After months of development, the Cosmos (ATOM) project has launched the Stargate update, which includes the highly anticipated Inter-Blockchain Communication protocol, or IBC.
Announced on Thursday, the Stargate upgrade includes a series of improvements to the Cosmos protocol and its Software Development Kit.
The most important of Stargate’s features is IBC, the interoperability layer for Cosmos blockchains. The protocol is one of the key elements of the Cosmos vision, allowing for effortless interoperability between Cosmos SDK blockchains and other blockchain protocols. IBC allows bridging tokens and arbitrary data between all blockchains it supports, primarily those built with the Cosmos SDK. Other blockchains can also be supported, but they require case-by-case implementations.
There are a number of projects that have been built with the Cosmos SDK in the past, including Binance Chain, Kava, Terra and Secret. Before the introduction of IBC, the networks were siloed and the individual projects had to create their own bridges to connect to the wider blockchain ecosystem. Brian Kerr, CEO and co-founder of Kava, told Cointelegraph that the project spent “years of developer time and millions of dollars in investment to construct the custom bridges that exist today,” notably for the Binance ecosystem.
The launch of IBC would “accelerate the rate at which Kava can add bridges to other Cosmos-SDK chains, offer its services, and use their assets as collateral,” Kerr explained.
While IBC also supports interoperability with blockchains built on Substrate, the blockchain framework championed by Polkadot, other blockchains outside of these ecosystems will remain