Ethereum and Cosmos Comparison

Names

Token & Model

Ethereum 2.0’s token is known as ETH, and uses a sharded, fixed function STF model.

Cosmos’s token is an ATOM, and its model is the bridge-hub.

Consensus Protocol

Ethereum 2.0’s consensus protocol is serenity.

Cosmos’s consensus protocol is Tendermint.

Block Production Sub-protocol

Ethereum 2.0’s block production sub-protocol is RanDAO + LMD Casper.

Cosmos is monolithic so it does not have a block production sub-protocol.

Finality Gadget Sub-protocol

Ethereum 2.0’s finality gadget sub-protocol is Casper FFG.

Cosmos is monolithic so it does not have a finality gadget sub-protocol.

Main Chain Name

Ethereum 2.0’s main chain name is Beacon Chain.

Cosmos’s main chain name is Cosmos Hub.[1]

Interior Chains Name

Ethereum 2.0’s Interior chain name is Shard.

Cosmos is not sharded, so there is no interior chain.

Exterior Chains Name

Ethereum 2.0’s Exterior chain name is Side-chain.

Cosmos’s exterior chain is called Zone.

Notes

[1]               Technically, there’s little to prevent other “main chains” on the network if they can get enough buy-in.

Main-chain Consensus

Blockchain Fault Tolerance

Ethereum 2.0’s blockchain fault tolerance is claimed at 36 - 50% , but there has been no proof of this.

Cosmos’s block production fault tolerance is 33%.

Block Production Transport Complexity

Ethereum 2.0’s is O(N).

Cosmos’s block production transport complexity is O( N2 ).

Finality Transport Complexity

Ethereum 2.0’s is O( N2 / L), where L is the latency of finality.

Cosmos’s finality transport complexity is O( N2 ).

Finality Fault Tolerance

Ethereum 2.0’s is claimed to be at 33% .[2]

Cosmos’s finality fault tolerance is 33%.

Finalization Expected Latency

Ethereum 2.0's is expected between 6 - 12 minutes . [3]

Cosmos’s finalization expected latency is instant.

Finalization Maximum Volume

Ethereum 2.0’s is millions of blocks.

Cosmos’s finalization maximum volume is one block.

Validator Count

Ethereum 2.0's validator count is projected at 16,000, but there is no evidence that this count is realistic.

Cosmos’s validator count is 100.

Notes

[2]               This number is asserted and may not be an unreasonable claim, however no proof of this has been published. Furthermore, a theoretical attack has been published to https://ethresear.ch/ by Dr. Alistair Stewart where liveness may be compromised by just 2% Byzantine nodes.

[3]               It is unclear how long 64 blocks will be in ETH 2.0, but a block is likely to be between 12   and 20 seconds so the maximum is probably at least 12 minutes and the expected would be half. https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-specs/blob/676e216/specs/phase0/beacon-chain.md#time-parameters    

Main-chain State Transition Function (STF)

Model

Ethereum 2.0’s model is a fixed-function.

Cosmos’s model is a fixed-function.

Meta-protocol Platform

Ethereum 2.0’s is not a meta-procol, so this is non-applicable.

Cosmos is not a meta-procol, so this is non-applicable.

Meta-protocol Reach

Ethereum 2.0’s is not a meta-procol, so this is non-applicable.

Cosmos is not a meta-procol, so this is non-applicable.

Randomness Beacon

Ethereum 2.0’s randomness beacon is RanDAO, which is hash-chained based.

Cosmos does not have a randomness beacon.

Light-client status

Ethereum 2.0 is planned for 2-3 years out, but no proofs have been offered.

Cosmos’s light-client status is implemented.

Complete Client Implementation

Ethereum 2.0’s complete client implementation is not released.

Cosmos’s complete client implementation is Cosmos SDK.

Additional Credible Impl. Teams [4]

Ethereum 2.0 has 4 additional implementation teams, although not all of them are especially credible.

Cosmos’s other implementation team is Rust.

Notes

[4]               Anyone can fire up a repository on Github and claim to be an “incomplete implementation”, so this only includes projects in an advanced stage of development coming from well-established teams that we recognise as being capable of delivering in the near-term.

 

Shards

Number

Ethereum 2.0’s projected shard number is 64, although it was originally at 1000. This was revised to 64 since it was more realistic.

Cosmos is not sharded.

Shard STF Type

Ethereum 2.0’s shard STF type is a fixed-function.

Cosmos is not sharded.

Light Client Status

Ethereum 2.0’s light client status is planned for 2-3 years out, but no proofs have been offered.

Cosmos is not sharded.

Development

Development Model

Ethereum 2.0’s development model is contracts.

Cosmos development model is contracts and STF.

Native Smart Contract Types

Ethereum 2.0’s native smart contract type is Wasm. [5]

Cosmos’s native smart contract type is Wasm and EVM. [6]

Smart-Contract Execution

Ethereum 2.0’s Smart-Contract Execution is interpreted. [7]

Cosmos’s Smart-Contract Execution is interpreted. [8]

STF Platform

Ethereum 2.0 doesn’t have an STF platform.

Cosmos’s STF platform is Go-lang. [9]

STF Development Framework

Etherum doesn’t have a development framework.

Cosmos’s STF platform is Go-lang. [10]

STF DEV Framework Language

Ethereum 2.0 doesn’t have an STF development framework language.

