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Cosmos vs. Solana – What’s the Difference?

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Solana vs. Cosmos is a common debate between traders seeking advanced blockchain solutions. These networks are both well-known and have strong communities backing each project. Each offers support for advanced DeFi functionalities and much more. Here are some of the differences between Solana and Cosmos.

What is Solana?

Solana is a decentralized Web 3 infrastructure designed to provide high-performance blockchain solutions to the market. The network leverages high security and scalability combined with an open architecture.

Solana is a popular project with 11.5M accounts and 21.9M minted NFTs, the network continues to expand in features and community size. Today, Solana is one of the most recognizable names in the market.

What is Cosmos?

Cosmos (ATOM) seeks to become the Internet of blockchain. The developers envision the platform as a place where you can find or create a purpose-built blockchains to meet your needs. The system makes it easy for these sovereign networks to share data, communicate, and transact.

Source - Cosmos (ATOM) Homepage

Source – Cosmos (ATOM) Homepage

Cosmos seeks to offer a combination of features in the coming months such as security protocols that will improve usability. The Interchain Security feature enables the network to secure secondary networks. Notably, network participants receive additional rewards for their efforts.

What Problems Was Solana Built to Alleviate?

Solana was designed to provide an immersive architecture for Dapp developers and networks. The system improves on the settlement speed of previous networks which makes it ideal for certain use case scenarios.

Lack of Scalability

Scalability concerns had been a major issue for the majority of the blockchain community when Solana entered service. The network pioneered advanced methods to improve transaction speeds. The system was designed to scale freely up to 29,171 transactions per second.

Censorship Concerns

Censorship is another major issue that Solana wants to eliminate. The network operates as an open DeFi ecosystem that offers trustless services to the public. The distributed nature of the network makes it resistant to censorship.

Solana operates as pure code. It can send value internationally in a permissionless manner with no central organization to block, confiscate, or alter the transitions. The network is open to global users.

What Problems Was Cosmos Built to Alleviate?

Cosmos (ATOM) helps to relieve the lack of interoperability in the sector. Currently, many sovereign networks don't communicate freely which leads to issues surrounding liquidity and innovation. Cosmos connects these sovereign blockchains using an advanced protocol called the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol.

How Does Solana Work?

Solana functions as a high-performance layer 1 blockchain that leverages dual consensus algorithms to remain valid and improve transaction throughput. The network has a community of validators that stake their tokens to keep the network safe.

The system also uses the Proof of History (POH) consensus mechanism to improve scalability. This unique consensus mechanism acts as a cryptographic clock for the blockchain. This method uses historical records and timestamps to increase validation actions.


Sealevel is a powerful tool in Solana's arsenal. This system helps to improve scalability by enabling the processing and execution of parallel smart contracts. When there are contracts that have similar functionalities, they can leverage these actions to conduct multiple transactions.


Pipelining is another system that is unique to Solana in the market. This system leverages a Transaction Processing system to integrate hardware easier. The system can improve the validation process for these items which helps drive performance.


Sol is the main utility token for Solana. This versatile digital asset can be used to pay fees and send value globally. The token has fast transition times and also serves a role as the main rewards token for stakers.

How Does Cosmos Work?

Cosmos provides the blockchain community with a simplistic way to create, manage, and organize the growing number of sovereign blockchains in the market. The system leverages a proprietary open-source bridge to accomplish this task.

Notably, one of the most unique aspects of Cosmos is how it autonomously tracks the state of every blockchain in the network. Each blockchain is known as a zone. Zones have full functionality and are stand-alone blockchains.

Zones can have their tokens, consensus, and utility. These networks are usually purpose-built to serve a specific role and feature services and tokens created for the task. Zones may also incorporate community governance systems as they deem necessary.

Cosmos Hub

The Cosmos Hub is the system that connects all the different networks within the Cosmos ecosystem. The Hub connects and monitors these networks in real-time which makes it ideal for cross-chain Dapps and more. As such, it serves a vital role in ensuring interoperability.

The Cosmos Hub leverages the Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol to enable networks to interact seamlessly. This protocol was custom-built for this purpose and is unique to the network. It provides instant monitoring capabilities across a massive number of networks.

Cosmos Structure

There are three main layers in the Cosmos protocol. The Application layer is responsible for ensuring Dapps operates smoothly. Here is where the transactions process and the network states are kept. The networking layer is where blockchains connect and communicate. This layer is vital to the interoperability of the community.

Cosmos uses a PoS (Proof-of-Stake) consensus mechanism to ensure validity. This style of consensus is sustainable and more open than PoW networks like Bitcoin. There is no need to purchase a mining rig. Users can simply stake their tokens to secure rewards.


ATOM is the utility token that Cosmos users need to interact with the platform's features. ATOM can be staked to secure passive returns. It can also be used with the Gravity DEX to create a liquidity pool.

How to Buy Cosmos (ATOM) and Solana (SOL)

Currently, Cosmos (ATOM) and Solana (SOL) are each available for purchase on the following exchanges.

Uphold – This is one of the top exchanges for United States & UK residents that offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies. Germany & Netherlands are prohibited.

Uphold Disclaimer: Terms Apply. Cryptoassets are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment, and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong..

Kraken – Founded in 2011, Kraken is one of the most trusted names in the industry with over 9,000,000 users, and over $207 billion in quarterly trading volume.

The Kraken exchange offers trading access to over 190 countries including Australia, Canada, Europe, and is a top exchange for USA residents. (Excluding New York & Washington state).

Cosmos vs. Solana – Who’s the Real Winner

It's a hard comparison placing Solana against Cosmos. Solana offers high programmability and scalability for developers. Meanwhile, Cosmos connects networks which reduces development time and improves usability. Both of these projects are set to see growing adoption moving forward.

To learn more about each of these projects, make sure to check out our Investing in Cosmos and Investing in Solana guides.

David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including