TOP BLOCKCHAIN PLATFORMS OF 2021
Blockchain technology has reached a milestone where every industry is looking to benefit from its decentralized and transparent nature. With blockchain being implemented across almost every sector, demand for blockchain protocols is at its peak.
Understanding the rapid growth of blockchain platforms, many blockchain development companies have started R & D on emerging blockchain protocols to build a better blockchain ecosystem. We have also researched thoroughly and come up with a list of top blockchain protocols based on their ecosystem, technology stack and solutions they offer.
We have been working with various blockchain protocols and helping them build a better ecosystem. With expertise in working with different blockchain platforms, we have curated a list of the following top 20 blockchain ecosystem protocols:
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain platform used to build and deploy decentralized applications. The platform allows users to create agreements or execute transactions without the involvement of third parties.
Ethereum blockchain protocol is known for sending and receiving values across the globe. Apart from payments, Ethereum is a marketplace for financial services, games and apps that cannot steal your data. Ethereum has its own cryptocurrency known as Ether (ETH) which is used to pay transaction fees and computational service fees. Miners can mine ETH after the transaction is validated on the Ethereum platform.
Mainly, three types of applications are built on top of the Ethereum protocol. The first kind of application is financial apps, providing users with more ways of managing and entering into contracts using their money. It includes financial derivatives, saving wallets, wills and sub-currencies.
The second type is semi-financial apps where money is involved, but it also has a non-monetary side. An example of this category is self-enforcing bounties for solutions to computational issues.
The third kind of application is an app such as decentralized governance and online voting, which are non-financial.
Here are some of the key benefits of the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem:
Any third party cannot alter or manipulate the data once recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.
Having no single point of failure and secured with cryptography, applications built on the Ethereum platform are protected against fraudulent activities and hacking.
- No downtime
Ethereum-based dApps never face downtime and can never be switched off.
Ethereum-based dApps are based on a network built around the principle of consensus, making censorship impossible.
Stellar is an open blockchain network for storing and transferring money. The platform makes it possible to create, transfer and trade digital representations of all types of money – dollars, bitcoins, or anything of value.
Stellar blockchain has no owner; the public owns anything that is on the Stellar blockchain. The platform runs across an open, decentralized network and handles millions of transactions every day.
Similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum, Stellar depends on blockchain to keep the network in sync. The Stellar network has a native digital currency, the lumen required in small amounts for making transactions and initializing accounts.
Stellar is a collection of Stellar Core Nodes, which are computers that maintain a common ledger of balances and accounts and listen for incoming transactions. Using the Stellar Consensus Protocol, the network agrees to implement a valid set of transactions to update the ledger.
Each transaction implemented to the Stellar ledger incurs a small fee which is essential to prevent bad actors from spamming the network and the ledger gets updated every 3-5 seconds.
Following are some of the key features of using the Stellar blockchain platform:
- Scalability and high performance
Stellar network executes transactions with the help of consensus achieved through nodes. The consensus is achieved only within a few seconds, making transactions possible in 3-5 seconds. It does not allow mining, therefore, making the speed faster as compared to other cryptocurrency networks.
Thousands of transactions executing at once make the stellar network a highly scalable blockchain protocol.
- Open source and decentralized database
Anyone can participate in Stellar network functioning without the need for a central authority. Diverse stellar nodes come together and verify online transactions in the ledger.
- Multi-currency transactions
It is one of the significant advantages of Stellar blockchain as one can execute transactions in any currency they want and the system performs the forex process automatically. It performs so by finding someone who wants to exchange in the same currency.If there is no direct exchange available, it executes various actions to map the transferred currency. Its cryptocurrency, Lumen allows stellar blockchain to execute transactions in multi-currency efficiently.
It is a self-amending cryptographic ledger that can expand according to the industries’ needs without being forked from time to time. Tezos has formed a digital commonwealth, a network where all involved participants can hear their voices and have common honesty.
It uses a network shell to enable self-amending cryptographic ledger features. Tezos works on three protocols layers: network protocol, consensus protocol and transaction protocol.
Here are some of the significant features of the Tezos blockchain platform
- Self-amendment mechanism
As a self-amendment cryptographic ledger, Tezos allows the evolution of blockchain instead of hard forking. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, hard forks should not be a standard way to upgrade the system.
