Currently, the smart contract platform space is more stacked than it has ever been before. It seems like every single month, a promising new project is coming out that’s threatening to become a leader in this space. Objectively speaking, five blockchain projects are currently dominating this space:
Let’s go through these projects one-by-one and then see which one could be the dominating force in the future.
Ethereum, like Bitcoin, currently uses the proof-of-work (POW) consensus algorithm. We have specialized nodes called miners within the network that use mining tools called “ASICs” to add new blocks to the blockchain. In exchange, they get a block reward, which currently stands at around 2 ETH. The protocol will soon shift to proof-of-stake (POS), where validators will have a stake within the ecosystem. The validators get a reward that’s proportional to the stake they are holding within the system.
Ethereum’s advantage comes from the fact that it was the very first dApp platform in the space. It has the healthiest developer community in the space and it already has some good quality apps hosted on top of it.
Cosmos uses the popular Tendermint algorithms, which is a variation of pBFT or practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance.
The main advantage of Comos lies in the utility it can potentially bring into the system. By becoming a hub of the interconnecting public chains like Ethereum, Tezos, etc., Cosmos can, no pun intended, become a hub of unprecedented blockchain activity. In a decentralized future, an interconnecting hub like Cosmos will be indispensable.
Cardano’s consensus mechanism is Ouroboros, a peer-reviewed, proof-of-stake algorithm. Cardano allows its validators to pool together their resources in “stake pools.” Cardano divides its entire timeline into small blocks called “epochs.” A staking pool gets randomly chosen to validate blocks during the epoch.
Cardano ensures high-assurance code by integrating functional programming. The core code of the protocol is written in Haskell, while smart contracts will be coded in Plutus. Smart contracts coded in functional language are formally verified, making them less bug-prone.
Tezos uses the liquid proof-of-stake (LPOS) consensus mechanism, which champions the principle of liquid democracy. In this system, you can either take part in the consensus yourself or delegate your stake to someone else and let them take part in it for you. The entities that participate in the consensus process are called “bakers,” and the process is called “baking.”
The most fascinating aspect of Tezos is its self-governing system, which mitigates the need for any hard forks. Any voting and governance are done on-chan. Proposals are brought forward by the community, which are promptly voted on by the bakers. The voting process can be modified as needed.
Traditional POS algorithms are highly skewed towards people who already own a large amount of the native tokens. The higher your stake, the more your chances of getting to sign a block. Algorand adopts a more egalitarian method. ALGO token holders are randomly and secretly chosen to add blocks to the main blockchain. The holders are chosen irrespective of the size of their stake.
Algorand’s innovative tech and PPOS consensus system give it a high level of speed and security. This has, in turn, attracted a lot of valuable partnerships, such as:
SFB Technologies: To create a CBDC for Marshall Islands called “SOV.”
Meld: To tokenize gold and track it over its supply chain.
DUST Identity: Authenticate physical objects over the blockchain.
World Chess: The official broadcaster of the World Chess Federation events.
Italian Society of Authors and Publishers (SIAE): Develop copyright management tools and services.
International Blockchain Monetary Reserve (IBMR): To create stablecoin called Asia Reserve Currency Coin (ARCC) to promote financial inclusion in Southeast Asia
AssetBlock: A real estate startup that’s looking to launch its platform on Algorand
PlanetWatch: A CERN spinoff that’s building the world’s first immutable air quality ledger.
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