ShapeShift is excited to announce that we are now offering full native ShapeShift wallet support for all Cosmos functionality! ShapeShift has been actively participating in the Cosmos ecosystem since 2017. Since the DAO began validating in the Cosmos ecosystem in November of 2021 with TaxiStake, community interest in ShapeShift’s participation and inclusion of the Cosmos ecosystem has continued to grow. The precipice of this interest can be represented through the full native ShapeShift wallet integration with the Cosmos chain.
What Is the Cosmos Network?
The Cosmos Network is a Proof of Stake (PoS) blockchain that went live in March 2019. Validators on a blockchain are responsible for verifying every incoming transaction to ensure accuracy and legitimacy, keeping the network secure. Once the transactions are validated, they are added to the blockchain, and Validators receive rewards in ATOM tokens for each block. Anyone can participate in the process of validation by delegating their tokens to a validator of their choosing—including the ShapeShift DAO Validator. As a reward, delegators earn a portion of the ATOM earned by validators for securing the network.
With numerous cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance options emerging across different chains, interoperability has become a significant narrative. This is exactly what the goal of Cosmos is; to provide sovereignty and build an ecosystem of modular, adaptable, and interchangeable tools, using Tendermint Core. Each chain is known as a “zone,” which provides a high-performance, secure PBFT-like consensus engine. The mission is to connect other blockchains by expanding their functionalities and improving efficiency.
The Cosmo SDK
The Cosmos SDK is a framework for building blockchains. Many top blockchains are built using the Cosmos SDK, including the Cosmos Network itself (ATOM), Binance Chain (BNB), THORChain (RUNE), Osmosis (OSMO), Terra (LUNA), and Secret Network (SCRT) to name a few. Most Cosmos SDK chains are designed for an application-specific use case, such as cross-chain trading (RUNE and Osmosis) or decentralized stablecoins (Terra). While the Cosmos SDK provides a diverse set of tools for blockchain developers to customize their chain to suit an infinite variety of use cases, most Cosmos zones share a few similarities, such as Tendermint Proof-of-Stake consensus, which includes delegating (a.k.a. “staking”), un-delegating, and re-delegating. Many Cosmos zones also offer capabilities such as transaction memos, multi-sig, and governance supported on the protocol level (rather than within applications built on top of the network).
The Cosmos Integration
ShapeShift native wallet users now have access to the full range of Cosmos’ functionality. This means native wallet users are able to send, receive, view transaction history, and participate in staking opportunities (delegating, un-delegating, claiming rewards)一including the ShapeShift Cosmos Validator. Soon, ShapeShift Cosmos users will be able to use Cosmos’ IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol) to transfer assets from one Cosmos zone to another.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the Cosmos integration is its implications on the speed in which new Cosmos SDK chains can be added to ShapeShift going forward. The Cosmos integration was built with engineers in mind; allowing the easy addition of any Cosmos SDK chain.
By thoughtfully implementing support for Cosmos SDK throughout ShapeShift’s stack from HDWallet (beginning with ShapeShift native wallet and moving to KeepKey in the future), through ShapeShift Web and Chain Adapters, to Unchained, ShapeShift will become the easiest place for new Cosmos Chains to build their ecosystems. Our goal is to make integrating a new chain, wallet, or protocol easier for developers by enabling them to leverage our existing community of users and cross-chain wallet support while taking advantage of the simple and elegant UI/UX that ShapeShift is known for. In the coming weeks, users should expect to have Kepler wallet support through ShapeShift一one of the last pieces from the Cosmos ecosystem to allow users to seamlessly transition to ShapeShift.
This Cosmos integration positions ShapeShift as the interconnecting bridge between all stakeholders of all chains in the Cosmos Network: users, builders, and stakers. As Cosmos SDK Chains proliferate and decentralize the use cases of the world one by one, ShapeShift will be there to offer a path forward at every step of the way, further positioning ShapeShift as the preeminent dashboard for omnichain DeFi.