GoZ Updates #5: Looking back at Game of Zones and Looking forward to the IBC Protocol

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This article, the last of the Game of Zones Series by Persistence, documents the events and updates from Cosmos’ Game of Zones. The aim of this document is to understand the importance of Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) for the holistic growth of the blockchain ecosystem and also chronicle the learnings obtained by Persistence from this event.

Source: Persistence Medium

Today’s siloed blockchains will soon be interacting with other blockchains. The IBC Protocol enables interoperability between blockchains and this will propel the blockchain industry to much greater heights as this is perceived as a setback to the industry currently. At Persistence, we have always been vocal about Interoperability, and here is a link to a blog talking about the implementation of IBC by the Persistence team.

Looking back at Game of Zones: The first step towards Interoperability

As evidenced by the official statement of Cosmos,

“The vision of Cosmos is to make it easy for developers to build blockchains and break the barriers between blockchains by allowing them to transact with each other. The end goal is to create an Internet of Blockchains, a network of blockchains able to communicate with each other in a decentralized way. With Cosmos, blockchains can maintain sovereignty, process transactions quickly and communicate with other blockchains in the ecosystem, making it optimal for a variety of use cases”

The industry has waited in expectation for the Interoperability between Blockchains, the Game of Zones brought an end to this wait with many teams including validators and projects getting first-hand experience of IBC Protocol.

Source: Cointelegraph

Persistence CEO, Tushar Aggarwal, spoke to Cointelegraph recently about interoperability and the way forward for mass adoption, you can take a look at it here.

Game of Zones: A quick recap

With Cosmos introducing the world of Blockchains with Incentivized testnets with its Game of Stakes last year, we witnessed a lot of projects in the last 16–18 months giving developers, validators, and enthusiasts the opportunity to learn how their protocol works by giving them incentivizes to try out their Protocol.

This year, once again, Cosmos leads the way with another one of its kind “Interoperability” enabled adversarial incentivised testnet titled ‘Game of Zones’.

The challenges in Game of Zones were designed to prepare the Cosmos ecosystem for the upcoming launch of the IBC Module with the ‘Stargate Upgrade of the Cosmos Hub’.

The competition was divided into 3 Phases.

Phase 1:

The motive of the first phase was to test the ability of the teams to keep their connections with the GoZ Hub alive. At the end of the first phase of the competition, the GoZ team was not satisfied with the outcome and decided to split it into two parts to achieve their goals. The already completed Phase was now termed Phase 1a and the second part of Phase 1 was Phase 1B.

While there were a lot of challenges during Phase 1A particularly around the stability of the GoZ Hub, we saw a few teams do exceptionally well. Some of them even published their scripts to help out other teams who were having trouble keeping their connections alive.

You can read our detailed documentation about Phase 1A here.

The goal of Phase 1B was also to ensure a live client connection with the GoZ Hub for the longest duration with the lowest trust period. This phase was launched with certain parameters altered from Phase 1A. The highlight of this phase was a Spam Reflection Attack that killed a lot of client connections with the Hub. To get a better understanding of this Spam Reflection Attack and Phase 1B, please click here to read our previous blog.

Phase 2:

Phase 2 of the competition was all about throughput and the goal was to test the performance of IBC under Tendermint limitations and high load.

The GoZ Hub was heavily flooded with transactions relayed from more than 125+ Zones and yet the IBC Module and the Relayer did not fail which displays the quality of the product being built.

We learned that relaying packets to the Hub will be much more expensive than relaying packets to other chains that are relatively load free.

To read more about Phase 2 and our learnings, read our blog focussing on Phase 1B and 2, here.

Phase 3:

Don’t we all love Deception attacks? Yes, we do!

Phase 3 of the competition was aimed at identifying security threats in the IBC Protocol/Implementation.

We witnessed some of the best deception attacks, from token trapping Deceptive Rootchains to Double Spend Attacks, we witnessed it all.

Source: P2P Validator Twitter

With this Phase, we learned that Zones in the Cosmos Ecosystem can act as single points of failure and how important the Hub and Spoke model of Cosmos will turn out to be. To learn more about Phase 3, check out our previous article on Phase 3 of Game of Zones.

We would like to congratulate all the winners of the Game of Zones and also thank the amazing Organizers for this competition and the Cosmos community for all their contributions towards the growth of the Cosmos.

Looking forward to the Inter Blockchain Protocol (IBC) and the Stargate Upgrade

With the Custom Zone implementations we saw at the end of GoZ, we can be assured that IBC enables use cases way beyond our thinking.

Source: Stake.fish Twitter

Stake.fish’s Custom Zones Implementation with the Tamagotchi Zones displays the potential of IBC

The Game of Zones brought together the Cosmos community to dive deep into the IBC Protocol and thoroughly understand it. The community of Network operators now seem to have a very good understanding of IBC and its performance under various scenarios.

With the completion of Game of Zones, we cannot wait for the IBC Protocol to go live on the Cosmos Hub. While we have seen what the IBC Protocol is capable of, we haven’t yet seen the full extent of it. With the upcoming Stargate Upgrade, which is going to be the biggest Cosmos upgrade up to date, we will witness the first live standard cross-chain transactions via the IBC Protocol.

Although the Stargate Upgrade has a lot more features than just the introduction of the IBC Protocol, the IBC Protocol is indeed the most exciting feature of this upgrade.

Going forward, as the IBC Protocol becomes production ready and live with the Stargate Upgrade, we will see a lot more projects building in the Cosmos ecosystem and reaping the benefits of being a Cosmonaut.

You can read more about the Stargate Upgrade here.

We thank entire Cosmos community for an amazing experience and we look forward to writing more such articles to keep you updated.

About Persistence

Persistence is a Tendermint-based, specialised Layer-1 network powering an ecosystem of DeFi applications focused on unlocking the liquidity of staked assets.

Persistence facilitates the issuance and deployment of liquid-staked stkASSETs, allowing users to earn staking rewards while participating in DeFi primitives, such as lending/borrowing and liquidity provisioning on DEXs.

Persistence aims to offer a seamless staking and DeFi experience for PoS (Proof-of-Stake) users and enable developers to build innovative applications around stkASSETs.

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