Evmos: EVM Compatibility in the Cosmos Ecosystem

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Over the past year, the Cosmos ecosystem has experienced explosive growth in development, community, and institutional interest. The launching of IBC propagated an interconnected Cosmos ecosystem that has given rise to DeFi hubs like Osmosis, and has made UST, Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin, accessible to every Cosmonaut, and soon, Gravity Bridge Chain will connect Cosmos with Ethereum. 

So what’s missing? Short answer… EVM compatibility.   

Why is EVM Compatibility Important?

The Ethereum Virtual Machine, or EVM, is the rule set and execution layer that facilitates the use of smart contracts (primarily coded in Solidity and Vyper) on Ethereum. Without the EVM, applications like Uniswap and Opensea would not be able to execute their transactions on Ethereum. 

The EVM is not the only virtual machine to gain traction in Web 3. Blockchains like Solana and Terra have their own execution environments that allow developers to write smart contracts in different coding languages like Rust, C/C++, and WASM. That said, the Solidity coding language and the EVM are by far the most used smart contract coding languages and virtual machines in Web 3 today. 

Without a doubt, the Ethereum ecosystem has achieved a network effect and plenty of other Web 3 ecosystems are trying to capture that value. Building an EVM compatible environment gives Web 3 ecosystems the opportunity to:

  • Create a familiar experience for Ethereum developers.
  • Make their ecosystem more accessible to Ethereum users.
  • Gain access to widely used infrastructure like Metamask, Hardhat, and Truffle.
  • Increase interoperability with the Ethereum ecosystem.

Historically, the Cosmos ecosystem has grown without an EVM compatible environment but that is about to change with the upcoming launch of Evmos, the EVM compatible hub of Cosmos. 

Introducing Evmos

Evmos is designed to be a highly scalable EVM compatible environment built on the Cosmos SDK and Tendermint Consensus. The Evmos stack offers:

  • Tendermint  - A fast finality and high throughput consensus mechanism widely used within the Cosmos ecosystem and beyond. This will allow transactions on Evmos to be fully executed in seconds.
  • Cosmos SDK - A modular, composable, and interoperable framework that will allow Evmos to scale and interoperate with other blockchains via IBC while maintaining chain sovereignty.
  • EVM Module - Built to be fully EVM compatible, or EVM equivalent, allowing developers to take full advantage of an Ethereum environment, while offering low-gas costs and fast finality to users of their applications.   

The EVM Hub of Cosmos

Evmos will launch as a single “hub chain” for EVM compatibility in the Cosmos ecosystem. The ultimate vision of Evmos consists of multiple, interoperable, and composable EVM compatible chains that can be individually optimized for specific use cases like DeFi, NFTs, or gaming. These chains can be application-specific, which will limit the need for having to compete for throughput with other applications.

Thanks to IBC and Evmos’ ERC20 Token Module, Evmos will be interoperable with any other IBC enabled non-EVM compatible Cosmos chain as well as Ethereum, which will allow for the transfer of Cosmos and Ethereum between Evmos. 

Token Model

Unlike Ethereum, where miners are the only actor that can earn block rewards, Evmos’ token model is designed to reward all network participants (Developers, Users, Validators) for providing value to the Evmos ecosystem. 

Block rewards are distributed as follows:

  • Staking Rewards (Validators + Delegators): 40%
  • Team Vesting: 25%
  • Usage Incentives: 25%
  • Community Pool: 10%

Block rewards allocated for usage incentives can be distributed to developers and users as a reward for network activity deemed as valuable for the Evmos ecosystem. These can include:

  • Gas rebates for users
  • Liquidity mining rewards to incentivize DeFi participation 
  • Smart contract fee revenue share between dApp developers and validators
  • Rebates for IBC relayers

These incentives can change dynamically as the Evmos ecosystem evolves and are updated via on-chain governance. You can learn more about the Evmos token model here

Evmos Rektdrop

Evmos will be launching with one of the most ambitious airdrops of all time. Titled Rektdrop, the Evmos team will airdrop genesis tokens to Cosmos, Osmosis, Ethereum, and bridge users. A unique aspect of the Evmos Rektdrop is that Ethereum and Thorchain users who have been victims of previously specified exploits will also receive a share of tokens. 

Future Developments

Evmos is expected to launch in late January. Shortly after launch, Rektdrop recipients will be able to stake their tokens to begin securing the chain and start earning rewards. As mentioned before, Evmos will launch as a single chain, but is intended to become a hub chain for all EVM compatible chains within the Cosmos ecosystem. 

Upcoming Cosmos SDK upgrades this year will allow Evmos to provide security guarantees to application-specific EVM compatible chains via Cross Chain Validation (CCV), or shared security, which will allow parents chains, like Evmos, to validate block on child chains, like a DeFi specific EVM compatible chain.

A uniquely proposed example of this is Cevmos, which is optimized as a settlement layer for EVM rollups. The Cevmos chain will utilize Celestia for data availability and Evmos’ native token will be used for security (staking) and to pay for fees on the network. 

The full realization of Evmos' vision doesn’t end by becoming the EVM hub of the Cosmos ecosystem. By integrating with other bridges like Connext and Nomad, Evmos has the potential to become an interoperable cross-chain smart contract hub for the entire Web 3 ecosystem.

Final Thoughts

Figment has been a testnet validator on Evmos since November. We are thrilled to support Evmos as the first highly scalable EVM compatible environment built on Cosmos.

Figment’s mission is to build a better Internet by increasing usage of the next generation of Proof of Stake blockchains. To do this, protocols like Evmos are important in giving Cosmos blockchain developers greater access to an interoperable Ethereum environment, while benefiting from fast transaction speeds, and low gas costs. Evmos has a shared multi-chain vision, and they are focused on helping connect the Web 3 ecosystem. 

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