What is CosmWasm?

"CosmWasm" is short for "Cosmos WebAssembly". It is the smart contracting platform built for the Cosmos Ecosystem and is the principal means by which Developers are able build, deploy and execute smart contracts on MANTRA Chain.


CosmWasm Smart Contracts are written in a language called Rust.

The Rust language is a multi-paradigm programming language focused on performance and safety, particularly safe concurrency. It is syntactically similar to C++, but is designed to provide better memory safety while maintaining high performance.

Key features of Rust include:

  1. Memory Safety: Rust's ownership system, with its rules of borrowing, lifetimes, and mutability, ensures memory safety without needing a garbage collector. This prevents common bugs such as null or dangling pointers and buffer overflows.

  2. Concurrency Without Data Races: Rust's type system and ownership rules enable concurrent programming without data races, making it easier to write programs that perform well without the pitfalls of traditional concurrent programming.

  3. Zero-Cost Abstractions: Rust's "zero-cost abstractions" mean that higher-level abstractions compile to low-level code as efficient as if you wrote it in a lower-level language like C or C++.

  4. Type Inference: Rust has powerful type inference which allows the developer to write less boilerplate without losing the safety of static typing.

  5. Pattern Matching: Rust has a powerful pattern matching syntax that allows for complex and expressive control flow decisions based on the structure of data.

  6. Error Handling: Rust has a robust error-handling system using the Result<T, E> and Option<T> enums for recoverable errors and the panic! macro for unrecoverable errors, encouraging developers to handle errors explicitly.

  7. Package Manager and Build System: Rust comes with Cargo, its own package manager and build system, which simplifies dependency management and makes building and testing Rust programs easy.

  8. Cross-Compilation: Rust supports cross-compilation, which allows developers to compile programs for different platforms from one machine.

  9. Ecosystem: Rust has a growing ecosystem with a rich set of tools and libraries (crates) for various tasks, from web development to embedded systems.

  10. Tooling: The Rust toolchain includes a built-in test framework, a powerful documentation tool, and a format tool, all of which contribute to a positive development experience.

  11. Community: Rust has an enthusiastic and welcoming community, with an emphasis on inclusivity and friendliness, which has contributed to its rapid growth and adoption.


WebAssembly, often abbreviated as Wasm, is a binary instruction format for a stack-based virtual machine. It's designed as a portable compilation target for programming languages, enabling deployment on the web for client and server applications.

Here's a breakdown of its key characteristics:

  1. Efficiency and Performance: WebAssembly is designed to be fast to load and execute, providing near-native performance by taking advantage of common hardware capabilities available on a wide range of platforms, including mobile and desktop devices.

  2. Language Agnostic: WebAssembly is designed to be a compilation target for any language, not just JavaScript. It has gained significant attention from communities of languages like C, C++, Rust, Go, and many others.

  3. Safe: Code executed in WebAssembly runs in a sandboxed environment, ensuring that the executing code cannot access or compromise the running system.

  4. Open and Debuggable: Despite being a binary format, it is designed to be readable and debuggable (when converted to its textual format). It is an open standard developed by a W3C Community Group that includes representatives from all major browsers.

  5. Compact and Modular: WebAssembly is designed to be small and fast to load. It supports splitting applications into smaller parts that can be loaded on demand.

  6. Platform-Independent: It is designed to run on existing web platforms as a complement to JavaScript, which means it works across different web browsers without needing to rewrite the code for specific architectures.

  7. Interoperable: WebAssembly is designed to interoperate with JavaScript and other web technologies, allowing it to call into and out of JavaScript code, manipulate the DOM, and maintain compatibility with existing web APIs.

  8. Integration with Web Platform: WebAssembly modules can be imported and used in web pages using the same mechanisms as JavaScript modules.

The combination of Rust and Wasm makes the CosmWasm platform a fast, reliable, and safe mechanism for developing, deploying and executing smart contracts on MANTRA Chain.

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