Cosmos is a decentralized network of independent blockchains that can scale and communicate with each other. It was founded by Jae Kwon, Zarko Milosevic, and Ethan Buchman in 2014. At that time Jae Kwon and Ethan Buchman were also developing Tendermint. Tendermint BFT is used to secure the Cosmos blockchain, making it the first PoS public blockchain built on such an engine.
The Cosmos network aims to make it easy for developers to build blockchains and to set up interoperations between them, creating an Internet of blockchains. This is achieved with the help of open-source tools like Cosmos SDK - a simplified framework for creating an ecosystem of modules for developers. Lots of projects are already building on the Cosmos ecosystem, including Binance Chain, Kava, and many others. ATOM, the native token of the Cosmos ecosystem, has three functions: a spam-prevention mechanism, a staking medium, and a voting medium. The spam-prevention mechanism functions because ATOM is used to pay the fees while the fee distribution is done in-protocol. As a staking token ATOM can be “bonded” to earn block rewards: the more tokens are bonded, the greater economic security of the Cosmos network is. And as a voting medium ATOM lets holders vote on proposals.
By the end of 2021, the Cosmos network is aiming to expand the possibilities of staking by introducing interchain security. It will allow ATOM stakers to secure “child-chains”, if requested, in exchange for rewards.