Top Blockchain Platforms of 2019

With the increasing demand of blockchain, everyone has started to experience the potential of this technology. Initially, blockchain brought disruption in the financial industry, but now its uses have been investigated across various industries.

Since the businesses have started to explore the capability of blockchain by building blockchain application, the demand for the blockchain development platform is also off the charts. The growth of ICOs is also another reason that the number of blockchain platforms is increasing day by day.

Read further to have an understanding of the following blockchain platforms.

1. Ethereum

2. Ripple

3. Quorum

4. Hyperledger Sawtooth

5. Hyperledger Fabric

6. R3 Corda

7. EOS

8. Hyperledger Iroha

9. OpenChain

10. Stellar

11. NEO

12. Hedera Hashgraph

A study done by IBM says that out of 3,000 global C-level executives, 33 percent of organizations are considering to engage with blockchain technology.

We have analyzed the different blockchain platforms used by top blockchain companies and have come up with a list of widely-used platforms for blockchain-based applications.

If you are new to technology, this article will help you to choose the right blockchain platform for your project.

Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the author of Blockchain Technology and Business book. He is the co-founder of LeewayHertz and is a consultant to fortune 500 companies including Siemens, 3M, Hershey’s and others. He has a Masters Degree in Computer Science. Akash’s experience of building over 100+ apps allows him to rapidly architect and design solutions. His ability to explain complex technologies in simple and practical ways has resulted in him becoming a popular speaker at colleges, universities, and conferences.

Here are the different blockchain platforms used by companies for building blockchain based applications

EthereumHyperledger FabricR3 CordaRippleQuorumHyperledger SawtoothEOSHyperledger IrohaOpenChainStellar
Industry focusCross-IndustryCross-IndustryFinancial ServicesFinancial ServicesCross-IndustryCross-IndustryCross-IndustryCross-IndustryDigital Asset ManagementFinancial Services
Ledger TypePermissionlessPermissionedPermissionedPermissionedPermissioned Permissioned Permissioned Permissioned Permissioned Both Public & Private
Consensus Algorithm Proof of Work Pluggable Framework Pluggable Framework Probabilistic Voting Majority Voting Pluggable Framework Delegated Proof-of-Stake Chain-based Byzantine Fault Tolerant Partionned Consensus Stellar Consensus Protocol
Smart Contract Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Governance  Ethereum Developers Linux Foundation R3 Consortium Ripple Labs Ethereum Developers and JP Morgan Chase Linux Foundation EOSIO Core Arbitration Forum(ECAF) Linux Foundation CoinPrism Stellar Development Foundation

Ethereum

Founded in late 2013, Ethereum is an open-source and blockchain based distributed computing platform proposed by Vitalk Buterin, a 22-year old Russian-Canadian programmer. Ethereum is known for running smart contracts on a custom-built blockchain. Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) provides the run-time environment to smart contracts in Ethereum. Every node within the network has to run an EVM implementation.

Though enterprises have adopted Ethereum widely, it is essential to understand that Ethereum is a public (permissionless) blockchain platform, built for restricted access versus mass consumption. Moreover, it is PoW (Proof of Work) based platform, which is comparatively slower in terms of speed. But it might change its consensus algorithm to Proof of Stake in the coming years.

Ether is a native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, used for fueling the Ethereum ecosystem. A developer who builds applications using Ethereum has to pay charges in Ethers, for executing transactions and running apps on the Ethereum network.

Ethereum has also built a large online support community to keep everyone up-to-date with product enhancements and updates.

The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) is a non-profit organization with more than 250 members, connects Fortune 500 companies, academics, start-ups, and blockchain companies with Ethereum subject matter experts. Members of the EEA include Microsoft, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Intel, who are embracing the use of Ethereum platform.

Ripple

Blockchain Companies

Discovered in 2012, Ripple is aimed at connecting payment providers, digital asset exchanges, banks, and corporate via blockchain network, RippleNet without any chargebacks. It allows global payments through a digital asset called “XRP or Ripple,” which is now one of the popular cryptocurrencies like Ether and Bitcoin.

Built on the advanced blockchain technology, XRP is more scalable and faster than other blockchains. Ripple uses probabilistic voting to reach the consensus between nodes.

Currently, it has more than 100 customers and around 75 clients in different stages of commercial deployment primarily across three use cases, i.e., minimizing liquidity costs (xRapid), sending payments across multiple networks (xVia), and cross-border payments (xCurrent).

Big brands like Santander, American Express, MoneyGram International, SBI Holdings, and Deloitte are testing the potential of Ripple’s Blockchain and planning to integrate it to make the existing payment processes secure and faster.

Quorum

Founded by J.P. Morgan, Quorum is an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum. It modifies Ethereum’s core and therefore, can incorporate the Ethereum updates seamlessly and quickly.

Similar to Ethereum, Quorum is also open-source and free to use blockchain platform in perpetuity. Unlike other blockchain platforms, it uses vote based and different algorithms to process hundreds of transactions per seconds. Designed to be permissioned, the networks using Quorum won’t be open to everyone. It can handle applications requiring high throughput processing and speed of private transactions.

