Strictly speaking, Cosmos is a decentralized network of independent parallel blockchains, each powered by BFT consensus algorithms like Tendermint consensus.
In other words, Cosmos is an ecosystem of blockchains that can scale and interoperate with each other. Before Cosmos, blockchains were siloed and unable to communicate with each other. They were hard to build and could only handle a small amount of transactions per second. Cosmos solves these problems with a new technical vision. In order to understand this vision we need to go back to the fundamentals of blockchain technology.
The vision of Cosmos is to make it easy for developers to build blockchains and break the barriers between blockchains by allowing them to transact with each other. The end goal is to create an Internet of Blockchains, a network of blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way. With Cosmos, blockchains can maintain sovereignty, process transactions quickly and communicate with other blockchains in the ecosystem, making it optimal for a variety of use cases.
This vision is achieved through a set of open source tools like Tendermint, the Cosmos SDK and IBC designed to let people build custom, secure, scalable and interoperable blockchain applications quickly. Let us take a closer look at some of the most important tools in the ecosystem as well as the technical architecture of the Cosmos network. Note that Cosmos is an open source community project initially built by the Tendermint team. Everyone is welcome to build additional tools to enrich the greater developer ecosystem.
Hopefully by now you have a clearer picture of the Cosmos project. Here is a quick recap of what Cosmos is in three concise points:
Cosmos makes blockchains powerful and easy to develop with Tendermint Core and the modularity of the Cosmos SDK.
Cosmos enables blockchains to transfer value with each other through IBC and Peg-Zones, while letting them retain their sovereignty.
Cosmos allows blockchain applications to scale to millions of users through horizontal and vertical scalability solutions.
More than anything, Cosmos is not a product but an ecosystem built on a set of modular, adaptable and interchangeable tools. Developers are encouraged to join the effort to improve existing tools and create new ones in order to make the promise of blockchain technology a reality. These tools are the foundation needed to create the decentralized internet and global financial system of tomorrow.