Cosmos ⚛️ July 2019 Network Analysis

  • Upgrade: Cosmos Hub 3 could come as early as Aug 19, 2019
  • Upgrade will add 25 new validators & enable governance to spend the community fund
  • The first protocol violation resulted in a 5% stake slashing for one validator & its delegators
  • Concerns about 0-fee validators driving down the price of the Cosmos Hub’s security
  • Cosmos’ inflation rate is decreasing from 7.64% to 7%
  • Voting power more equally distributed, likely from All in Bits’ 20M-ATOM delegation
  • Over 67% of ATOM supply is staked

Staking newcomers

Exchanges have jumped into the staking arena: Poloniex, Huobi, Kucoin, Coinsuper, and Bibox. Coinone is running a validator.

Slashing event

On June 27, CosmosPool experienced a server outage on their main node; downtime that resulted in its validator being temporarily jailed and its stake being slashed by 0.01%, including that of its delegators. That outage required a restart and an unjail transaction, and while troubleshooting, CosmosPool’s backup node accidentally participated in consensus, violating Cosmos Hub protocol rules.

As a result of evidence of double signing a block (search ‘duplicate’), CosmosPool and its delegators’ stakes were slashed by 5% and this validator was permanently removed from the active validator set (aka ‘tombstoned’). Mintscan shows the post-slashing delegation amounts.

20M ATOM delegation by All in Bits (Tendermint team)

On June 29/30, All in Bits delegated nearly 20M ATOMs to 36 validators, leading PosBakerz to write an article asking if the Cosmos Network is a blockchain cartel.

The Interchain Foundation is reviewing applications for their third round of delegations. These are their delegations to date.

Zero Fees

Several of the 0-fee validators have been rapidly accumulating Cosmos Hub voting power over the past couple of months (I’ll update with some data).

The prevailing justification for not charging a fee is that these validators want to avoid diluting their delegators, and they’re electing to wait until the Cosmos Hub is earning interoperability fees before charging a commission.

Until the inter-blockchain communication protocol (IBC) is enabled, the Cosmos Hub effectively relies upon inflationary block rewards entirely to fund validator security.

Some have expressed concern with 0-fee validators driving down the price of the Cosmos Hub’s security. Sikka, one of the 0-fee validators, initiated a governance proposal entitled ‘Are Validators Charging 0% Commission Harmful to the Success of the Cosmos Hub?’.


Upgrade on the Horizon

The Cosmos Gaia testnet got a big upgrade on July 23, 2019 in preparation for the Cosmos Hub mainnet upgrade. The upgrade included four implementations that were signalled by successful governance proposals:

1. Activate the Community Pool – enable governance to spend funds from the community pool (full proposal)
2. Don’t Burn Deposits for Rejected Governance Proposals Unless Vetoed – if a proposal gets rejected without being vetoed, the deposits will be returned to the depositors (and if a proposal fails to meet quorum, its deposit will still be burned) (full proposal)
3. Notification for Security Critical Hard Fork at Block 482100 – critical security vulnerability in the codebase for the Cosmos Hub (additional info)
4. Increase Max Validator Set Size to 125 – (full proposal)

The Cosmos SDK will also enable creating and voting on governance proposals that modify on-chain parameters without halting or forking the network, as well as the spending of community funds.

Potential Mainnet Upgrade Timeline

  • Governance Proposal A began 27 July, 2019
    This is to approve the high level software changes to the Cosmos Hub.
  • Two weeks of testnet stability, ending August 7, 2019
  • Governance Proposal A ends August 9, 2019
  • Governance Proposal B vote begins August 5, 2019
    If a clear majority emerges within the first week in favour of Governance Proposal A, the second proposal will be used to signal the network upgrade time, the software hash, the block height for export, and instructions for generating the new genesis file.
  • Governance Proposal B ends August 19, 2019

Key Metrics

ATOM supply inflation begins decreasing

As of July 20, 2019, the Cosmos Hub had a bond ratio of ~71%, which is 4% above the target bond ratio of 67%. Prior to reaching this target, inflation was gradually increasing at a rate of 13% per year (capped at 20%). Now that the target bond ratio is above 67%, inflation will begin decreasing (at a rate of 13% per year) toward a minimum of 7%. At the time of writing, Cosmos’ inflation is 7.64%.

Thanks to the Lunamint bot!

These are items that I think are important. I’d be grateful for new ideas and additional key metrics, and how to collect them, particularly if that can be done automatically.