Quorum resolves the issue of the confidentiality of records that Ethereum and other blockchains failed to handle by introducing private and public on-chain transactions.

Hyperledger Sawtooth

Launched by the Linux Foundation and contributed by IBM and Digital Asset, Hyperledger Sawtooth is an enterprise-grade and modular platform, designed for creating, deploying, and executing distributed ledgers which enable digital records to be maintained without a central authority.

Sawtooth’s PoET (Proof of Elapsed Time) consensus mechanism enables Hyperledger Sawtooth to integrate with hardware security solutions, known as “trusted execution environments” and Intel’s newly launched Xeon processor is one of its applications.

It is Hyperledger’s second open-source blockchain platform to integrate with an enterprise-ready 1.0 version. The launch of 1.0 software solutions is essential for every developer as it indicates that the maintainers are still dedicated to the core features. So, it gives blockchain companies a sense of confidence that whatever they build, won’t break because of the future upgrades.

Recently, Hyperledger has announced the release of Sawtooth version 1.1. Earlier, they released Sawtooth 1.0 which marked the production-ready status of the platform. But in the new release, they have introduced support for WebAssembly smart contracts and an improved consensus interface.

Hyperledger Fabric

Hyperledger Fabric is another project of Hyperledger, intended for building blockchain based solutions or applications using a modular architecture. The modularity of the architecture allows network designers to plug in their preferred components like membership services and consensus, distinguishing it from other blockchain solutions.

Hyperledger Fabric framework is designed for permissioned networks, enabling known identities to participate within a system. The participants within this network should be authorized and should have credibility in capital to take part in the blockchain.

Digital Asset and IBM initially contributed to Hyperledger Fabric platform as a result of the first hackathon. Blockchain companies prefer building enterprise-grade applications using this blockchain platform.

Hyperledger Iroha

Hosted by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger Iroha is a blockchain platform for building trusted, secure and fast decentralized applications.

It is a simple and modularized distributed ledger system based on a highly secure and fast consensus algorithm called Yet Another Consensus, protecting Iroha networks from adversary nodes or failures. Being portable and supporting macOS and Linux environment, the platform is highly applicable for supply chain and IoT use cases.

The National Bank of Cambodia and Soramistu Co. Ltd. are working together to develop the distributed ledger project, i.e., Hyperledger Iroha.

Here’s why should you choose Hyperledger Blockchain

  1. Modular Architecture
    Developers are encouraged to build components that can take advantage of the plug and play nature of Hyperledger.
  2. Transparent Process
    While the transactions on Fabric might be obfuscated, the development process is not. In fact, the core teams behind Hyperledger have worked hard to create a healthy balance between transparency in the development process and attaining important milestones.
  3. Smart Contracts
    Hyperledger also uses (chain code) smart contracts just like Ethereum does.

R3 Corda

R3 is a consortium of world’s leading financial institutions that built an open-source distributed ledger platform called Corda in 2015. Corda is a cutting-edge blockchain platform, which enables institutions to transact directly with smart contracts by removing costly frictions in business transactions.

Corda does not have a cryptocurrency or built-in token and is a permissioned blockchain which only allows the authorized participants to access the data, not the entire network. Since it operates in a permissioned mode, it enhances the privacy and offers fine-grained access control to digital records.

Designed initially by the financial industry, for the financial sector, Corda is now being applied in various other uses cases like healthcare, trade finance, supply chain, and government authorities.

More than 60 firms, including Intel and Microsoft, are using R3 Corda as a blockchain platform. HSBC, Intel, Bank of America Merill Lynch, and dozens of other institutions have invested around $107 million into R3 Corda.

EOS

Launched as open-source software in June 2018, EOS is a blockchain platform founded by a private company, Block.one. It is designed for the development of dApps (Decentralized applications). The company distributed one billion ERC-20 tokens to ensure widespread distribution of their cryptocurrency and allow anyone to use EOS blockchain after it was released.

The goal of the platform is to offer decentralized application’s hosting, decentralized storage of enterprise solutions and smart contract capability, solving the scalability issues of Ethereum and Bitcoin. Also, it eliminates the fees for all users, i.e., no one needs to pay to avail the benefits of a dApp based on EOS.

EOS accomplishes consensus by using multi-threading as well as a delegated proof-of-stake algorithm. They have their own community forum named as EOS Forum, enabling developers and investors to discuss the platform and EOS Talk for their users based on the steem blockchain.

Here’s why should you choose EOS blockchain for app development

  1. Free to use
    The end user does not need to pay via micropayments to perform various tasks or send messages on the EOS platform.
  2. Features
    The EOS platform provides the producers with a governance system which they can use to vote on to validate transactions, edits made to the source code of the platform and confirm whether an application is performing correctly.
  3. Authenticity
    The platform offers a fully-featured authentication platform to the users where each account will be given a different permission level to save data in a secure manner.

OpenChain

The platform OpenChain has been Developed by Coinprism, a company behind the colored coins standard Open Assets.

