CometBFT: The consensus engine that fuels the cosmos ecosystem.
Discover the Benefits of CometBFT for Improved Functionality and Performance in Your Decentralized Development Projects.
In January 2023, Jae Kwon, founder of All in Bits, announced that AIB would no longer support the development of Tendermint. Since 2019, Tendermint has been actively developed by many key players in the Cosmos ecosystem, including Informal Systems and Interchain Foundation.
This blog post explains what Tendermint is, why a new fork was needed, and what web3 developers can expect. If you already understand what Tendermint is, please skip to section 2 of this post.
Introduction to Tendermint
Tendermint is a consensus engine that provides a high-performance, secure, and fault-tolerant way for multiple nodes to agree on a shared set of data. It is designed to be the backbone of decentralized applications that require high throughput, fast confirmation times, and immediate finality.
Tendermint uses a variant of the classical Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm, called Tendermint Core, to coordinate the agreement between nodes in a decentralized network. This algorithm guarantees safety and liveness even when some nodes are faulty or malicious. Tendermint also provides a rich set of tools and APIs to enable developers to build and deploy their decentralized applications with ease.
The need for a new fork
The recent fork of Tendermint into CometBFT was driven by both political and technical reasons. While the political reasons have been described in this blog, the technical reasons for the fork made the most sense for developers.
One of the main technical reasons for the fork was that the contributors to Tendermint were not the primary company that developed it, which led to a difference in opinion on which software features needed to be added.
Another reason was that there was a disagreement on the level of complexity of the software, with AIB pushing for a more minimal approach while the community wanted more capabilities.
Since the fork in January 2023, the CometBFT team has been rapidly updating the software, with the latest update including ABCI++ v1 and ABCI++ v2 in alpha testing. These updates are providing developers with improved functionality and performance, making CometBFT an attractive option for building decentralized applications.
As a web3 developer, what can you expect from CometBFT?
CometBFT has been designed to provide improved performance compared to Tendermint. This is achieved through a number of optimizations such as reducing the number of messages required to achieve consensus, improving the efficiency of block validation, and reducing the memory footprint required to run a node. These optimizations can result in faster confirmation times and higher throughput, making it easier to build high-performance decentralized applications.
As a web3 developer, the most powerful tool at your disposal is ABCI++. ABCI++ is an application blockchain interface that provides a uniform interface between your application and the underlying blockchain. With ABCI++, you can write your application logic in any programming language, and CometBFT will handle the blockchain-specific details, such as consensus, validation, and storage.
The CometBFT team recognizes the community as an essential part of its growth. They carefully consider the various requests made by the community and aim to improve their interaction with them. Core team members are always attentive to Discord and Telegram messages.
In addition, the team hosts a community call every second Thursday. During these calls, they discuss different ideas, propose solutions, and encourage participation from the community. These calls are hosted and led by the core team of CometBFT, making them interactive and highly valuable.
Disclaimer: I am a Developer Relations Engineer at Informal Systems, the stewards for CometBFT. The views expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or its associates.