Proposal #44 - Advancing Ethermint: GTM and Engineering Plan for the Ethermint Chain

In my opinion, Fede is currently the only person in Cosmos dev with the expertise to deliver Ethermint. No one else has the understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the architecture.

The Cosmos hub should expect that Ethermint will never happen if Fede is fully committed to other projects.

This team has other offers on the table from Sommelier and elsewhere.

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If this is the case this has my vote. We really need an evm on cosmos as avax already has theirs live. If this doesn’t get funding here they can always seek private funding via unifi dao.

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Thanks! Yes, we definitely plan to airdrop a substantial portion to ATOM holders. We’re still discussing with other stakeholders and should have the amount and airdrop mechanisms ready in the coming weeks.

Thanks for your comment Zaki. We’re excited to work closely with you and ensure there’s a real product market fit for the chain at the time of the launch. We’re already in discussions with a few large projects that are interested in committing to onboard users to Ethermint on day 1 as long as we can deliver in a timely manner. From what we’ve heard from our users and stakeholders, we believe that IBC-enabled smart contracts and the interoperability of the SDK modules with smart contracts will be huge for the adoption of an EVM compatible Cosmos chain, and beneficial for the entire ecosystem.

Thank you for the comment and questions. Yes, the Ethermint token is currently the Photon (although the name could change). Any token can be used as the gas token on Cosmos as long as it’s supported by validators. In the particular case of the EVM module, the Atto Photon (i.e Ethermint’s wei) will be the base denomination for it as it will be used as the EVM gas token.

Hard spoon was a utility tool that allows a to port a given EVM state to Ethermint. Our team has discussed different approaches of how to address this feature, but we haven’t seen much interest from developers to use it as they can deploy their smart contracts directly without this utility. Once we receive more information, we will evaluate if to include this under the soft commitment section.

While the EVM module currently works on Ethermint, it suffers from technical debt because of its current architecture. As soon as we address both the IBC integration and the underlying performance issues, we should be able to launch the chain. We commit to Q4 but we hope to deliver much faster if this proposal passes.

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Thanks for the reply Dan. We are looking at this funding proposal as a way to bootstrap a dedicated and specialized team for supporting Cosmos-EVM chains in the future. It includes development, maintenance, and customer support for companies looking to build on Cosmos using a compatible EVM solution. As stated previously, our team has been core contributors in the Cosmos and Ethereum communities since 2017 and we’re fully committed to the success of the Cosmos ecosystem. We can assure that we will airdrop a native token to ATOM holders as well as consider an allocation to the Cosmos community pool treasury. The details of this distribution (amount and mechanism) are still being discussed with the other stakeholders.

We provided a short description of the team members in the proposal but would be happy to expand more if you have specific questions.

The rationale about the multisig partner selection is due to the vast experience of Zaki and Marko in the Cosmos and Tendermint Core communities. If you have any suggestions please let us know!

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We agree with this comment completely. Ethermint has been in a WIP state since late 2016 (earlier than Cosmos!). We agree that a mainnet should be released ASAP and these product commitments are the minimum necessary to stand a chance against other EVM chains. Our longer term vision for an Ethermint chain is stated under the Soft Commitments sections specifically, this is how we will differentiate ourselves and provide a unique value proposition in the space. The commitments stated in this proposal were carefully considered and reviewed by multiple Ethereum and Cosmos stakeholders before we achieved the final proposal spec.
After observing successful and unsuccessful cases on launching new blockchains, we know that a chain without a proper go-to-market plan will struggle to differentiate itself from the rest. Therefore, in the past months, we’ve reached an agreement with two entities to onboard over 500k users to Ethermint on day 1 if we deliver an enterprise-grade production-ready solution at launch. If this proposal is passed, we will be able to expand our development team and aim to complete our commitments before Q4.

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thank you for the detailed answer, I’m in !

@fedekunze I am planning to do a testnet on Ethermint now. Do you think there will be major architecture change from now until you finish code refactoring?

