Noble is an application-specific blockchain (appchain) designed for native asset issuance in the Cosmos ecosystem. This means Cosmos is no longer forced to rely on token bridges to bring non-native assets into its ecosystem. Instead, assets can be minted and burned directly on the Noble appchain.
Issuance isn’t limited to just crypto assets either. Noble has ambitions of being the “world’s premier issuance hub for [interoperable] digital assets", so financial institutions can also tokenize and issue real world assets (RWAs) on Noble. The appchain went live on March 27th.
Oh, and friendship. Noble is all about friendship.
Data suggests new listings on Osmosis, especially non-native asset listings, attract more users and liquidity to Cosmos. Users have to bridge non-native assets, but bridges in general are only as efficient as they are liquid. Large transfers may incur heavy slippage, and users/protocols that hold bridged assets rely entirely on the security of their bridge. Most non-native assets aren’t listed on Cosmos bridges to begin with. All of this limits liquidity potential, and Cosmonauts on every appchain suffer as a result.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”--C.S. Lewis
This is especially true for native stablecoin liquidity, which Cosmos took a massive hit to following the Terra $UST collapse. Tokens like $USDC, $wETH, $wBTC, and $DAI are all non-native/bridged assets, which account for a lot of Osmosis's liquidity and are in pools that generate most fees. The issuers behind these assets do not have an easy way to deploy natively on Cosmos.
Noble completely transforms Cosmos’s reliance on bridged liquidity with its “issuance-specific” blockchain. Protocols and companies can easily deploy their tokens on Noble using a standard framework that all blockchain developers are familiar with, and tokens issued on Noble can be seamlessly transferred across the IBC ecosystem.
Noble’s infrastructure gives full control to asset issuers, so companies like Circle and Tether can maintain their usual compliance model. This “gateway” built by Noble will greatly improve IBC-native liquidity, especially stablecoins. Noble’s appchain is a super convenient avenue for any type of issuers, including institutions looking to issue real world assets (RWAs). Noble’s role in enterprise adoption on Cosmos seems inevitable.
Noble is built with the Cosmos SDK, a toolkit for building custom appchains that run on the Tendermint consensus engine. Noble’s appchain is specifically for deploying token contracts and issuing digital assets.
Noble is IBC-enabled, so it can connect to 50+ other IBC appchains in the Cosmos universe. The network uses a “packet forwarding” middleware (same one Osmosis added in its recent v15 upgrade) to allow single-transaction IBC transfers to any appchain. This greatly improves UX for IBC transfers where users no longer need to transact across multiple appchains to get to their destination.
Noble planned to launch with Interchain Security, but the team has decided to wait until ICS is time-tested before it’s adopted on Noble. Interchain Security is consensus infrastructure that allows IBC appchains to “rent” Cosmos Hub validators to secure their chain (rather than using their own validator set). Concerns with ICS mostly revolve around slashing not being automatic, but instead a vote approved by Hub governance.
In the meantime, Noble will use Proof-of-Authority (PoA) consensus. To make PoA the next best alternative until ICS, several trusted Hub validators have been chosen for the PoA validator set. Misbehaving validators are permanently removed from the Noble validator set. A 5/7 multisig of Cosmos community organizations will also be able to push updates to the chain (which can be refused by a 1/3+ vote by validators).
Gas fees can be paid in any Cosmos asset, including assets that are issued on Noble. Since $USDC will be the first to launch, it will be the primary gas token until more assets deploy on Noble.
New assets are added to the chain by vote of the 5/7 multisig. Issuers can easily deploy their assets on Noble using the handy TokenFactory framework from Osmosis. TokenFactory lets all issuers alike customize control over their asset to their own standards.
Both crypto assets and tokenized real world assets (RWAs) can be issued on Noble. This makes Noble the first infrastructure ever designed for generalized asset issuance, which could pique the interest of institutions like banks looking to leverage blockchain. RWAs have plenty of potential benefits for traditional markets such as lowering costs, increasing transaction speeds, more transparency, fractal ownership, making markets more accessible, etc., well-outlined in a 2020 piece (PDF) by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
With IBC, Noble can connect to dozens of other IBC-enabled Cosmos appchains. Circle is the first issuer to launch on Noble with native issuance of its $USDC stablecoin, and combined with Circle’s interoperability protocol this could bring a flood of new stablecoin liquidity into the IBC ecosystem.
The Noble team has confirmed it is in talks with other asset issuers as well, including RWA issuers. The Frax Finance founder has also mentioned talks with Noble, which would give Cosmonauts a new decentralized stablecoin option and $FRAX holders a gateway to the IBC ecosystem.
The Noble team is made up of some of the most admired minds in Cosmos (Zaki, Jelena, Jack, Stefan). Technical development and outreach has so far been guided by Strangelove, a well-respected organization of builders behind countless impactful IBC innovations. Noble is building out an in-house technical team to manage development and maintenance of the chain, and will continue to work with Strangelove through a formal partnership.
$FRNZ Price: N/A
Circulating Supply: N/A
Total Supply: 500
Market Capitalization: N/A
The $FRNZ token will be issued by Noble to be exclusively redeemed for a physical object, in this case, a friendship bracelet. It is not meant to be the native token of Noble, but rather is designed to show the functionality of the chain and uniquely generate enthusiasm for Noble.
The total supply is very small, so each $FRNZ token is divisible into 1 million “microfrienzies”. 300 $FRNZ tokens, or 300 million microfrienzies, will be airdropped April 3rd to users across 10 chains in the March 27th snapshot. Noble will provide 100 $FRNZ tokens as liquidity on Osmosis, Kujira, Wynd, and Crescent, and will keep 100 $FRNZ in a “miscellaneous reserve” for distributing to the broader Cosmos community, topping up $FRNZ liquidity, etc.
1 $FRNZ token can be redeemed for a physical Noble friendship bracelet, and anyone can burn 50,000 microfrienzies to get whitelisted for a special Noble NFT that will be available on Stargaze. Bracelet redemptions will be done via Swift Protocol on Juno.
Noble’s generic chain for asset issuance is a meaningful step for the Cosmos ecosystem. Powered by Tendermint and friendship, Cosmonauts on every appchain can start to enjoy exponentially more IBC-native liquidity thanks to Noble.
Not only this, but Noble can grow as a major facet in the institutional and enterprise adoption of blockchain. Its potential has no bounds, and it’s all being built on Cosmos.
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DISCLOSURE: I do qualify for the $FRNZ airdrop. The information provided in this article is solely for educational purposes and should not be considered as financial advice. The views expressed in this article are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any company or organization. I have not been compensated in any way for writing this article. Readers should always conduct their own research and seek professional advice before making any financial decisions.