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21 Jul 2023

5 min read

Wormhole Gateway: The Gateway to the Cosmos Ecosystem


Gateway connects liquidity and users from 23+ blockchains to Cosmos chains and apps, all with one IBC-based liquidity router.

Today at Osmocon, the Wormhole Foundation announced the launch of Wormhole Gateway -  an application-specific blockchain, powered by the Cosmos SDK.

About Gateway

Gateway’s purpose is to help broaden access (and bring liquidity) to the Cosmos ecosystem while also improving Wormhole’s security and sovereignty. Gateway will enable all of Wormhole’s 23+ connected blockchains across 6 runtimes to be connected to Cosmos via one simple IBC integration. This will enable users to bridge funds to any Cosmos appchain with zero additional bridging fees.

How does Gateway work?

Bridging with Gateway from non-Cosmos chains to Cosmos.
Gateway is compatible and complimentary to IBC and provides unified liquidity across Cosmos chains.

Gateway works by enabling improved transparency and transaction security on Gateway’s public ledger. In practical terms, an entity will bridge a token to any Cosmos chain via Gateway, that asset will be locked, and a new ICS-20 will be minted on Gateway that will be sent to the destination chain via IBC. The resulting ICS-20 asset will be fungible via Strangelove’s packet forward middleware.  Gateway also leverages IBC Hooks for a seamless integration with CosmWasm contracts.

Who is Gateway for?

Gateway was built with two users in mind: Cosmos developers who want to seamlessly onboard users and liquidity from other ecosystems like Ethereum and Solana, and users who want to bridge their assets to or from Cosmos. Anyone will be able to use Gateway to transfer bridge assets that are fungible across Cosmos chains. Note that there will not be a front-end for Gateway, so users will never interact directly with the chain but rather leverage the technology in the background while doing a cross-chain transfer.

One of the first appchains that will be integrated with Wormhole Gateway is Osmosis. Osmosis is a leader in the Cosmos ecosystem in IBC activity, volume, and fees generated, and is a leader in the DeFi space broadly. Wormhole Foundation had the opportunity to announce Gateway today at Osmocon, the community conference hosted in Paris by the team behind Osmosis.

"We're thrilled to welcome Wormhole to the Cosmos, and to celebrate the launch of Gateway together with our fellow Cosmonauts at Osmocon in Paris.

Wormhole's Gateway creates a secure and much-needed bridge between Cosmos and 20+ other crypto networks, unlocking seamless cross-chain liquidity and message routing.

This will bring new liquidity and users into the Cosmos ecosystem, further cement Osmosis' role as Cosmos' liquidity hub, and supercharge all IBC-enabled chains." — Sunny Aggarwal, Co-Founder, Osmosis Labs

When/where/how can I start using Gateway?

More details will be shared soon™. Gateway will be connected with several major Cosmos chains at launch, with plans to expand to connect with as much of the interchain as possible soon thereafter.

Why Gateway was built on Cosmos

Gateway was built using the Cosmos SDK for a multitude of reasons, but primarily because it helps increase Wormhole’s transparency/sovereignty, enables Wormhole to utilize IBC light clients (a gold standard for security), and further improves Wormhole’s ability to enable the free-flow of information and value across blockchains.

Improving Transparency

Gateway acts as a sovereign verification layer for Wormhole messages, adding a second means of protection to Wormhole's own Guardian consensus mechanism on a verifiably transparent public ledger. As the Wormhole platform has matured, one priority has been to improve transparency of the Guardian consensus mechanism without sacrificing the independent nature of that consensus mechanism, so building Gateway using the Cosmos SDK was a natural choice.


Light clients have always been the end goal for security in bridging, and IBC is a gold standard.  Using IBC to transport Wormhole messages allows Gateway to leverage IBC’s time-tested protocol while minimizing infrastructure overhead for the guardian network.

Additionally, building on Cosmos has enabled us to add enhanced security features like Global Accountant, a CosmWasm-based module that ensures that fungibility of native and wrapped assets remain in 1:1 parity. We also look forward to contributing to the security of the overall Cosmos-ecosystem with Wormhole features like Governor, a module for limiting cross-chain contagion during hacks.  

Enabling Value Flow Across Chains

Wormhole’s modular interoperability platform enables the free flow of value across blockchains.  Cosmos itself is designed around this same core concept, and we accordingly designed Gateway to be a better, safer, and more affordable on-ramp to the Cosmos ecosystem than existing solutions. This furthers both Wormhole and Cosmos’ missions by seamlessly bridging Cosmos chains to other ecosystems.

Improving the Cosmos developer experience with Gateway

One IBC connection to reach all of crypto

Wormhole Gateway is an application-specific blockchain powered by the Cosmos SDK. Through Gateway, Cosmos can access seamless cross-chain liquidity and message routing with one simple IBC integration.

Purpose-built for Cosmos

Gateway leverages the flexibility of the Cosmos SDK and CosmWasm to enable seamless composability between the Wormhole Stack and the Cosmos Ecosystem.

No additional bridging fees

Gateway’s purpose is to drive liquidity to grow the Cosmos ecosystem, not to charge users additional fees for transferring their own assets.

Fungible assets via IBC

Gateway utilizes the ICS-20 standard for IBC-native token bridging, ensuring greater fungibility of assets, compliance with Cosmos protocols, and a better experience for users.

Deep interchain liquidity

Gateway and the greater Wormhole ecosystem have industry-leading liquidity and integrations across Ethereum, Solana, and over 20 other chains. This means driving liquidity of top assets like stETH and tBTC to the Cosmos ecosystem.

Start Building with Gateway

Interested in building with Gateway? Follow these simple steps to get started:

About Wormhole

Wormhole is the industry standard cross-chain messaging protocol powering applications across Web3. Wormhole provides developers access to liquidity and users on over 20 of the leading blockchain networks, enabling use cases that span DeFi, NFTs, governance, and more. Wormhole enables a growing suite of products to build on its messaging layer. Wormhole Connect is a key asset layer product, providing developers an in-app bridging widget that can be integrated in as few as 3 lines of code. The wider Wormhole network is trusted and used by teams like Circle and Uniswap, and to date, the platform has facilitated the transfer of over 35 billion dollars through hundreds of millions of cross-chain messages.

To learn more about Wormhole, visit wormhole.com, chat with us on Discord, or find Wormhole Connect integration details at wormhole.com/connect

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