- Formal verification and smart contracts
In addition to on-chain governance and a self-amending system, the Tezos platform supports smart contracts that make it a hybrid between Dash and Ethereum.Its programming language, Michelson, is used for writing Tezos-based smart contracts. Using formal verification, developers can validate the correctness of their smart contracts code.
- On-chain governance
If you keep a stake in Tezos, you can also participate in governing the protocol. This process is defined as on-chain governance. It enables coin holders to vote for future performance.In this system, code modifications are encoded into the protocol and defined by stakeholder voting.
- Delegated proof of stake
Tezos nodes are launched with a delegated proof of stake consensus algorithm that enables stakeholders to create blocks and earn rewards in proportion to their holdings. The system gets delegated when every token holder can participate as a delegate irrespective of their amount.
The platform implements a 3-layer architecture classified into storage layer, application layer and core layer. Adhering to Google Protobuf, Tron supports the multi-language extension.
Tron is based on TVM (Tron Virtual Machine), a lightweight turning complete virtual machine. TVM connects with the existing development ecosystem seamlessly to offer global developers a custom-built blockchain system that is scalable and secure.
Here are some of the benefits of the Tron blockchain ecosystem
- Highly compatible
Tron Virtual Machine is compatible with EVM and other mainstream virtual machines in the future. Therefore, all smart contracts deployed on Tron are executable on TVM.
- Lightweight architecture
Implementing a lightweight architecture, Tron Virtual Machine aims to reduce resource consumption and ensure system performance.
- Low Cost
Because of TVM’s bandwidth setup, the development cost is reduced and developers can focus on the contract code development. It also provides a unified interface for contract deployment, triggering and accessing to offer convenience to developers.
5. Hedera Hashgraph
Hashgraph achieves high throughput with more than 10,000 transactions per second and low-latency finality using gossip about gossip protocol and virtual voting. Once the consensus is achieved in the network, the transaction becomes immutable and is available on the public ledger for everyone to access it transparently.
Hedera network services are APIs that allow developers to mint tokens, create accounts and add data to the ledger. Every API has a transaction fee based on the required storage and processing. SDKs of Hedera make it easier for developers to access the API in their favorite programming language.
Here are some of the reasons why should you use the Hedera Hashgraph platform
Hedera Hashgraph is fair, ensuring the order of transactions representing the transaction order received by the community. The platform ensures no single user is allowed to block the transactions flow into the community.
Since Hedera Hashgraph is an asynchronous Byzantine fault-tolerant, Hedera Hashgraph possesses the highest level of security. Achieving a high level of security at scale is a fundamental advancement in the field of distributed systems.
Hedera Hashgraph is fast, just the speed of your internet. With the capability to handle hundreds of thousands of transactions per second and validate more than one million signatures per second, time to finality for the Hedera platform is evaluated in seconds, not minutes, hours, or days.
EOS is a functional blockchain platform for the following web services, including:
- Cloud storage dApps
- User authentication
- EOS Smart Contracts
Here are some of the key features of the EOS blockchain
EOS supports millions of transactions per second owing to their distributed proof of stake mechanism.
- Permission Schema
EOS implements a comprehensive permission system to create custom permission schemes for several business scenarios. For instance, you can create a custom permission to prevent a specific feature of an EOS smart contract. You can break the authorities needed to invoke EOS smart contract function across various accounts with different authority weights. It enables developers to develop dApps without reinvention of the wheel.
All the dApps built and deployed on the EOS blockchain are upgradeable. It implies users are authorized to add/change features, deploy code fix and modify application logic. Also, developers can renew applications without getting attached to a bug permanently.
EOS maintains governance by setting up the choice of law and jurisdiction combined with mutually accepted rules. The legally binding constitution can achieve it. Every transaction in EOS needs the hash of the constitution attached to the signature, binding users to the constitution.
7. Binance Smart Chain (BSC)
The BSC platform relies on a system of 21 validators with proof of staked authority consensus to support short block time and low transaction fees. BSC is also defined as a blockchain that runs in parallel to the binance chain.
Unlike the binance chain, BSC has smart contracts functionality and compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Using Binance Smart Chain, developers can issue new tokens to digitalize assets, migrate existing dApps, become a BSC validator and run a full node to listen and broadcast live updates on transactions, consensus activities and blocks.
Here are some of the benefits of the Binance Smart Chain:
- Independent Blockchain
Since BSC runs in parallel with Binance Chain, BSC is a standalone blockchain. It implies that even if the binance chain stops working, BSC will continue to perform its technical and business operations.
