

What keeps you motivated?
Day to day I enjoy engaging within our multi-entity “virtual org” and working with smart and caring people. I’m especially blown away by how much support my colleagues in the community offer. It’s a great community to be a part of if anyone’s interested in working in blockchain.

Leaving paw-prints all around 🐾