Cosmos’s STF Development Framework is Cosmos SDK.

STF Dev Modular Support

Etherum doesn’t have STF development modular support.

Cosmos uses language-only STF dev. modular support. [11]

STF Dev Composition Hooks

Ethereum 2.0 doesn’t have STF development composition hooks.

Cosmos is not composable.

STF Dev Framework Modules

Etherum doesn’t have STF development framework modules.

Cosmos has approximately 10. [12]

Notes

[5]               Webassembly-based smart contract functionality is under design. https://github.com/ewasm/design.

[6]               The EVM contract chain is not    yet implemented, however a credible team has been hired to build it. A Wasm chain is also under development. https://github.com/confio/cosmwasm                      

[7]               It is not unrealistic to expect a compiler for smart contracts eventually, however the design/development is at an early stage and it’s not clear that practical deployment is likely.

[8]               It is not unrealistic to expect a compiler for smart contracts eventually, however the design/development is at an early stage and it’s not clear that practical deployment is likely.

[9]                Some teams have begun an attempt to reimplement the stack in Rust. Efforts are at an early stage.

[10]             Some teams have begun an attempt to reimplement the stack in Rust. Efforts are at an early stage.

[11]              No additional means of modular STF development is provided by the framework.

[12]              Cosmos SDK Modules: https://github.com/cosmos/cosmos-sdk/tree/master/x

Governance

Decision Making

Cosmos uses coin-vote signaling.

Decision Enactment

Ethereum 2.0 uses an opt-in hard fork.

Cosmos uses an opt-in hard-fork.

On-Chain Permissionless Bodies

Ethereum 2.0 doesn’t have on-chain permissionless bodies.

Cosmos doesn’t have on-chain permissionless bodies.

On-Chain Treasury

Ethereum 2.0 has no on-chain treasury.

Cosmos has no on-chain treasury. [13]

Notes

[13]               Though there may be long-term plans to move the treasury on-chain https://twitter.com/jaekwon/status/1215386686378500097?s=12

Bridging & Compatibility

BTC Token

Ethereum 2.0 has no compatibility with BTC token.

Cosmos will have a two-way peg. [14]

ETH Token (Ethereum 1.x)

Ethereum 2.0 uses a one-way peg. [15]

Cosmos will have a two-way peg (refer to footnote 12).

Ethereum 1.z Mainnet Smart Contracts

Ethereum 2.0: There are vague suggestions to make ETH-1 a shard in ETH 2.0 by doing a once-off migration of the state, however it is far from clear that this is practically executable in any reasonable time frame.

Cosmos: There were plans to "hard spoon" the Ethereum mainnet into a new Tendermint-based network. The plans are apparently suspended owing to the difficulty of implementation.

EVM Side-Chain Bridging

Ethereum 2.0 2.0's 2.0 has nothing planned.

Cosmos is expected to have a two-way peg. [16]

EVM Shard Compatibility

Ethereum 2.0 will probably not have shard compatibility. [17]

Cosmos is not sharded.

Native Shard Solidity Compatibility

Ethereum 2.0 has a Sol-Wasm compiler. [18]

Cosmos is not sharded.

Notes

[14]               Both ETH and BTC token bridging were claimed as key features in the whitepaper, so we give them the benefit of the doubt that this will be delivered.

[15]               Burnability of ETH 1.x tokens to mint ETH 2.x tokens is a core claim to the platform. Initial spec/implementations are:

    1.                   https://github.com/ethereum/eth2.0-specs/blob/676e216beb0fd95932793ac271802fd48b07e4c5/specs/phase0/deposit-contract.md
    2.                   https://docs.ethhub.io/ethereum-roadmap/ethereum-2.0/eth-1.0-to-2.0-migration/

[16]               It is expected to be able to engender token-level compatibility between chains through Ethermint & IBC.

[17]               There is work underway to attempt to transcompile EVM code into eWasm such that original EVM contracts can be redeployed under eWasm and work as expected, however it is unclear that this is possible, given gas costs must be respected for compatibility and will be dictated by the eWasm chain.

[18]               A Solidity to Webassembly compiler has been under development for a long while now. Though not yet ready, we expect it is likely feasible.

Timeline / Roadmap

Phase 0 (Maine Chain only)

The optimistic timeline for Ethereum 2.0 is 07/2020. [19]

Cosmos phase 0 was 08/2019.

Phase 1 (Shards with no STF)

The optimistic timeline for Ethereum 2.0 is 01/2021 (refer to footnote 14).

Cosmos is not sharded.

Phase 2 (Shards with an STF)

The realistic timeline for Ethereum 2.0 is 01/2023.

Cosmos is not sharded.

Phase 3 (Low-State Client)

The date is unknown for Ethereum 2.0.

Cosmos is not sharded.

Phase 4 (Basic Communications)

Ethereum 2.0’s phase 4 timeline is unknown.

Cosmos phase 4 will be done 06/2020.

Phase 4.1 (Multi-Shard Instancing)

Ethereum 2.0 has a fixed-function, so multi-shared instancing wouldn’t apply.

Cosmos is not sharded.

Phase 5 (Composability) [20]

Ethereum 20: “This May be difficult”

Cosmos is not sharded.

Notes

[19]               As evaluated by Messari Research in “Crypto Theses for 2020.”

[20]               Included for completeness. No network has yet published a viable design for this, to date.