In brief

  • Tendermint has announced that 10 engineers and researchers working on Cosmos’s core technology are parting ways with the startup
  • They will continue to work independently on the platform and its forthcoming Inter Blockchain Protocol
  • Tendermint, meanwhile, will focus on the community, develop the Cosmos SDK and founder Jae Kwon’s new project Virgo

For some reason, Tendermint, a core developer of the Cosmos blockchain, also refers to itself as “All in Bits.” Today, that alias seems more than apt: the startup announced that 10 engineers and researchers working on Cosmos’s core technology are parting ways with Tendermint/All In Bits. 

The devs will continue to develop the blockchain, funded by the project’s administrator the Interchain Foundation, said the startup's announcement. A company spokesman told Decrypt that what remains of Tendermint will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Interchain Foundation, whose President is Cosmos founder Jae Kwon. 

For many, the news holds little surprise. Bitter infighting over conflicts of interest, governance and other issues has consumed the startup recently, and appears to have precipitated its drive towards decentralization sooner than some would have wished


Restructuring is needed “to better enable the Cosmos Network to proliferate and make progress without risk of running into bottlenecks,” said the announcement.

A roll call of resignations

On Monday, Decrypt reported that Tendermint director Zaki Manian had resigned, but will continue to work on the project. The company’s Director of Product, Jack Zampolin, subsequently told us that he had also departed. And Tuesday’s announcement adds Director of Security Jessy Irwin to the roll call of resignations. 

The core development of Cosmos will now relocate to Berlin, and operate as a “new, independent Berlin-based GmbH,” said the announcement. It will run as a cooperative without a CEO, the Cosmos spokesperson further explained, ruling out Manian’s formal involvement. 


The remainder of the company will “coordinate with the new team and communicate updates to the greater Cosmos community,”  develop the Cosmos SDK (Software Development Kit ) team and a bootstrapping team for Kwon’s new project Virgo, according to the announcement. 

Virgo: a movement aimed at solving world issues

Virgo is described in the announcement, as “a community and a movement aimed at solving world issues with better org tech (powered by Cosmos-based blockchains.)” 


The project will build what sounds like an Open Source stack of decentralized technologies. It will be funded by the Interchain Foundation under a separate budget, and there are plans to diversify Tendermint’s board, according to the announcement. Currently, Kwon is its sole board member and CEO. 

“We are truly grateful to the open-source contributors of this project within an ecosystem which has taken on a life of its own,” said the announcement. “Without this vibrant, understanding, and collaborative community, we would just be another technology company.” 

Cosmos token holders would seem to be in accord. While the team may be splitting, ATOM rose over 5 percent following the news.  

Daily Debrief Newsletter

Start every day with the top news stories right now, plus original features, a podcast, videos and more.