Developer Spotlight: Landslide to Bridge Avalanche and Cosmos

Complex dApps need fast finality. For instance, bigger financial players need transactions to be set in stone near-instantly if they are to build sophisticated products on-chain. Games, with so many players and Web3 elements interacting at high speeds, need transactions to be wholly unchangeable just after they’re made or risk mass disruptions to gameplay. Tendermint chains aim to finalize transactions in 7 to 22 seconds. Avalanche can finalize in one. This key difference inspired Landslide. 

The Landslide Network seeks to connect Avalanche and Cosmos. Once released, Landslide will allow Cosmos dApps to be ported over to its Avalanche Subnet. Once Cosmos dApps have been ported to Avalanche, they can ditch Tendermint for Avalanche’s consensus mechanism – equipping them with Avalanche’s sub-second finality. 

Nathan Windsor, operations manager at Landslide, said that his team is “dropping the motor out of Cosmos” and “strapping in a jet engine.”

Effectively, Landslide would link Avalanche and Cosmos by plugging Avalanche Warp Messaging into IBC, which Cosmos uses for cross-chain communication. “Landslide would allow all of the chains that transfer assets on IBC to transfer assets natively on Avalanche,” Windsor said. 

How exactly is the AWM-IBC communication link being formed? Windsor’s team is building two light clients – one on Cosmos, one on an Avalanche Subnet – to forge the IBC connection.

Nathan estimated the Cosmos light client will be ready this summer. The Subnet will be ready later. The next big step, though, is happening now: the Landslide team just open-sourced Landslide Core. Anyone can check it out now. 

So far, building on Avalanche has been a breeze.

“Our devs are stoked to build on Avalanche,” Nathan said. “It’s very streamlined and simple. The docs are great. It’s so easy that even a tenth grader could probably spin up a Subnet.”

One thing making the ambitious work of building Landslide easier is that Ava Labs’ engineers carve out time to answer questions. “Ava Labs’ developers have been offering Subnet devs office hours,” Nathan said. “These have been so great. There’s enough help that if you don’t fully understand something you want to do, you can ask.”

Nathan has been eagerly following Subnets since the first repos went live in early 2021. Their flexibility, specifically the open-ended possibilities for VM customization, are integral to Landslide. “Why are we running a Subnet?” Nathan rhetorically asked himself. “Because Subnets allow us to run Cosmos SDK natively on Avalanche.” 

Landslide aims to be 99% compatible out-of-the-box with native Cosmos-based SDK. This would mean that Cosmos gaming devs, for instance, could build games with Avalanche’s finality, potentially enabling more seamless gameplay. Landslide’s solution could create greater liquidity, arbitrage opportunities, and cross-pollination between the two networks. 

In the future, Nathan expects more and more activity to gravitate from across the blockchain universe toward Avalanche. For one, he believes that Subnets are “the only way to build compliant assets.” Over time, he believes, Avalanche’s superior features and growing interoperability will attract more builders, just as they’ve attracted him. 

“Avalanche has done a very good job at being as open as possible to interoperability,” he says. “Why is Avalanche the place for interop? Because the tech is better, period. Interoperability will naturally happen at the nexus where the tech is safe and fast – and that’s Avalanche.”

For a glimpse into Landslide, check out the team’s new open-source repos or the Spaces Nathan just hosted with Ava Labs. For more info on the project, start with Landslide’s Twitter and website

About Avalanche

Avalanche is a smart contracts platform that scales infinitely and regularly finalizes transactions in less than one second. Its novel consensus protocol, Subnet infrastructure, and HyperSDK toolkit enable Web3 developers to easily launch powerful, custom blockchain solutions. Build anything you want, any way you want, on the eco-friendly blockchain designed for Web3 devs.

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