Cosmos Network Now Has Nearly 100 Validators, 6-7 Second Block Times

After the recent launch of the Cosmos Hub, a highly anticipated proof-of-stake (PoS)-based network that primarily aims to facilitate blockchain interoperability, or communication between independent chains, the platform’s developers have released some important updates.

Although transfers involving ATOM, Cosmos’ native token, have not yet been enabled, more than 50% of the ATOMs in circulation “are now bonded to just under 100 validators.” This, according to a blog post published on April 5 by “Chjango Unchained,” a Medium account operated by the head of communications at Tendermint (an organization involved in the development of Cosmos).

Blocks Being Generated “Every 6 or 7 Seconds”

Chjango Unchained’s blog mentioned that the nearly 100 transaction validators on Cosmos are currently generating new blocks at the rate of “every 6 or 7 seconds.” This activity can be tracked through an informative website that contains links to important data and real-time updates related to the development of the nascent Cosmos ecosystem.

Those contributing to the growth and adoption of the Cosmos Hub, including Sunny Agarwal and Ethan Buchman, have been covering specific topics such as “the launch, staking, governance, [and] app development” on the platform. These discussions are being held and uploaded to EpiCenter.

Decentralized Governance On Cosmos

As noted in Chjango Unchained’s post, the “first governance transaction” on the Cosmos network “came a week after” the platform’s mainnet was launched. This was reportedly done “in the form of a proposal” which aims to “align the expected block time of 5 seconds” with “the observed one of at least 6.5 seconds.”

Currently, approximately “80% of the bonded stake has voted” (almost all for “Yes”) and the Cosmos network’s participants are more carefully examining “proposals for the activation of ATOM transfers.” So far, there have only been two ATOM transfers while “voter participation” on the network remains “relatively high,” Unchained’s post states.

Going on to cite important governance-related challenges that other decentralized networks have faced, the post notes: “Will Voter apathy be a concern for Cosmos? Only time will tell.”

Those looking to learn more about how the governance process on Cosmos works can read this detailed article about its “mechanics.” Moreover, as the Cosmos network continues to grow, its community members will be developing “social norms” around the platform’s “governance practices.”

Key Development Updates For Cosmos

Ledger support for Cosmos App release v1.1.1 has been updated and those using the Ledger line of hardware wallets have been requested to install the latest version of the Ledger firmware (v1.5.5). This latest version, which includes key upgrades to the Cosmos App, must be installed if users are planning on transferring ATOM tokens to their Ledger Nano S devices.

Notably, Cosmos’ validator app, known as the Ledger Validator App, allows transaction validators on the platform to “use their Ledgers as hardware security modules (HSMs).” The validators' apps will reportedly “remain in developer mode since this software is meant to be used specifically for devops engineers.”

Other notable updates include those made to Lunie, an “open beta” (previously known as Voyager) which “supports delegating, re-delegating, and voting via the Ledger Nano S.”

Bitcoin Proponents Debate a Potential Hard Fork for Inflation

  • Bitcoin Advisory founder Pierre Rochard is asking bitcoin community to consider the implementation of inflation.
  • Rochard argues that transaction fees alone may not be enough to sustain miners in the future. 

Pierre Rochard, founder of consulting firm Bitcoin Advisory, has addresed a debate in the bitcoin community over whether transaction fees will be high enough to support the network’s continued use. 

Bitcoin Inflation Debate

According to Rochard, who is also a self-proclaimed proponent of BTC’s scaling solution lightning network, the community must question whether transaction fees alone will be enough incentive for miners in the future. As outlined in the original white paper, bitcoin’s total supply is limited to 21 million coins. 

While the final BTC is not expected to be minted until after the year 2140, the block reward will continue to decline over the coming century. Miners, who facilitate transactions and secure bitcoin’s network, will have to rely more upon transaction fees as a source of income, as BTC rewards continue to fall.

Some are now arguing that bitcoin may need to introduce perpetual inflation to remedy the situation, which would mean altering the original 21 million BTC total supply.

Rochard said, 

There’s an open question of will transaction fees be high enough – or in the aggregate total – enough to provide transaction finality...will bitcoin have to hard fork in inflation?

The Bitcoin Advisory founder asked the community to consider the state of altcoins, many of which operate on an inflationary protocol. Rochard acknowledged that confirmation bias may be clouding judgment in regard to bitcoin’s managed development and that the potential for inflation should at least be considered, 

There’s confirmation bias. We’re all very bullish on bitcoin, I certainly am, and so we want to pick out arguments and facts that support our position rather than trying to see all sides of a debate and have a more balanced view. Or at least have some level of uncertainty and self awareness in how much support we actually have for our arguments.

Future of BTC

Rochard pointed to an article written in 2015 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ryan Selkis, under the name TwoBitIdiot, arguing that bitcoin needed inflation despite the controversy of the idea. He also pointed to the increase in block size from 1MB, which at the time was considered blasphemous to bitcoin’s protocol, as analogous to the idea of introducing inflation. 

Rochard concluded that the bitcoin community has “a good 10 to 20 years to argue about it,” before inflation becomes a pressing issue. 


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