Ethereum (ETH) Top 5 Rivals: Tron (TRX), EOS, Stellar (XLM), NEO and Cardano (ADA)
Today, Ethereum has established itself as the second most valuable cryptocurrency projects in the market. The platform is currently at its blockchain 2.0 phase, created by Vitalik Buterin.
The new blockchain networks supports smart contracts, which are coded, self-enforcing, contractual transactions that can replace third parties in various interactions. As a result, the Ethereum network was developed as well. Ethereum provides a platform by which whole blockchain-based ecosystems of different functions can be built. As Ethereum’s white paper states:
What Ethereum intends to provide is a blockchain with a built-in fully fledged Turning-complete programming language that can be used to create “contracts” that can be used to encode arbitrary state transition functions, allowing users to create any of the system described above, as well as others that we have not yet imagined, simply by writing the login in a few lines of code.
At this point, there are over 1880 decentralized applications (dApps) that have been developed on the platform. Many developers opt for the ERC20 token standard to launch initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Further, the Ethereum blockchain, at least according ConsenSys, is one of the most active smart contract platforms – it provides the foundational basis for many of the top tokens in crypt. As ConsenSys stated in a post “Of the top 100 tokens by market cap, 94 percent are built on top of Ethereum. Of the top 800 tokens, 87 percent are built on Ethereum. Most of these tokens are ERC-20 tokens.”
Ethereum also has about 250,000 developers who are working on its projects. Developers use the development framework Truffle, which has been downloaded over 500,00 times. Even with the decline in altcoin rates, download have increased.
The evidence is strong concerning Ethereum’s status. Even with such evidence though, there is some pushback on the network due to its scalability issues. The more applications on the network, the slower it comes. Further, the platform is no stronger to implementing high transaction fees and concerns about the viability of smart contracts over the long term. Although it is currently working to fix its scalability issues, here are some forerunners who may take the lead:
EOS was launched by BlockOne this year by a team featuring some notable names who have also been involved in various blockchain projects and who have greatly contributed to the community. One of the most well-recognized, perhaps, is Daniel Larimer, who also invented the Delegated Proof of Stake(DPoS) protocol and the concept of Decentralized Autonomous Corporations. Larimer also developed the blockchain network Bitshares and social media platform Steemit. Most of his attention now is toward EOS.
EOS describes itself as “the most powerful infrastructure for decentralized applications.” Like Ethereum, it is powered by blockchain and users are able to create and deploy smart contracts. The difference between EOS and Ethereum is that the former has faster transaction speeds and it uses a stoke of protocol as its consensus mechanism. The trouble with the protocol is that many believe that it can lead to decentralization and for many, it is undesirable. Additionally, the EOS network processes transactions without requiring nay fees. Rather, the platform has a one percent inflation rate attached to the network’s native cryptographic token which is distributed to the node holder.
Stellar is another strong contender that is known for its rapid, low-cost cross-border payment systems. According to the platform’s website, “Stellar is a platform that connects banks, payment systems, and people integrate to move money quickly, reliability, at almost no cost.”
The network features interconnected nodes and native cryptographic tokens, called Lumens (XLM), to process payments across international borders with a high level of efficiency. It also does not mater the type of currency the value is denominated. Users simply provide funds, in whatever currency, to a node (anchor), and the funds can be sent to another who can opt for the currency they want to receive it in. The network also includes rapid processes speeds – most transactions are settled within two to five seconds and the fees for the transaction are quite low.
The network also has a smart contract functionality. Though the smart contracts on the network cannot support complex applications, they are still popular among developers because they are easily deployable. The development tools are easy to use, which makes the contracts easy to create without prior programming knowledge. The network also features simple smart contract functionality, which means faster speeds – this feature is especially ideal for token sales. The network also has a decentralized exchange where users can trade tokens immediately upon deployment.
Cardano was developed in 2015 by Charles Haskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum. The platform is described as a third-generation blockchain and it has adopted the name “Ethereum Killer.”
One of the most distinctive qualities concerning this platform Is that it utilizes academically peer-reviewed open source doe to verify that the network runs smoothly and developers have a solid code base to build applications on. The platform also has native cryptographic tokens, donated as ADA. The token can process transactions at high speeds.
Although much of the platform is still in development, developers performed a test in early 2017 and found that it can handle 257 transactions per second. The platform features a proof-of-stake consensus and algorithms known as Ouroboros, which has been recognized as the only mathematically proven security consensus protocol. Moreover, the platform is designed to have two layers, which allows it to function as a token and a platform.
NEO is a Chinese blockchain project, which was formally known as Antshares. The platform is working to leverage blockchain technology to create a smart economy. According to the platform’s website, the platform also “utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets and automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts. Using a distributed network, it aims to create a “smart economy.”
NEO can support smart contracts and decentralized applications, and further, it allows for the digitization of physical assets. The digital identity enables the platform to link tangible assets to their owners and store this information on an immutable blockchain. This allows for a finite number and type of assets to be linked to an identity. The platform also utilizes essential public infrastructure to verify identities, which is an advantage when it comes to adoption as use of this standard means that governments and traditional industries can use the platform.
Lastly, Tron focuses on creating a truly decentralized internet. Developed by Justin Sun, the platform is constantly being compared to Ethereum. Tron does not have any transaction fees, which is a distinct benefit. And it also supports atomic swaps and has an inhouse decentralized exchange.
The platform is also able to support smart and straightforward contracts, written in Java. When compared to Ethereum, the java mechanism here allows more developers to work on the Tron platform. The platform also claims to offer significant scalability due to its Google Probue.
Although Ethereum has a clear first-mover advantage concerning smart contracts and decentralized applications, the above projects can offer some similar functions that perform even better – perhaps more so than Ethereum itself. At this point, it will be interesting to see if and how Ethereum solidifies its status among its competitors over time.