[DISCUSSION] Request the ICF to add a new mandate


The current vision of the Interchain Foundation is to ‘‘fund, steward, and responsibly advance the Cosmos ecosystem.’’

This vision has created tremendous amount of technological innovation inside and outside of the ‘cosmos ecosystem’ (which can largely be defined as any public blockchain with IBC enabled) and would have likely not have been possible without the foundation’s money.

Today, the IBC network is a truly vibrant ecosystem in the crypto sphere and the ‘Cosmos Stack’ (CometBFT + CosmosSDK) has convinced many talented teams to join the gang and build on it.

The technological aspect of cosmos is starting to reach a certain maturity. This is why I want to discuss about adding a new mandate, second to the first : '‘fund, steward, and responsibly advance the Atom Economic Zone’’.


From the beginning, the Cosmos Hub has been a partner of other public blockchains, but the beginning was rough. It took more than 2 years after mainnet for the Hub to get it’s true first IBC connections (IrisNet and Osmosis). The Hub has been crucial in bootstrapping IBC and this is now done. It feels like IBC is slowly escaping velocity and becoming very relevant in crypto as a whole.

The Hub is now transitioning to another role, the one an ‘economic zone’ or ‘AEZ’. This is the creation of a new open economy and doing so is costly. The ICF was important in the funding of teams working on IBC, and in my opinion, it should be the same for the AEZ.


ERA : The Cosmos ecosystem is entering in a place it always wanted to be, the Application Era. It is time to build application chains that aren’t possible elsewhere. I fear that if the Hub can’t do it, it’ll be outclass by other ‘hubs’ or economic zones. The onchain governance and strong decentralization of the community already makes it quite difficult. Bootstrapping is usually done by a central entity.

APPS: The ICF is already funding teams building chains on the cosmos, only they do not benefit the Hub more than any other IBC-connected chains. With Interchain Security in 2023, this changed.

MONEY : The Cosmos Hub community pool and independent teams can’t and won’t possibly fund this on their own. As Spaydh from Neutron said, ‘‘Either the hub is ready to cover the cost of making successful consumer chains, or consumer chains need to be empowered to do that lift themselves.’’ (https://twitter.com/0xSpaydh/status/1687897104071499776)

QUANTITY : All in all, the ICF contribution is, in my opinion, unsatisfactory. In the 2023 schedule, only 2 teams are receiving grants to work on stuff that directly has to do with the Cosmos Hub : Informal Systems and Hypha Worker Co-op (Funding Overview for 2023. The areas and teams funded for 2023… | by Interchain | The Interchain Foundation | Medium). Considering the ICF was exclusively funded through the sale of ATOMs, this feels underwhelming.


I am not advocating for the ICF to stop funding the Cosmos Stack, au contraire. I simply question the current implication of the ICF in the economic well being of the Cosmos Hub.

To answer to the proposed mandate : '‘fund, steward, and responsibly advance the Atom Economic Zone’., I would expect to see a development fund that finances teams and chains that work on products that have a synergy with each other, the Hub, and chains connected to the Hub.



Hey man, I just wanted to say that this is a powerhouse idea.

Keep at it sir.


I think this is a great idea. I also don’t think it’ll be massively controversial within the ICF based on some of the conversations I’ve had with them. I think we should come up with a proposal of exactly what we’d want to fund.

I think some high level things that should get funding :

  • Rollup IBC that connects to ICS chains for settlement
  • Optimistic governance system and wallets with customizable parameter settings (e.g., rate limiting) to improve accountability for proposal spending
  • Institutional wallet support (e.g., Fireblocks and other MPC wallets) for consumer chains to help bring in institutional funding
  • Optimizing ICS node software to reduce costs on validators

Agreed. Needing to pass governance proposals and having to go through the associated drama each time is a big barrier to getting anything done on the Hub.

The assumption was always that investing in the Cosmos ecosystem will drive value to the Hub. The last few years has shown that this assumption is incorrect.

Considering the ICF was entirely funded with ATOM, it is high time that ICF focused on investments that accrue value to the Hub.

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The Cosmos Hub’s role in bootstrapping IBC and its transition to an economic zone highlights the maturation of the technology and the ecosystem. The suggestion to extend the foundation’s support to the Atom Economic Zone acknowledges the costs associated with creating a new open economy and emphasizes the importance of continued financial support for teams contributing to this development.