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Polkadot Vs. Cosmos – Everything You Need to Know

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Once you fully understand the differences between Polkadot (DOT) vs Cosmos (ATOM), you are ready to make an informed decision. Both of these projects seek to create more interoperability in the market, albeit through different strategies. Here's some valuable insight into two very popular DeFi-capable networks that continue to see growing adoption.

What is Polkadot (DOT)?

When Polkadot entered the market in 2018, it made a splash. The protocol empowered developers to create more immersive dapps and purpose-built networks. The main advantage of Polkadot is scalability and the network's interoperability. This feature includes the capability to provide seamless communication between private and public blockchains.

Polkadot has grown to encompass a large ecosystem consisting of Parachains and Parathreads. These networks can transfer data and leverage the best features of each network. Additionally, the network was built to streamline Dapp creation. As such, it integrates features that automate common programming tasks.

Polkadot (DOT) Twitter

Polkadot (DOT) Twitter – Polkadot (DOT) vs Cosmos (ATOM)

What is Cosmos (ATOM)?

Cosmos is an advanced blockchain highway that seeks to introduce another level of interoperability to users. This network has earned the nickname the “Internet of Blockchains.” by its developers due to its top-notch interoperability. The protocol can communicate, transact, and share data with independent networks securely.

Cosmos provides developers with a suite of blockchain products that streamline the creation of new blockchains. The protocol features a flexible tech stack that improves development times compared to Ethereum and earlier networks. These features have helped Cosmos secure a healthy development community.

What Problems was Polkadot Built to Alleviate?

Polkadot was designed to alleviate a lot of the problems that Ethereum users face daily. Issues such as high fees and low performance due to congestion were the priorities for developers. They wanted to ensure that Polkadot could scale to meet the demands of the masses. To accomplish his task, they went with a flexible consensus mechanism that does away with miners.

Interoperability was another concern that Polkadot was designed to eliminate. Currently, the blockchain sector is expanding rapidly. However, a lot of these networks are direct duplicates or include duplicate protocols, as the developers had no way to leverage other protocols and therefore had to recreate similar ones.

This time wasted could have gone to improving the system or adding more features. The technical structure of Polkadot means that developers enjoy more interoperability compared to the competition. As such, Polkadot is a top-performing protocol in the market.

What Problems was Cosmos Built to Alleviate?

Cosmos was designed to solve the same problems as Polkadot. Instead of creating a new ecosystem, Cosmos seeks to tap into existing ones. The network wants to act as the glue that binds these networks and enables developers to save time and effort moving forward.

High Fees

Since its first day, Cosmos has boasted lower gas fees than most competitors. The network wanted to provide developers with more flexibility by reducing their overhead. This strategy has paid off with Cosmos users enjoying low fees and fast transactions across the permissionless network.

How Does Polkadot Work?

Polkadot utilizes multiple layers to create a fully immersive DeFi ecosystem. The network leverages two types of sub-networks. Parachains are the first of the two types of networks. These systems are independent networks. They can have their own tokens, governance, and other features. Parachains are ideal for purpose-built applications.

Parathreads are very similar to Parachains but they provide a more affordable model for develops seeking minimal interaction with the blockchain. The pay-as-you-go model is a wise selection for those who require lower blockchain interaction and want to save their user's costs.


All of the networks communicate through the bridge protocols. These systems can be optimized for specific use cases which makes them ideal for interoperability between private and public networks and commercial applications. Bridges allow Parathreads to communicate seamlessly without affecting other networks on the blockchain.

How Does Cosmos Work?

Cosmos operates on a proprietary purpose-built blockchain. The protocol is open-source and has undergone a variety of third-party audits. Cosmos is unique in many ways. For one, the protocol autonomously monitors the state of every blockchain in the ecosystem in real-time.

Cosmos (ATOM) - Twitter

Cosmos (ATOM) – Twitter – Polkadot (DOT) vs Cosmos (ATOM)


Each Cosmos network is known as a zone. Zones operate independently of other networks. They can create unique digital assets that can be set up to operate within the larger Cosmos network. Zones can introduce their own consensus mechanisms and governance protocols.

Cosmos Hub

The Cosmos Hub is the underlying layer of the network that enables all the networks to communicate. All zones are connected via the Cosmos Hub. The hub keeps records of the state of the network as well. This strategy enhances the protocol’s performance, as all records are easily located.

Application Layer

Cosmos leverages three layers to remain scalable. The Application layer is the protocol that handles the processing of transactions. This layer also records the network state. The Networking Layer is where blockchains communicate. This protocol connects the networks in a secure manner.

Inter-Blockchain Communication Protocol

The Inter-Blockchain Communications protocol is the coding that allows the different zones within the ecosystem to communicate with the Cosmos Hub. This protocol was optimized to improve communication across the decentralized network.

Polkadot Consensus

Polkadot introduces a new consensus mechanism called GRANDPA (GHOST-based Recursive Ancestor Deriving Prefix Agreement) to the market. This flexible system enables networks to pool their security to improve the entire network’s resilience.

Cosmos Consensus

Cosmos leverages a Tindermint BFT proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. This protocol enables regular users to stake their tokens to become network validators. This approach improves the sustainability of the network. It also removes technical barriers to network validation as there is no need to purchase and program a miner like PoW networks.

How to Buy Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM)

Currently, Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM) 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).

Polkadot Vs. Cosmos

Polkadot (DOT) vs Cosmos (ATOM) is a hard decision as both protocols serve the same niche in the market and both are very popular. The similarities in their business model but differences in their approach make both projects even more interesting to watch. As such, these networks may be good additions to your portfolio in the future.

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