First Look: Evmos

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What is Evmos?

Evmos is an application-agnostic Cosmos chain that will be interoperable with the Ethereum Mainnet, EVM-compatible environments, and other BFT chains via IBCs, making it easy for users and developers to easily move value between chains.

Evmos's architecture

Evmos leverages the Cosmos SDK Proof-of-Stake functionality, EVM compatibility and fast-finality from Tendermint Core's BFT consensus. Evmos expands the original vision of Ethermint by enabling Interchain Composability on Cosmos through IBC.

Similar to other Tendermint-based projects, Evmos relies on a set of validators committing new blocks in the blockchain. These validators can have their own staking tokens and have tokens delegated by token holders. The more validators a network has, the more secure it will be.

The EVMOS is Evmos’s native token. There is no minimum of EVMOS that needs to be staked. At launch, Evmos will launch with the top 300 validators who have the most delegated stake.

The top 300 validators with the most weight (where total stake = self-bonded stake + delegators stake) will be active validators and become bonded validators. If a validator falls off the top 300, the validator will lose its validator privileges (meaning that it won't generate rewards) and no longer serve as part of the active set (i.e doesn't participate in consensus), enter unbonding mode and eventually become unbonded.

Bonding mode

  • Validator is in the active set, and able to sign blocks.
  • There are different types of slashing conditions and the penalty depends on the severity of the violation.
  • Un-delegating is not immediate.

Unbonding mode

  • Validator is not in the active set, and therefore not signing blocks.
  • Validator cannot be slashed, and does not earn any reward.
  • Un-delegating from an unbonded validator is immediate.

Use Cases

Developers provided with the Evmos EVM to deploy Ethereum smart contracts get the benefits of fast finality from Tendermint Core's BFT consensus in the following ways: 

  • EVM on Evmos will contribute to expanding the ecosystem, welcoming and accommodating EVM-based applications to the Cosmos ecosystem. Developers will not have to rewrite their decentralized applications (dApps). Ethereum developers can migrate and onboard their contracts to the Cosmos Ecosystem with the ease that Evmos provides. (A similar approach was taken by Moonbeam on Polkadot, which opened with a very successful mainnet launch on Kusama with their Moonriver canary network on Kusama.)

Looking at other chains such as Binance Smart Chain and Polygon - other chains that have developed their own EVMs, it's reasonable for us to expect that the Cosmos network will be expanding with projects in the coming weeks due to the Evmos launch. 

Token holders will as a result enjoy a wider range of Solidity applications thanks to the plug-and-go nature of running an EVM on Evmos, as well as enjoying higher throughput and faster finality than they would on Ethereum. Accelerating numbers of projects coming to the Cosmos Network will also cause positive effects on ATOM prices for token holders.

  • Beyond EVM equivalence, developers will be able to leverage IBC for asset interoperability and interchain composability. Other chains in the Cosmos ecosystem will interact directly with Ethereum smart contracts via IBC, enabling them to scale horizontally. This approach has lower fees and lower latency than other bridge solutions (for example: Gravity bridge) in the ecosystem.

Thanks to Evmos’ EVM and smart contract interoperability via IBC, the Sommelier protocol can directly manage and rebalance liquidity for LPs of other DeFi protocols deploying to Evmos.

The Intra-relayer module:

  • The Intrarelayer module enables the Evmos Hub to support a trustless, on-chain bidirectional internal relaying of tokens between Evmos' EVM and Cosmos runtimes. This functionality allows token holders on Evmos to instantaneously convert their native Cosmos coins to ERC20 token and vice versa. This will enable EVM smart contracts on Evmos to support ATOM, OSMO or any other Cosmos assets connected to IBC. 
  • This intrarelaying functionality is fully governed by native $EVMOS token holders.
  • Developers on Evmos may wish to deploy smart-contracts using the ERC20 token representation so that they can transfer existing tokens on Ethereum and other EVM-based chains to Evmos and the rest of the Cosmos ecosystem, allowing them to retain fungibility with the original asset on the issuing environment/runtime (EVM or Cosmos) and preserving ownership of the contract.

Network Economics

What is the incentive to stake? 

Each member of a validator's staking pool earns different types of revenue:

  • Block rewards: Validators are rewarded with native tokens of applications (native $EVMOS tokens on mainnet and $PHOTON on testnet) for proposing and creating new blocks. The number of block rewards a validator can earn depends on a variety of factors such as average block time, the total value of bonded tokens, etc. Total rewards are divided among validators according to each validator's weight in delegated tokens. Both validators and their delegators will receive a portion of the block reward and they are not obligated to distribute further.
  • Transaction fees: Evmos maintains a whitelist of token types accepted as fee payment. The initial fee token is the EVMOS, but in the future, any token in the Cosmos ecosystem can be used as transaction fees if it is approved through governance.

Slashing

There are different types of slashing conditions and the penalty depends on the severity of the violation. When a validator misbehaves, their staked EVMOS (including delegated tokens from delegators) can be slashed.

  • Double-signing: If someone reports on chain A that a validator signed two blocks at the same height on chain A and chain B, and if chain A and chain B share a common ancestor, then this validator will get slashed on chain A.
  • Downtime: If a validator misses more than 95% of the last 10.000 blocks, they will get slashed by 0.01%.
  • Unavailability: If a validator's signature has not been included in the last X blocks, the validator will get slashed by a marginal amount proportional to X. If X is above a certain limit Y, then the validator will get unbonded. The actual numbers will be decided through governance.
  • Non-voting: If a validator did not vote on a proposal, its stake could receive a minor slash.

Future Developments

At the moment, the project is providing a public test to encourage developers & validators to test the system thoroughly before Evmos mainnet. Evmos’ goal is to provide full compatibility with EVM in Cosmos by the end of Q4/2021:

  • EVM Equivalence: Evmos will support all EVM tools and resources including Truffle, Metamask, Hardhat and others.
  • EVM Bridging: a bridge between Evmos and Ethereum mainnet will be integrated to offer transactions between the two networks and allow users to participate in the interchain capabilities of the network.
  • The team has announced Olympus Mons — Evmos’ Incentivized Testnet in expectation of mainnet launch. The testnet will introduce the long-awaited intra-relaying functionality mentioned above.
  • Tokenomics: The team will be sharing concrete details on general token distribution soon. 

More on Evmos

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