Cosmos Hub Special Forces

1. Status Quo of Cosmos Hub Growth

Distinguishing “Cosmos Network” and “Cosmos Hub”

  • “Cosmos Network” : Groups of networks and its ecosystems related to Cosmos-SDK and IBC.
  • “Cosmos Hub” : The blockchain network operated by Atom dPoS.
  • Although the Cosmos Hub benefits from the growth of Cosmos Network, it should possess its strong functionalities within the context of Cosmos Network to survive and succeed.
  • Therefore, there exists two kinds of activities and contributions around Cosmos
    • Growing Cosmos Network
    • Support great functionalities for Cosmos Hub users
  • Atom value is related to both, but it is more directly related to the later

Lack of “Exclusive Force” only for the Cosmos Hub

  • There exists very weak plans and investments purely for the Cosmos Hub.
  • IBC, Cosmos-SDK framework are good for the entire Cosmos Network, but it is less related to the success of the Cosmos Hub.
  • AiB and ICF are more focused on growing Cosmos Network as a whole, but relatively less investment is executed exclusively for the Cosmos Hub.
  • The core functionality and vision of the Cosmos Hub is vague, and no one is leading at accomplishing the vision.

It’s not going to be solved without progressive restructuring

  • AiB does not have enough bandwidth nor detailed plans to solely carry the vision of the Cosmos Hub because they also need to spend a lot of resources also for entire Cosmos Network.
  • ICF is a passive foundation who supports more wide variety of projects around Cosmos Network, hence less focused on the Cosmos Hub itself.
  • Many talents in Cosmos community are moving on with their own projects, or distracted by so many networks they are covering. This is mostly because they do not have enough strong incentives to keep contributing for the Cosmos Hub.
  • With this status, it is reasonable to expect that the competitiveness of the Cosmos Hub will continuously become weaker as time goes by.
  • A lot of projects including Polkadot, Binance Chain, Terra, and so many more are threatening the symbolic reputation of the Cosmos Hub, which becomes the most critical risk at current timing when IBC will be enabled soon.

Incentives of Atom holders

  • Even if IBC and Cosmos-SDK are successfully growing with larger community, without attractive utilities provided by the Cosmos Hub, the Hub will lose its symbolic position.
  • The Cosmos Hub should possess irreplaceable core applications and utilities for IBC so that it can attract a large userbase from different blockchains.
  • Failure to become the center of Interchain Network will result in less utility of Atom, therefore less value of Atom.
  • Therefore, Atom holders have very natural incentive to support sustainable Cosmos Hub Special Force who exclusively only works for the success of the Cosmos Hub.

2. Why Grants Cannot Grow Sustainable Contributors?

Temporary grants only covers costs

  • Startups need growth factor to sustain its business.
  • Teams cannot be sustainably operated with temporary grants which barely cover the costs of their works.
  • Better teams with quality talents have more reasons to stay away from contribution with temporary grants.
  • Grants from instituition such as AiB or ICF makes the team having less freedom to decide the direction of their projects.
  • Contributors have no strong economic incentives to make their works as great as possible because there exists no growth exposure of their works but just paid with fixed money.

Community Fund will only work for Non-Core works

  • Community Fund can quite work well with relatively less important works.
  • But for core functionalities of the Cosmos Hub, it demands extensive investment of quality human resources with capabilities including designing models, backend development, frontend/UI designing and building business strategies.
  • Also the core functionalities need to be operated, maintained and improved over time, which means that the contributor should have strong responsibility of their work for very long time.
  • There exists no system or methodology in Community Fund to support and incentivize such sustainable contribution from great team composed of all around talents.

3. Special Forces Committee

  • Special Force Committee is elected from all around the community including AiB, ICF, validators and VCs, to work on important analysis and governance proposals.
  • Size of the committee is 8 persons
    • 1 from AiB and 1 from ICF : each having 20% voting power
    • 2 from Validators, 2 from VCs, 2 from Individual Community Member : each having 10% voting power
  • Any agenda is pass if more than 2/3 of committee voting power agrees on it
  • Any two committee members should not belong to same organization
  • For validator/vc/community member, candidates can submit a governance proposal for election, and the one with two largest yes votes from each category acquire the seats during election period.

