Cosmos News /// by ZKV #20
A little bit of chit-chat
The not-so distant Evmos launch generated much buzz in the Cosmos ecosystem. However, out of the 100M tokens available from the Rektdrop, only 22.6M have been claimed so far. This is surprising, especially now that the staking APY is averaging a whopping ~1000%. If you haven't claimed your EVMOS token, you have both guides for Metamask and Keplr users. You can stake to us here.
Some community members with Luna Classic token (LUNC) tokens were complaining about the state of the IBC channel between Osmosis and Terra Classic, which remained closed at the time of writing. According to Sunny Aggarwal, co-founder of Osmosis, there needs to be a software upgrade on both chains, and from the Osmosis side, that will happen this week with the Nitrogen upgrade.
Sifchain's future decoded 🎶
Sifchain released its roadmap for the next half of this 2022. One of the main milestones they are targeting is decentralised and permissionless margin trading. There will be two beta versions of the product for the community to test, first without a front-end integration and then later, an MVP with a front-end integration. The first of these will launch at the end of June.
Next on the list is a bridge to a new EVM chain. The community will need to pick one out of six EVM chains for the integration. Sifchain will showcase these chains during a week-long discussion with the community before putting them up for a vote. Once a chain is chosen, the integration will go live with the upgrade to Peggy 2.0, targeted for Q3 2022.
Two extra features are also in the works. One targets eliminating some of the ROWAN (Sifchain’s native token) from the effective circulating supply, and the second one will enable Sifchain's DEX to retain external liquidity over time.
Time to align the community 🤝
A group of core Cosmos builders have come together to form The Cosmos Builders Foundation. This non-profit organisation will be focusing on funding the public good software and infrastructure of the Cosmos ecosystem to scale it.
Their first goal will be to launch a grant program focused on providing incentives for relayers, a critical part of the ecosystem to scale IBC connections. At the moment, running this infrastructure is costly, and there are no revenue streams for relayers; there's where the Foundation wants to step in, in coordination with the Interchain Foundation, to help. Besides this first step, the Foundation also plans to support the Cosmos Stack, including Tendermint, CosmosSDK, and CosmWasm.
They will also do the essential task of aligning projects building in Cosmos and core contributors to the Interchain infrastructure, spurring teams to allocate some funding to support the public infrastructure they are building on.
The Cosmos Builders Foundation has some familiar names in its council. Core contributors such as Ethan Frey, Zaki Manian, Jack Zampolin, Ismail Khoffi and Sunny Aggarwal are part of the founding team.
Cosmos’ future is beyond DeFi ⚛️
Amid the Terra collapse and the bear market, we sat down with Billy Rennekamp, Cosmos Hub Lead, to talk about the vision from now on for the Hub and the greater Cosmos ecosystem.
Q: In terms of governance, what could be changed to respond quickly to an emergency crisis?
A: There was recently a proposal that failed from Evmos to update an IBC client. And the reason it failed was not because the vote didn't pass but because by the time it passed, the client had expired. It's very difficult to get the timing to match up, keep the thing alive and coordinate the upgrade as a proposal type. And so, as a result, there's interest in making a change to the governance module in which proposers include the time that the proposal should take. And if the proposal period is much shorter, then the number of the quorum of participants needs to be much higher.
We, at one point, developed what's called an admin module. So it's essentially the governance module, except instead of voting when a proposal is made, it has a whitelist of account addresses. And if the proposal comes from any of those whitelisted addresses, it gets passed immediately. There are a few more checks and balances you want to put in there before you give any group of people that kind of admin control. And, again, it needs to be well designed. And I don't think that in the current format, it makes some sense.
Q: There's a lot of buzz around stablecoins nowadays. What would you like to see happening in the Cosmos ecosystem regarding stablecoins?
A: I think diversity is good. We saw such a massive fallout with Terra because there was an overreliance on UST as a primary stable token. I'm excited to see bridges bringing Ethereum stable tokens USDC and DAI, especially to Osmosis. There are currently really high rewards that provide liquidity to stable token pairs, which will go a long way toward creating fallout stability if one fails. Also, seeing a bunch more stable token pairs in liquidity pools inside of the IBC ecosystem as well as seeing new mechanisms that have a bit more tried and tested algorithmic-made stories like over collateralised debt rules like Agoric's.
Q: What do we need in the cosmos ecosystem to get to the next level?
A: There are still several DeFi primitives that we haven't seen emerge with product-market fit in the customer space yet. So those are sort of like obvious low hanging fruit targets that I think will do a lot to expand the demographic and user base. But what I'd like to see is getting to the application types which aren't taking the fastest path to a return. There's so much room and design space for applications that aren't focused on maximising profit but on creating value for users.
The DeFi people will get spaced out at some point, and that zone will become saturated. And, the best focus for the application types is going to be those that aren't necessarily like these high risk, high reward, but focusing on bringing in large user groups that are doing exciting and valuable application types.
I usually think of blockchain apps fitting into two categories, either escrow services or notarisation. And I think the notarisation category has been underutilised in this space. So seeing a lot more of those types of apps in the future and just the proliferation of community representation with tokens as membership criteria. It is not only the creation of new kinds of assets but the communities that form around them and the sort of identity that's attached to them.
Q: You mentioned in your talk at Gateway Conference that the Community Pool is underutilised. Which public goods should be built this year or soon for the community?
A: One of the highest priorities, in my mind, is Relayers. So we have what I call a meatspace solution in place now. And there's a slightly more decentralised implementation that's underway. Currently, you have your meatspace agreements between foundations that exist as legal entities, and companies that exist as legal entities running Relayers. That's good enough to get the ecosystem running today. The next step would be to have a DAO entity coordinating on behalf of these foundations. So the foundations give money to the DAO, and the DAO provides funds to the Relayers. The next iteration is to automate it purely at the protocol level with the Cosmos Hub as that sort of coordination mechanism.
The second one would be potentially node providers. It just seems like reproducing that infrastructure for the Relayers would be relatively simple for people who provide public goods node endpoints.
Also, there needs to be accountability and renewal of contracts for both. So the budget module would say:
"Cool, your relayer, you've been running between these networks for the last six months. Here's evidence of it: you're going to make a proposal that says, hey, I'm asking for so many atoms for the next six months to continue doing this work. After six months, it will be self-evident whether or not you continue to do that work to justify renewing that contract.
And then the third category that I think we're likely to see this year is to begin some of the actual engineering efforts from the community pool. So right now, the Interchain Foundation has closed off generalised grant applicants to shore up all of the core contributor contracts and agreements in place. So the development of Core Tech is distributed amongst a dozen or more entities. And that's quite a size of sort of contract maintenance and attention. But it also means that there's not currently a significant grants pipeline for funding small, exciting and valuable projects. And so I'd like to see those begin going to the Hub.
After quite a few weeks without relevant new airdrops, we found a DAO supported by Ethan Frey, founder of CosmWasm.
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