OpenChain is an open-source distributed ledger technology, highly suited for organizations willing to manage the digital assets in a secure and scalable manner. Unlike the consensus mechanism used in Bitcoin, it uses Partionned Consensus where one instance will only have a single authority for validation of transactions.

Since there is no miner in the OpenChain, the transactions are free of costs and can be validated by the asset administrator, making it more efficient than other platforms.

Stellar

Stellar is a distributed blockchain based ledger used for facilitating cross-asset transfers of value. Similar to Ripple, it can also deal with exchanges between cryptocurrencies and fiat based currencies. It is possible to build banking tools, smart devices and mobile wallets using the Stellar network.

Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP) makes it possible to reach consensus without depending on a closed system for recording financial transactions. Having a set of provable safety properties, SCP optimizes for safety over liveness by halting the progress of the network until a consensus can be reached in case of misbehaving nodes or partition.

As compared to the decentralized proof-of-work and proof-of-stake algorithms, SCP has modest financial and computing requirements, reducing the barrier to entry and opening up financial system to new participants.

SureRemit leverages Stellar blockchain for connecting immigrants in abroad with the merchants providing the services required by their loved ones in the different country. Many other companies like Transfer To, NaoBTC, RippleFox and ICICI Bank are integrating with the Stellar network to enable money transfers across borders.

NEO

Neo was founded by the same duo who established blockchain R&D company “OnChain” in Shangai, – Da Hongfei (CEO) and Erik Zhang (CTO).

Designed to develop scalable decentralized applications, the base asset of the NEO blockchain is NEO token. The role of NEO token is to generate GAS tokens which can be used to pay transaction fees to run applications on the network.

Neo uses Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance as its consensus algorithm. The creators of Neo selected this protocol because it allows better performance and scaling as compared to other consensus mechanisms.

The three components that form Neo Smart Economy are:

  • Digital Assets
    Digital assets exist as electronic data. Using blockchain, assets digitization can be trustful, transparent, traceable, free of intermediaries and decentralized. Users can register, trade and transfer different types of digital assets on the Neo platform.
  • Digital Identity
    Identity information that remains in the form of electronic data is referred to as digital identity. Neo maintains a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards to support the web of trust point-to-point certificate issuance model.
  • Smart Contract
    Using Neo SmartContract system, developers do not require to learn a new programming language. Rather, they can use Java, C# or other languages to develop smart contracts.

Hedera Hashgraph

Providing a new form of distributed consensus, Hedera Hashgraph platform is a lightning secure, fast and fair platform that does not need to compute a heavy proof of work algorithm.

Hedera empowers and enables developers to build an entirely new class of decentralized applications that are scalable.

The Hedera Hashgraph Council is the governing body of the Hedera Hashgraph platform and the terms made in Hedera’s governance ensures no single member can have control and no small groups can have extreme influence over the entire body.

Smart contracts in Hedera Hashgraph platform can be made dynamic just like any other software component. Since it offers an optional mechanism which allows “binding arbitration”, the smart contracts deployed with a list of the public key of arbitrators can be edited to fix bugs or add new features.

If a designated arbitrator agrees on the amendment of a smart contract, the transaction having a new bytecode is approved by the arbitrator’s keys and the change is implemented.

Here’s why should you use Hedera Hashgraph platform

  • Fast
    Hedera Hashgraph is fast just like the speed of your internet. Having the capability to handle hundreds of thousands of transactions per second and authenticate more than one million signatures per second, time to finality for Hedera platform is measured in seconds; not minutes, hours, or days.
  • Fair
    Hedera Hashgraph is fair, ensuring the consensus order of transactions which represents the transaction order received by the community. The platform makes sure no single user is allowed to block the transactions flow into the community.
  • Secure
    As Hedera Hashgraph is asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerant, Hedera Hashgraph has the strongest level of security. Achieving this level of security at scale is a fundamental advance in the field of distributed systems.

Since blockchain is moving at a frenetic pace of innovation, new platforms have started to emerge with additional features and new releases. No doubt that there are plenty of blockchain platforms available across the world, enterprises need to understand the right platforms to build highly scalable applications.

Therefore, we have discussed the platforms used by the top blockchain companies including IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and so on.

At LeewayHertz, we have an innovative team of blockchain developers who have a deep understanding of blockchain concepts and understand how to build applications using the blockchain platforms mentioned above in the article.

Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the author of Blockchain Technology and Business book. He is the co-founder of LeewayHertz and is a consultant to fortune 500 companies including Siemens, 3M, Hershey’s and others. He has a Masters Degree in Computer Science. Akash’s experience of building over 100+ apps allows him to rapidly architect and design solutions. His ability to explain complex technologies in simple and practical ways has resulted in him becoming a popular speaker at colleges, universities, and conferences.

Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the author of Blockchain Technology and Business book. He is the co-founder of LeewayHertz and is a consultant to fortune 500 companies including Siemens, 3M, Hershey’s and others. He has a Masters Degree in Computer Science. Akash’s experience of building over 100+ apps allows him to rapidly architect and design solutions. His ability to explain complex technologies in simple and practical ways has resulted in him becoming a popular speaker at colleges, universities, and conferences.

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