10 Most Promising Blockchain Platforms
Since 2009 when the first blockchain began as the underlying platform for Bitcoin, the technology has evolved so much that it is now used in the mainstream sectors such as healthcare, finance, and software development. Businesses have now begun exploring the potential benefits and capabilities of blockchain by building specific applications to make business processes more efficient and streamlined.
By storing data across its peer-to-peer network, the blockchain eliminates a number of risks that come with data being held centrally. – Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain#Decentralization
As more enterprises are now picking up blockchain technology for their businesses, it’s important to consider which platforms are currently the market leaders. Below we have listed our top 10 blockchain platforms to keep an eye on (in no particular order).
What is a Blockchain Platform?
For those that have been following cryptocurrency, you may have come across the term ‘Blockchain’, which is the term for the record-keeping technology behind Bitcoin. Blockchain platforms enable the development of applications that are based on the blockchain (a chain of blocks that store digital information about transactions, such as date, time, currency amount, and who participated in the transaction).
A few examples of blockchain platforms include Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, and Hyperledger. These frameworks enable people to develop and host a variety of applications on the blockchain.
If you have heard of Bitcoin, then you more than likely would have heard of Ethereum as well. Ethereum is one of the most established cryptocurrencies on the market today, having reached a market cap of $140bn. In fact, roughly 10% of all cryptocurrency market capitalisation is accounted for by Ethereum.
One of the benefits of Ethereum is that it’s not just a cryptocurrency, but it is also a blockchain platform that boasts a range of features such as smart contracts, the Ethereum virtual machine, and Ether.
Benefits of the Ethereum Blockchain Platform
- Decentralised Platform – Ethereum is a decentralised platform which means that no trusted intermediary is required for transaction validation. It uses a consensus mechanism to perform these actions and the smart contracts are also self-executed.
- Faster Transactions – Compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum has a much faster rate of transactions due to the automation of blockchain transactions. Ethereum can also be cheaper as there are no third-party fees that are required to be paid.
- Security – The Ethereum blockchain uses immutable transactions which means that once the data has been written, it can no longer be changed. This increases the security significantly as it makes hacking the network next to impossible. Even the person who uploaded the data cannot edit it.
Ripple is another market leader in the blockchain technology space. Ripple is aimed at connecting banks, digital asset exchanges, and payment providers through a blockchain platform. This network enables global payments through the cryptocurrency known as Ripple or XRP and is now one of the top cryptocurrencies, similar to Ethereum and Bitcoin.
A standout feature that Ripple offers is that is uses advanced blockchain technology so that it’s faster and more scalable than other blockchains.
Benefits of the Ripple Ledger
- Decentralised Platform – Similar to Ethereum, Ripple uses a decentralised platform which gives it the advantage of using less energy whilst also allowing faster verification of transactions without the need of an intermediary.
- Supports Cross-Border Payments – Several companies have now taken advantage of Ripple as they are able to move corporate funds between countries without any delay. American Express is an example of one of the companies that have done this.
- Designed for Corporations & Banks – Ripple is focused on wide-scale adoption of its digital token, XRP or Ripple and has been expanding the adoption in various regions and industries.
EOS is an open-source software that was launched in 2018. It’s now a popular cryptocurrency that uses a blockchain similar to Ethereum and it has been designed for the development of decentralised applications. By offering decentralised application hosting, it aims to solve the scalability issues presented by Bitcoin and Ethereum, whilst also eliminating fees for all users.
Using a delegated proof-of-stake algorithm and multi-threading, EOS is able to achieve consensus for validating transactions.
Benefits of EOS Blockchain
- Free For Users – End users of the EOS blockchain do not have to pay any micropayments to perform tasks or send messages through the EOS blockchain platform.
- Flexible & Scalable - EOS is designed for public or private blockchain networks and has a focus on businesses. The technology used allows it to be focused on mass adoption which means that it’s more scalable than Ethereum.
- Authentication – The EOS platform provides a fully-featured authentication method where user accounts can be given various permission levels to securely save data.
Hyperledger Fabric is the result of IBM’s collaboration with other companies to develop an open-source, production-ready, business blockchain platform that offers improved resilience, flexibility, and confidentiality.
This blockchain platform is aimed at businesses and pushing the technology to commercial mass adoption.
Benefits of Hyperledger Fabric
- Permissioned Networks – This is a decentralised network that enables all participants to have an identifier. The participants in the network should have authority and credibility to engage with the blockchain.
- Modular Platform – Hyperledger Fabric uses a modular architecture that is intended for building blockchain applications. The modularity of the network enables developers to attach their required components.
- Transaction Flow – Transactions are handled differently to other structures and this enables you to make transactions quicker and more efficiently. This is done by reducing the number of checks required and the level of trust needed.
Quorum is an enterprise blockchain that is a fork of the Ethereum client and it was founded by J.P Morgan. It modifies the core of Ethereum and as a result, Quorum can also benefit from Ethereum updates quickly and seamlessly. The main objective of Quorum is to develop an enterprise client that can enable businesses to adopt and embrace blockchain technology.
This open-source platform is free-to-use which makes it very attractive for adoption and for developers.
Benefits of Quorum
- Confidential Transactions – Like other blockchain platforms, Quorum ensures anonymity and confidentiality with transactions and can be a requirement in many sectors, such as healthcare, finance, law, and government.