If this proposal is approved, what is your timeline to launch an MVP of EVM compatible chain?

Great! I personally feel like this proposal should already include the information about token distribution and airdrop. It will be difficult to assess it otherwise.

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I agree here. Perhaps a draft of the plan as a default starting point that we can reference would be good

Thanks for the clarification! I added another comment below as well regarding roadmap draft!

  1. Coinbase does not give the users the ability to vote on Governance Proposals. (At least at the moment) . Suggest moving atoms to a Ledger , Delegate and then Vote on proposals.

  2. There is no minimum requirement . As long as you have more than 0 atoms and can cover the fees for a vote tx you may be able to vote on a proposal.

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Thanks for the reply, I appreciate the information.

Yeah, the token distribution is certainly something that we are actively collaborating on with the other stakeholders. Unfortunately, because we are not the only party involved, we can’t know for sure how this final allocation will look like. There have been multiple teams that have been relaying this project’s ownership throughout the years (AiB, ICF, ChainSafe, etc) and others that have been adding significant contributions to the codebase (okEX, Iris, Injective).

As I mentioned before, an airdrop is certainly considered to ATOM holders, but we need to sort this with the rest of the stakeholders. I can’t decide or give any final numbers without reaching a consensus with the other teams. We will be in constant communication with the community once we have more information.

We are asking the community to assess this proposal from an Engineering and GTM perspective as we believe this is a critical piece of infrastructure necessary to foster the interoperability and composability of Cosmos with the Ethereum ecosystem. Our team has vast experience in shipping top-quality software in both ecosystems and we have partnered together to execute and ship the vision for Etheremint initially proposed in 2016/17.

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This is paramount for Cosmos, and as many others have unfortunately said… we presumed this was mostly already close to completion, but apparently not.

However, this will stay a NO for me until some concrete Photon distribution numbers for ATOM holders are created, and these other stakeholders that seem to be complicating matters also clarified. As Zaki has said, there are alternatives in the works. And I also personally know of many missed opportunities with ETH services that were going to look to scale on Cosmos, but found out then that Ethermint didn’t even work, so one needs to take into accout that opportunity cost pushed onto us by what is likely these stakeholders being mentioned.

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Am in favor of this proposal. Concise and to the point. It’s a long overdue project and its lack has certainly held back overall growth of the Cosmos ecosystem, so despite all the back and forth and ownership changes to the project, it’s better late than never. If now is the time because Fede and team can get behind this then so be it.

I do hope, however, that work can be completed before Q4. Otherwise full support.

Paradigm is in favor of the proposal.

EVM compatibility for the SDK will lower the barriers to entry for many developers and further Cosmos’s mission of bringing interoperability to every blockchain.

The Ethermint Chain is an interesting experiment in generalized (non-application-specific) Zones. We do not think that it would make sense for the Hub to offer contract deployment itself at this stage, so we like the proposal to align Etheremint Chain with ATOM holders through an airdrop and keep the consensus sets separate (at least until shared-security models are better explored).

One ask: can the proposers clarify their time commitments? Will they be full-time on Etheremint? If not, what else will they be working on, and how will they split their time?

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I believe Frederico is fulltime here. His other initial contributing members are Esteban Miño (metamask) and Akash Khosla (anchorage) I believe are part time.

The funding will be in part to identify additional contributing members that are full time. As @fedekunze mentioned here: Proposal #44 - Advancing Ethermint: GTM and Engineering Plan for the Ethermint Chain - #14 by fedekunze

Please correct me if i’m wrong or if you have any additional clarifications here @fedekunze

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The expectation from Sommelier is that Fede would move over to working full time on Ethermint if this governance proposal passes and would primarily advise going forward.

Fede is finishing up a refactor of the Cosmos SDK side of the gravity bridge for us and then will be able to put his full resources into Ethermint.

I believe there is a plan to scale the team at Tharsis beyond the core contributors.

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