4. Necessary Conditions for Special Force Recruitment

Teams having the core mission as increasing the utility of Cosmos Hub

  • No teams with their own blockchain projects
  • No teams with part-timers
  • No teams working on projects in different networks
  • Teams who can invest their entire energy only for Cosmos Hub growth

Teams with capabilities to perform entire cycle of the utility

  • Teams with willingness and capabilities to build from scratch to end-user services
  • No teams who only contribute part of an utility, such as PoC only
    • This can be supported by temporary grants from AiB, ICF or Community Fund
  • Teams with strong commitment to operate, maintain and improve the utility in very long term

5. How to Recruit and Incentivize Special Forces

New Forces, continuation/termination of contracts

  • New forces can be recruited anytime when the Special Force Committee submits the governance proposal.
  • Continuation or termination of contract for existing Special Forces is evaluated and voted every year. Committee can propose a governance proposal to fix or terminate the contract of each force.

Future incentivization correlated to the price of Atom

  • Future price of Atom will be strongly correlated with the success of each project performed by Special Forces.
  • It is reasonable to provide the Special Forces increased amount of Atoms for significant price increase.
  • This can be in a form of multiple “Call Option” on Atoms with different strike prices and maturity.
  • Such “Call Option” should have enoughly long maturity so that each Special Force becomes more sustainable contributor with longer commitment.

Future incentivization calculated from quantitative scoring

  • The Committee and each Special Force can come up with quantitative scoring methodologies for more objective future performance evaluation.
  • The contract can include variable future incentivization from realized quantitative figures.

More incentivization for longer committed special forces

  • We should advise Special Forces to commit their 100% resources for longer time because sustainability of each project for the Cosmos Hub is crucial.
  • Therefore, we need to design the incentivization structure to increase the rewards over time so that Special Forces have more strong reason to continuously promise further contribution.

This is an awesome idea. In my understanding it aligns with the spirit of the ATOM2021 initiative and resonates with the community of the Cosmos Hub. This initiative could spark up a conversation about further exploring ways of expanding $ATOM utility.

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Great post Hyung,

So, the bottom line which is to have a designated task force for the Cosmos Hub to drive more utility to ATOM and the Hub is much needed.
This brings me to a point which i want to add to this discussion.
As we know the ICF currently funds primarily everything sorounding the Cosmos ecosystem as a whole. This includes also the Cosmos Hub. The ICF is following the Jae Kwon vision of ultimate transparency especially when it comes to funding new projects. This is quite noble and there many positives because it reflects the open and permissionless ideal of the blockchain space.

Nevertheless, when trying to compete with giants like Binance in order to not only stay relevant but to keep a competative edge it is not always in the best interest to strive for ultimate transparency and in this im referring to open sourcing everything and in regards to the ICF only funding open source projects.
The key here for the hub to be successful is to have a good mix of both. The Cosmos Hub community and ICF need to fund both in order to make the Hub relevant for decades to come.
Now that IBC is coming and the last whitepaper deliverable is close to completion at least 50% of the focus from the ICF, ATOM holders and the AIB may be on the Cosmos Hub.
A distributed internet of blockchain is expanding and the mother GAIA and its native asset ATOM need a key position moving forward. It is not in the interest of ATOM holders to be just another Hub. Added utility needs to come and it needs to come now.

I am completely agreeing with all of your statements @Immasssi .

Coexisting of both AiB, ICF, and hub exclusive special forces will allow us to recruit more sustainable contributors only for hub utilities, but also the Committee with persons from different organizations can work as a coordination channel among AiB, ICF, and community members without any majority decision power.

The group is also completely free on pursuing any kind of project, especially community demand driven utilities. In this way, the vision of the Cosmos Hub can have more variety than the past status only via AiB and ICF leaderships.