- Compatibility with Ethereum
BSC supports Ethereum-compatible smart contracts. Using the Ethereum compatibility feature, developers can develop or migrate dApps, tools and other ecosystem components on Binance Smart Chain without any friction.
- Native Interoperability
Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain interact with each other without much friction. Therefore, it becomes seamless for users to move their cryptocurrencies between BSC and BC.
- Supports community-based governance and staking
BSC runs on a proof-of-stake consensus model, specifically proof of staked authority. Its native token, Binance Coin (BNB), is staked to contribute to network security and vote on community governance protocols. Its proof of stake model allows the platform to execute transactions faster, putting it over networks that still implement proof of work systems.
Staking involves BNB holders placing their bonded tokens in a staking pool. They can then delegate their tokens to a selected candid11ate or validator. As soon as the election for the next validator begins, they can re-delegate their tokens to another validator.Chosen validators have the potential to distribute their blocking reward to their delegators. To remain compatible with Ethereum, BSC implements its staking logic on the binance chain to support the feature. It means that token delegation or bonding happens on the Binance Chain network, not on BSC.
Cardano blockchain protocol has been designed with security as one of its founding principles. The platform is written in a functional programming language called Haskell that provides a wide range of potential methods for ensuring code correctness.
Cardano is building a smart contract platform that will deliver more advanced features than any protocol built previously and serves as a secure platform for developing enterprise dApps.
Cardano blockchain is highly modular and includes the following components:
- Daedalus Wallet
- Command Line Interface
- GraphQL API Server
- REST API Components
- SMASH Server
Cardano focuses on the following concepts:
Scalability makes sure that the Cardano ledger can process a large number of transactions without impacting network performance. It also provides higher bandwidth capabilities to allow transactions to execute a good amount of data that can be managed easily within the network.
A proof-of-stake blockchain is designed to ensure that the system is self-sustainable. Cardano is developed to allow the community to promote continuous development by proposing, participating and implementing system improvements. The community controls the treasury system and gets refilled constantly to ensure sustainability.
Interoperability ensures the multi-functional environment for commercial, business or financial operations by enabling users to interact with one type of currency and multiple currencies across different blockchains. Cardano is being built to support cross-chain transfers, commonly used smart contract languages and multiple token types.
Polkadot is a multichain application environment where cross-chain registries and computation are possible. It can transfer the data across open, public, permissionless and private blockchains, making it possible to develop apps that get permissioned data from a private blockchain and use that on a public blockchain.
Polkadot combines a network of heterogenous blockchains called parathreads and parachains. Polkadot Relay Chain secures these chains that are connected with external networks via bridges.
Polkadot’s Relay Chain is developed with Substrate, a blockchain-building framework that distills Parity Technologies’ learnings developing Ethereum, Bitcoin and other enterprise blockchains.
Poilkadot’s state machine is compiled to WebAssembly (Wasm), a high performant virtual environment. Its networking uses libp2p, a cross-platform network framework for p2p apps. The platform’s runtime environment is programmed in Rust, Golang and C++, making it accessible to a wide range of developers.
Following are some of the key benefits of the Polkadot platform
- Unique security model
Polkadot implements a unique security approach by allowing blockchains to pool their security which implies that the blockchains’ security is applied to all. Blockchain developers can think about securing their blockchain from day one by connecting to Polkadot.
- Transparent on-chain governance
Updates to the Polkadot protocol take place in a fork-free way using transparent on-chain voting. Therefore, Polkadot protocol development never halts due to the lack of a clear process.A relay chain uses a sophisticated governance mechanism to establish a transparent, binding and accountable process for upgrading the network and resolving disputes.DOT tokens help in participating in governance decisions, including voting, bonding and drafting proposals.
- Trustworthy consensus algorithm
Polkadot uses its original GRANDPA (GHOST-based Recursive Ancestor Deriving Prefix Agreement) for a secure and resilient network.Under fair network conditions, GRANDPA finalizes blocks quickly. However, under bad network conditions, GRANDPA finalizes large-sized blocks at a time when the partitions resolve.
Solana addresses the problem of consensus using Verifiable Delay Functions and a mechanism called Proof of History. This consensus mechanism creates a relative order of transactions instead of requiring validators to establish transaction times. The approach remains secure but offers greater flexibility to validators and developers.
