Empowering the Cosmos Interchain (IBC) Ecosystem: The Vital Role of EVM Integration
Over the last few years, Cosmos has emerged as one of the most rapidly expanding blockchain ecosystems, encompassing leading projects like Injective and Celestia. This growth is primarily attributed to the Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol (IBC), which allows sovereign blockchains to connect and transfer tokens and other data, fostering an environment of trustless interoperability and collaboration.
Integrating Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility significantly enhances this vision and plays a vital role in a ‘multi-chain’ future. EVM, as a widely recognized standard in blockchain development, provides a strong platform for smart contract execution, supported by a vast array of tools and an extensive developer community. The combination of EVM’s smart contract capabilities with IBC’s interoperability features not only improves the functionality and accessibility of these networks, such as Arbitrum<>Cosmos, but also addresses the scalability issues of Ethereum.
In short, the interplay between Cosmos IBC and EVM compatibility means that all developers on Ethereum can seamlessly transfer their code onto Cosmos chains and access functionalities, including governance, staking, and connecting to many other IBC-enabled chains.
What do IBC-connected chains offer?
IBC differs from other blockchain interoperability solutions, as it doesn’t solely rely on third-party bridges that often have varying levels of security. Instead, IBC ensures a secure and consistent user experience by using a system of trustless relayers and dedicated channels for transferring data. Launched first in April 2021, IBC has been well-received and has seen over 11 million transactions executed in less than 10 months.
Before IBC, blockchain networks operated in isolated silos, limited by problems like slow transaction times, high fees, and scalability issues. Ethereum’s network congestion and high transaction costs exemplify these challenges. The introduction of IBC looked to alleviate this problem, with over 100+ chains interconnected with each other today, showcasing its growing influence.
Why is EVM compatibility important?
Ethereum was the first network to deploy smart contracts and continues to be the gold standard for other competing blockchains. However, its widespread adoption and large user base have led to issues with scalability. Over the last bull-run cycle, we quickly saw the advent of scaling solutions such as other Layer-1 chains like Solana, and Layer-2s utilizing roll-up and zK technology.
EVM is the heart of smart contract execution on the Ethereum blockchain, a key player in blockchain development. Its main function is to manage state transitions and execute contract bytecode in a secure, isolated environment in each Ethereum node. This has enabled Ethereum to become the leader in the blockchain space, offering a comprehensive range of tools, applications, and protocols. Additionally, the support of Solidity has been vital for the success of many decentralized applications. Recognizing the efficiency of EVM, other blockchains have either adopted or developed compatibility layers for EVM. The growing developer community around EVM is instrumental in resolving Ethereum’s limitations. By being able to easily mirror EVM’s code execution capabilities, developers accustomed to Ethereum can easily expand onto IBC chains with minimal adjustments. This reduces the time and resources needed to attract new projects and encourages the innovation and development of diverse applications for a wider user base.
For users, chains compatible with EVM offer a more user-friendly experience, primarily due to cheaper gas prices and faster transactions compared to Ethereum. It is much easier to transfer assets seamlessly between different blockchains that are not solely dependent on third-party bridges prone to hacks, and this affordability is also crucial for daily interactions on the blockchains. Additionally, these chains can adopt the same address format as Ethereum, making it easier for users familiar with Ethereum to adapt. These features accelerate traffic and facilitate the expansion of the ecosystem, making it easier for Ethereum users to migrate and broaden their access to various services.
Introducing some EVM-compatible solutions on Cosmos
Squid Router by Axelar
Squid is a cross-chain swap and liquidity routing protocol powered by the Axelar network. It facilitates rapid and efficient transfers of assets across over 43 different blockchain networks, including various Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) chains and Cosmos chains.
Squid simplifies the cross-chain transaction process by allowing users to perform any-to-any token swaps with just one click, utilizing existing liquidity on Automated Market Makers (AMMs), and routing transactions through specific stable swap pools. Since its launch, Squid has secured over $1.5 billion in transaction volume, showcasing its potential to revolutionize the ease and speed of cross-chain interactions, particularly between IBC-connected and EVM blockchains.
f(x) Bridge by Function X
The f(x)Bridge, developed by the Function X Foundation, is a cross-chain bridge that enhances blockchain interoperability by integrating with the Cosmos Hub and Osmosis. This positions Function X as one of the first IBC chains with an EVM-compatible chain and allows IBC users to directly access EVM features and innovatively use their idle LP assets. For example, high TVL liquidity tokens from Osmosis in the Cosmos ecosystem can be creatively employed on EVM-compatible chains for activities like creating perpetual markets on MarginX. Furthermore, the f(x)Bridge facilitates asset transfers between the f(x)Core and MarginX chains and allows users to deposit funds into their chosen trading pair account under a single address, marking a significant step towards creating the ‘multi-chain future’.
In Q1 2024, the team at MarginX will be supporting more Cosmos and EVM ecosystem LP tokens on the newly upgraded platform!
inEVM by Injective
inEVM, launched by Injective, is the first Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) capable of full composability between both Cosmos and Solana blockchains. Developed in collaboration with Caldera and backed by Sequoia, inEVM marks a significant step in connecting and seamlessly integrating different blockchain systems. The process of launching applications on Injective’s platform is simplified, allowing developers to connect with a large pool of users and resources, while also bridging the gaps between various blockchain environments.
This breakthrough follows Injective’s earlier success in introducing a Solana Virtual Machine (SVM) roll-up solution, highlighting its commitment to leading innovations in the Web3 space and adopting a similar approach to other major platforms like Cardano, Filecoin, and Telos.
The integration of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility into the Cosmos Interchain ecosystem is pivotal for advancing blockchain interoperability and functionality. EVM compatibility brings to Cosmos the robustness of Ethereum’s smart contract platform and a wide user base, allowing both developers and users to gain access to a larger array of resources, ultimately benefiting the ecosystem’s further expansion.
Innovations like Squid Router, f(x)Bridge, and inEVM demonstrate how EVM compatibility can create new pathways for efficient transfers and user engagement. Undoubtedly, EVM compatibility is key to empowering the Cosmos IBC ecosystem, harnessing Ethereum’s established infrastructure and developer community, along with the prowess of IBC features, which will be a force in driving forward innovation and growth in the broader blockchain landscape.
Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Readers are advised to conduct their own research before making any financial decisions. DYOR!