The ATOM Economic Zone (AEZ) is an interconnected system of specialised appchains at the centre of the Cosmos ecosystem. Enabled by the launch of Replicated Security (RS) back in March (see edition #69 for DeFi Definition on Replicated Security), its design allows the Cosmos Hub and its consumer chains to work collaboratively on economic security through their aligned use of Cosmos’ native ATOM cryptocurrency.
To briefly recap, RS is a security model that enables the Cosmos Hub to provide security by lending its validators to these specialised consumer chains. The AEZ is deemed a crucial architectural vertical to the Cosmos ecosystem as it provides utility to ATOM and encourages collaboration between projects. As with any Web3 economy, it has been designed to include a variety of appchains and projects that encompass all existing pillars of DeFi.
At present, the AEZ has onboarded Neutron, an interchain smart contract platform; and Stride, a liquid staking protocol. While open to other forms of security models such as Opt-in Security and Mesh Security, the AEZ is still incredibly new and will continue to develop along with the rest of the wider Cosmos ecosystem.