- Speed and Scalability – As Quorum is focused on the enterprise market, the blockchain network ensures fast transaction speeds and greater scalability for enterprises.
- Security–The technology used in this platform means that the network can only be accessed by authorised entities.
Developed by Coinprism, OpenChain is an open-source distributed ledger technology that has been designed for organisations that are looking to manage their digital assets in a highly secure, robust, and scalable way. OpenChain has a different approach to other popular Bitcoin-based technologies that use a consensus mechanism. OpenChain uses a partitioned consensus which means that every instance will only have one authority to validate transactions.
The client-sided architecture that OpenChain uses is noted to be more efficient than systems that use ‘Proof of Work’.
Benefits of OpenChain
Easy To Setup– Features a very user-friendly system that enables anyone to set up an OpenChain instance within seconds.
Efficient – This platform does not have a miner which means that the transactions are instant, free, and they are validated directly by the asset administrator.
Flexible – This platform can be modelled to work with a wide range of applications, including titles of ownership, licensing, securities, commodities, gift cards, and loyalty points.
IOTA is a popular technology that many consider to be revolutionary and the next-generation of public shared ledgers. IOTA uses a technology called ‘Tangle’ which is able to map transactions onto an entire network, unlike with blockchain where it’s a single data-chain. The potential for this technology is massive as it increases implementation capabilities and the potential applications for IOTA.
With an all-new digital framework, IOTA promises to provide innovation at a large and industrial scale.
Benefits of IOTA
Scalability – IOTA offers technology that is ready for the future and is suitable for large scale applications. It reduces the costs that would be required by removing key areas of traditional mining.
Lower Transaction Fees – The system that IOTA uses allows the transaction rates to greatly increase as more users utilise the platform. By using a unique consensus mechanism, it also reduces the confirmation times.
Micro-Payments –In typical blockchain-based platforms, the sender of the transaction sets the transaction fees, which makes smaller payments unfeasible. However, IOTA enables smaller payments to have little to no transaction fees.
Although not as popular as other top blockchains, such as Bitcoin, Stellar is considered to be the main blockchain for emerging markets as it supports faster and cheaper transactions. It’s a distributed blockchain-based ledger that can be used for cross-asset transferring.
Stellar aim is to be a platform that is able to connect banks, payment systems, and people together. With this blockchain, money can be moved across borders quickly and reliably, whilst also costing next to nothing. The Stellar token is called "Lumen" or also known as ‘XLM’ and has an impressive market cap of $1.3 billion.
Benefits of Stellar
A Scalable Solution–Stellar is considered to have the best combination of high transaction speeds, lowest costs, and exceptional capabilities with handling thousands of transactions per second. Experts say that Stellar is able to achieve a confirmation time of 3 – 5 seconds with transactions fees that cost a fraction of a penny.
Decentralised System – This blockchain uses a decentralised system that is based on a peer-to-peer network. As Stellar is decentralised, it means that no centralised entity that makes all of the decisions in the network.
Smart Contracts –Smart contracts can be developed and executed through this blockchain platform. Although it’s not as complete as Ethereum’s, Stellar’s environment for smart contracting will enable new Dala Network Protocols to be developed.
Corda is a well-established blockchain/distributed ledger platform that many businesses are now using to develop applications. This is an open-source blockchain platform that enables businesses to make direct transactions with confidentiality using smart contracts. This platform has been built on a global blockchain ecosystem which means it can benefit from continuous development and support from the community and the developers.
Corda is a platform that is aimed towards businesses that are looking to streamline business operations whilst reducing transaction costs.
Benefits of Corda
Open-source – As Corda is developed as an open-source platform, it benefits from continuous support from the community as well as the developers. This means that support is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Scalable – Corda features a highly flexible platform that can be scaled to meet the demands of any business. It’s also a decentralised platform which means that all communication between nodes are direct and arranged in a peer-to-peer network. No central authority is required to validate transactions.
Security – This platform uses client-sided hardware to hold private keys which provides the benefit of added security. This means that there is no single point of failure in the event that a node is hacked. To further increase security, integrated fingerprint scanners can also be added to the device.
The NEO blockchain is another popular open-source platform that is used to manage digital assets through peer-to-peer exchange. Formerly known as Antshares, NEO was founded by Da HongFei in 2014 and has since taken the title of ‘Ethereum of China’. This platform supports a wide range of programming languages which enabled widespread adoption amongst developers that use C++, C#, Python, Java, and Go.
The NEO ecosystem is seen to have a thriving network of partners and projects which they claim to enable them to be the foundation for next-generation internet.
Benefits of NEO
Faster Transactions – With a focus on speed and efficiency, experts say that NEO is able to process approximately 10,000 transactions per second. When compared to Ethereum, it is said that Ethereum is only able to process approximately 15 transactions per second which is a significant difference.
Compliant with Regulations – As NEO is one of the biggest cryptocurrency networks in China, it is also compliant with Chinese regulations. This can be advantageous for Chinese blockchain start-ups.
Multiple Coin Support – NEO is able to support two cryptocurrencies, NEO and GAS. These are two distinct tokens.
Read More on Crypto News Australia
The world of cryptocurrency is constantly changing. You can stay up to date with the latest Australian Crypto news here. Or, if you would like to learn more about digital currencies, then please visit our Guides section for more tips, advice, and information.