Ethereum (ETH) is an open-source, blockchain-based platform that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications. Ethereum was initiated in 2013, although it went live in July 2015. Ethereum has its own in built cryptocurrency called Ether that miners work to earn, which in turn is used to pay for transaction fees and services on the Ethereum Network. It is among the most popular blockchain platforms in existence and is always behind Bitcoin in the coin market cap charts.
Ethereum is equipped with smart contracts that enable the execution of terms of the contract once the set conditions are met. Ethereum is behind the popularization of the term smart contracts and due to the success of the smart contracts, many new digital platforms are coming up vying the Ethereum position and the chance to become the go-to smart contract.
Some of the contracts include:
The basis of EOS is the EOS.IS software, which provides a blockchain architecture. EOS aims at being the best in offering smart contracts. In order to create an ultimate scalable blockchain platform, EOS combines the smart contracts and dApp support from Ethereum and security of Bitcoin. EOS plans to have practically anything a decentralized application development team may need. This includes shared databases, account recovery, authentication systems, cloud storage and hosting, potentially infinite scaling etc. All this can be paid for by staking money in EOS tokens. With all the provided frameworks, companies can create monetization and service strategies to their users easily.
Everything on EOS is done upon people’s approval. The approvals are done through voting by the EOS community participants. The votes are based on which applications are running as expected or which source codes need to be changed.
The main function of the EOS tokens is to act as stakeholders for both the developers and the community members.
WAVES is one unique platform. This is so because it provides a network where developers can create tokens for any project that they can think of. Additionally, Waves platform combines decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) which can enable the creation and launch of your own cryptocurrency. DEX uses an automated formula to make orders as terms are met.
The custom tokens on WAVES are known as CATS and can be used like any other cryptocurrency coin. Any crypto-to-crypto transfers on WAVES are anonymous; however, any user who buys using fiat currencies will need to be verified through Know Your Customer (KYC). Waves operate on a proof-of-stake algorithm not proof-of-work. Therefore, there tokens are leased out through proof-of-stake which means that users can lease their tokens on a full node that runs the network. The higher you stake on WAVES the more you have, and the higher the chances of processing the following block that could lead to a reward inform of a transaction fee.
With the provided decentralized exchange, WAVES platform can be the best to launch an ICO on, considering that, it has held many successful token sales. Notably, they are planning to launch their smart contract language this year.
Several up-coming coins are showing a good promise for the future and Stratis is one of them. Stratis supports C# and is compatible with the Microsoft’s .NET framework. The main objective of Stratis is to provide everyone with a customizable blockchain. The focus is to streamline the development process and ensuring they provide the company in need with new projects that are private and unique.
Mostly, companies are expected to build an expensive and complicated blockchain framework in order to take advantage of the technology. All this, Stratis does it for them. Stratis has features like smart contracts. Additionally, they are expected to offer their first ICO soon, and this with no doubt, will put them into competition with Ethereum.
LISK is a blockchain platform created in 2016. It has similar functions as Ethereum and NEO, in that it allows developers to create their own decentralized apps. LISK relies on its own network of the blockchain and has a designated token known as LSK. LISK uses Java script as a programming language, which means millions of developers can jump right in.
LISK uses side chain paired with a Software Development Kit (SDK) that enables developers to create their blockchain and application, and tie it to the main LISK blockchain that keeps everything secure. Side chains act independently from the main blockchain that powers the entire network. This is a smart idea because whatever happens on the side chain does not interfere with whatever happens on the main chain. Additionally, this helps developers to have full control of their network while a stronger and more secure framework maintains them.
NEO is a platform that supports smart-contracts (that eliminate third party meddling), and is commonly referred to as “Chinese Ethereum”. This is so because it performs some functions as Ethereum such as support of DAPPS and ICOs. It is the first open source blockchain network to be launched in China.
NEO is more scalable than Ethereum as it can process more transactions at once. As a result, this reduces the time that its users have to wait for a transaction to be processed. Another advantage of NEO is that it supports multiple programming languages to write smart contracts, such as Java Script and C#.
It is also important to note that NEO coins are not mined. Rather, token holders are given NEO GAS, which is a dividend of NEO coins. These tokens can be received in any NEO wallet that supports GAS.
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Ethereum classic came about due to a fork in the original Ethereum blockchain. ETC is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party meddling. This classic version of Ethereum is free from external interference and subjective tampering of transactions unlike the old version that was hacked and millions worth of ether stolen. Currently, Ethereum classic functions wholly on its own. It has the ability to run ICOs and host smart contracts.
As more people learn about the advantages of smart contracts and the power of decentralization, we expect that more companies will be joining the space hence the competition will get stiffer. By so doing, Ethereum might be pushed away from the top of the list in a few years to come. It might be one of the first and the largest decentralized application platform, but by the look of things, it is not guaranteed that it will always be so.