4 Blockchain Contenders in Competition with Ethereum

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4 Blockchain Contenders in Competition with Ethereum

With the introduction of Ethereum, a new paradigm emerged in the still-young blockchain sector, shifting its emphasis away from cryptocurrencies as financial instruments and toward a more utilitarian purpose. Processes involving data transactions may attain autonomy while being irrefutable and transparent using smart contracts on Ethereum and comparable blockchains. Smart contracts are being used by startups and established organizations alike to design low-overhead work processes, and creatives are employing them in their ideas as well.

Crypto Kitties, a recent initiative on Ethereum’s platform, has been the buzz of the community for a variety of reasons. The premise behind Crypto Kitties is that users may use Ethereum to trade and breed virtual pet cats using smart contracts, resulting in some unique and intriguing “cattributes.” The more unusual a cat’s feature, the more valuable it is in ETH.

Despite, or maybe because of, the novelty of the concept, the basic game soared in popularity. Through the Crypto Kitties smart contract, it momentarily took over 13% of traffic on Ethereum’s network. The incident greatly hampered Ethereum’s scaling efforts and showed several formidable challenges. (For more, see CryptoKitties Are Still a Thing.) This is why.)

Ethereum’s Achilles Heel

Ethereum has a long road ahead of it if it wants to become the world’s “decentralized computer.” Even Ethereum’s inventor, Vitalik Buterin, questions the platform’s present scalability, stating, “Scalability [now] stinks; the blockchain architecture fundamentally depends on bottlenecks where individual nodes must execute every single transaction in the whole network.”

He’s right. The Ethereum blockchain is growing in size, with a growing impact on the hardware of both miners and consumers. Furthermore, its rather obsolete algorithmic design wastes the chain’s processing capacity and yields a pitiful amount of transactions per second. This is a concern for companies that depend on Ethereum smart contracts, and it has an influence on the currency’s future applicability and pricing. Fortunately, there are other blockchain-based smart contract platforms that are attempting to further the idea.

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1. QTUM

QTUM, a hybrid cryptocurrency platform that combines the finest features of bitcoin and Ethereum, is one of the most viable candidates for Ethereum’s crown. As a consequence, the solution mimics bitcoin core while also including an Abstract Accounting Layer that provides QTUM’s blockchain smart contract capability through a more robust x86 Virtual Machine.

This is essentially an off-layer scaling solution similar to what bitcoin is doing with SegWit and the Lightning Network, coupled with the ability to develop and host smart contracts. This has made QTUM a popular destination for developers, who enjoy the platform’s protective provisions, which make it almost hard to commit the kind of code violations that may one day become a multi-million-dollar issue. They also value the inclusion of second-layer storage, despite its consequences for decentralization, since robust business applications are, as they should be, their main goal.

2. Ethereum Classic

The first hard fork experienced by the cryptocurrency world was Ethereum forking from Ethereum Classic in 2013, which resulted in the creation of a new prototype with the goal of filling holes in Ethereum’s code. The issue arose from a hack in which one person stole more than $50 million in ETH from a smart contract that was keeping them in escrow as part of the initial DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) initiative.

Following the hacker’s creation of a bug that allowed users to withdraw ETH rather than deposit it, the community opted to build a new chain that was backwards-compatible with the previous one, allowing errors like this to be rectified and currencies restored to their rightful owners. The hard fork added a new update to the old Ethereum code, making it difficult to go back, even in the instance of terrible breaches, which there have been plenty. Because of a dynamic and active community, Ethereum Classic is constantly improved in this way and, despite its age, keeps up with other projects.

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3. NEO

For good reason, NEO is often referred to as “China’s Ethereum.” For starters, both market themselves as hosts of decentralized apps (dApps), initial coin offerings (ICOs), and smart contracts. Both are open source, however whereas Ethereum is backed by a democratic foundation of developers, NEO has the complete endorsement of the Chinese government. This has made it popular both locally and internationally, as well as for its distinct value offer.

Instead of proof-of-work, NEO employs a more energy-efficient consensus method known as dBFT (decentralized Byzantium Fault Tolerant), which allows it to process 10,000 transactions per second. Furthermore, it supports more programming languages than Ethereum. People can create dApps in Java, C#, and, shortly, Python and Go, making this a viable alternative for entrepreneurs with huge ideas while also contributing to its long-term sustainability.

4. Cardano

Cardano, one of the newest entrants in the smart contract platform competition, is a dual-layer solution with a novel twist. The platform contains a unit of account and a control layer that supervises the usage of smart contracts, identifies identity, and maintains some distance from the currency it supports.

Cardano is written in Haskell, a programming language best suited for commercial applications and data analysis, hence its future uses are expected to be financial or organizational in nature. Cardano is a potentially game-changing solution because to its excellent balance of public sector usage and privacy protection, although it is still in its early stages. While the development team’s adoption of rigorous, rigid scientific approach slows growth, it is expected to be free of the parity and security flaws that plague its more hastily built contemporaries.

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The Bottom Line

Despite its flaws, Ethereum continues to be the gold standard for smart contracts and blockchain-based applications. All of these new competitors have interesting value propositions, but they must also demonstrate that they can attract a large enough user base to allow for mainstream acceptance and success.

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