Peng Zhong is the CEO of Ignite (formerly known as Tendermint), a company that specializes in building blockchain software. The company primarily backs the Cosmos network, which includes its native ATOM cryptocurrency. Zhong first joined Ignite in 2015 as its chief design officer. He is widely known for creating the first Cosmos crypto wallet, Voyager — which was later renamed Lunie.
Zhong currently leads Ignite, a core contributor to the Cosmos ecosystem. Cosmos was built to allow seamless interoperability between different blockchains by making information flow and transactions easier to execute, marketing itself as the “Internet of Blockchains.”
Ignit’s auxiliary products include Tendermint Core, a solution that prevents blockchain network failures by utilizing a Byzantine-fault tolerant protocol, enabling systems to replicate implementations across numerous machines. The model allows blockchain networks to become more fault-tolerant during systemic failures.
2021 was a busy year for Zhong. In March, Ignite launched its Inter-Blockchain Communication system to improve communication between different networks. By late 2021, the platform had drawn approximately 20 blockchain networks and was handling just over 1 million blockchain transactions per month. Speaking to Cointelegraph in November, Zhong expressed optimism in the project and proclaimed that the number of blockchain networks using IBC would most likely breach the 200 mark by the end of 2022.
The Cosmoverse introduced another concept in 2021: liquid staking. According to Zhong, the protocol was developed to allow users to stake while simultaneously providing liquidity to decentralized exchanges. The strategy allows network users to increase returns by investing in multiple platforms at the same time.
In March, Cosmos unveiled a new $20 million fund to support promising on-chain projects. According to the company’s announcement, the fund will provide liquidity to nascent projects to help catalyze their development.
Led by Zhong, the Cosmos team is presently working on a number of upgrades for the network, including its Interchain Security feature, which will allow major chains to lend their security to smaller chains by handling validation and delegator processes. Additionally, the development will allow newer projects to be introduced to the Cosmos community in their early stages.
Another upcoming feature for the Cosmos network is Interchain Accounts, which will allow users to control accounts on connected blockchain systems without having to transfer tokens out of the primary chain. Because the Cosmos network has numerous chains, the solution will eliminate the need to move tokens across blockchains when there is a need to use a different network. Cosmos also plans to launch a series of incentivized testnets during the first half of the year that will allow users to test for vulnerabilities before their official launch.
Cosmos is likely to experience an increase in innovative blockchain systems in 2022. According to Zhong, there are some groundbreaking projects on the platform that are still in beta, including Pylons, a Cosmos-based nonfungible-token engine that allows enthusiasts with no programming skills to launch their own NFT marketplaces.