I think this restructuring can be the real usecase of community fund. To support long term independent Cosmos Hub contributors.

Coordination with both organizations is also very important factor for this plan too. It is not to replace the organizations, but to empower the engine of Cosmos Hub innovations so that Atom holders can enjoy more resilient contributor ecosystem, which will result in larger userbase of Cosmos Hub.

I am currently talking both with AiB and ICF to find best collaboration options, so I will add more information soon!

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Just to be transparent about what I’m doing here:

I’m providing support and mentoring to Jelena at Informal and Shahan at Interchain Berlin about building more capacity to support end to end build use cases for IBC and the Hub.

I think fully realizing the potential of Cosmos, Ethereum and Liquidity management is deep enough rabbit hole to pursue with Sommelier. As a side effect, the Peggy community expects to be able to offer a very robust Peggy implementation to the Hub.

There are a lot of important pieces of IBC missing in addition to a flag ship use case. I think there should be more efforts at planning and executing on a flagship usecase.


I think the key sources of the demand for Hub will come from

  1. Sovereign chains will continue to launch. They will want to conduct treasury and price discovery operations somewhere. The Hub is ideally suited for this.

They could use Peggy and conduct treasury and price discovery operations on Ethereum. I expect that native IBC will be a less operationally complex and more composable solution than Peggy for many use cases for sovereign chains.

  1. There will be demand for settlement, trading and lending operations in more predictable environment than Ethereum.

  2. I expect there will be demand for systems that are only possible via the kinds of Application specific consensus capabilities that Sikka is working on and the Hub can play a key role in intermediating between these applications.

  3. There are two production applications uses Tendermint based cross chain staking. Binance Smart Chain and Matic. There is a role for more like this but I suspect this is an Atom 2022 thing.

Thanks Zaki for listing current activities.
some questions and thoughts.

  1. what is peggy community? Althea + ?
  2. i saw about sommelier the other time. is it what you see as core functionality for the Cosmos Hub growth?
  3. supporting beginning phase of sovereign chains by providing token generation and trading platform is a good usecase of the Cosmos Hub. Because it is closely related to AMM, B-Harvest has a good willingness to take responsibility for designing and developing the features.
  4. cross chain staking is also one of the most important pieces for Cosmos Hub utility growth. I saw it is recently being progressed from informal.system. Do you think they have enough energy and willingness to bring it production as soon as possible?
  5. staking derivative is also an open question as now. some special force is needed who has great design and devotion of resources to bring it to the Hub and operate.

Also I want to hear about your opinion regarding Special Force suggestion. I think too diversified set of teams working on too many separate things might be not very sustainable. Distracted funding results in inefficient resource utilization. I hope to suggest the community fund to select only few(3~4) core teams who commit to devote their 100% energy on Cosmos Hub for long time. Special Forces is to create few additional IG(Interchain Gmbh) who are not subordinated by single entity such as AiB and ICF but by entire community including those two organizations exclusively for Cosmos Hub and Atom holders.

Distinguishing “Cosmos Network” and “Cosmos Hub”

Fully agree with these points. We started work last year on a dedicated website for Cosmos Hub, which should solve this. A standalone website will help to untangle the narrative around the Hub and ATOM from the Cosmos Network website, and offer a more suitable entry point for newcomers on exchanges than

AiB and ICF are more focused on growing Cosmos Network as a whole, but relatively less investment is executed exclusively for the Cosmos Hub.

I’m hoping to get support from the community to enable us to bring the website to life – I may create a separate forum post for this. If funded by the community (not the ICF), and work carried out by an independent third-party (potentially my own private company) we can do more to promote the ATOM token and offer more actionable ways for newcomers to get started in the ecosystem as token holders – something not really appropriate to do on

I support this 100%. Lets do it!

It’s great suggestion about value up of the price of Atom! I will follow you and your suggestion.

Has there been any updates with this proposal?

Detail will be announced soon. B-Harvest(6 of us, and growing!) will invest 100% our resource for Cosmos Hub for very long period of time. We are very excited to have this sustainable partnership.