The system allows blockchain to function seamlessly regardless of any network activity. It gives Solana an advantage over other platforms that can bottleneck when the network activity is too low or high.
Solana blockchain also utilizes Cloudbreak, a distributed archive that prevents the transaction history from occupying too much computing space.
Solana is a platform for developers to create decentralized apps, digital tokens and wallets.
Following are some of the significant benefits of the Solana blockchain
- Low Cost
Solana blockchain platform is built to keep fees low for apps with billion of users. Fees on the network do not rise as the user base grows.
The platform’s single global state enables composability between projects. Solana does not deal with layer 2 or multiple shards systems.
Leveraging proof of history and other innovations, Solana allows the network to scale at the rate of Moore’s law.
The platform is designed to solve many pain points associated with blockchain, including slow speed and high gas fees, without compromising security. It is a multi-chain system that is akin to other blockchain platforms such as Cosmos, Polkadot, Avalanche and more, with the following significant upsides:
- It is more secure inherently.
- It is more powerful and open.
- It benefits from Ethereum’s network effects.
Polygon provides one-click deployment of current blockchain networks. It offers a growing set of modules for building custom networks. It acts as an interoperability protocol for exchanging arbitrary messages with Ethereum and other blockchain platforms.
Polygon blockchain is a modular and security-as-a-service platform and offers the following benefits:
- ETH Compatibility
- Better User Experience
The VeChainThor Blockchain is built on existing, proven blockchain innovation and novel technologies created for achieving mass adoption from a technology perspective. These technologies comprise the proof of authority consensus mechanism, protocols of transaction fee delegation, built-in smart contracts and meta transaction features.
The implementation, testing and integration of the proof of authority consensus on VeChainThor go through multiple phases. VeChain blockchain implements an improved transaction (TX) model to manage some of the fundamental problems that obstruct the adoption of blockchain technology.
Following are some of the features of VeChainThor Blockchain:
- Transaction Dependency
VeChain blockchain allows you to set dependencies to ensure that the execution order meets the business requirements; transactions that specify a dependency will not be carried out until the needed transaction is processed.
- Multi-task Transaction
Multi-functionality atomic transactions enable developers to add multiple calls to various contract functions into one transaction and batch payments.
- Controllable Transaction Lifecycle
With Expiration and BlockRef transaction fields, users can set when a transaction is executed or expired if not added to the block.
- Fee Delegation
Flexible transaction fee delegation schemes allow a freemium model within a dApp to bring users on board without friction.
Designed to build scalable dApps, the base asset of the platform is the NEO token. NEO token generates GAS tokens used to pay transaction fees for running apps on the network.
NEO aims to be an open and decentralized network for the smart economy. The following components that form NEO Smart Economy are:
- Digital Identity
NEO keeps a set of X.509 compatible digital identity standards to support the web of trust point-to-point certificate issuance model.
- Smart Contract
With NEO smart contract system, developers do not need to learn a new programming language. Instead, they can use C# or other programming languages to create smart contracts.
- Digital Asset
With blockchain, digitizing assets is transparent, traceable and free of intermediaries. Users can trade, transfer and register various types of digital assets on the NEO blockchain platform.
Also, Cosmos is an ecosystem of blockchains that can interoperate and scale with each other. Before Cosmos was introduced, blockchains were siloed and could not communicate with each other.
Cosmos aims to make it easy for developers to develop blockchains and remove the barriers between blockchains by enabling them to interact with each other. Using Cosmos, blockchains can maintain sovereignty, execute transactions quickly and interact with other blockchains in the ecosystem.
Following are some of the significant features of Cosmos Blockchain
Run parallel chains to meet the throughput requirements of your growing user base.
Protect your blockchain app against malicious modules with access control firewalls.
Communicate tokens and value with other blockchains within the Cosmos network using the IBC module.
The Cosmos platform has powerful SDK modules that customize the blockchain based on specific user requirements.
The platform enables developers to propose changes and vote on blockchain upgrades using the governance module.
The open-source environment of the Cosmos network allows developers to work together and promote the open-source Cosmos developer community.
Algorand’s proof of stake consensus mechanism offers the security, scalability, speed, finality and decentralization required as financial ecosystems modernize.
Their pure proof of stake consensus mechanism ensures full participation, speed and protection within a truly decentralized network. With blocks getting finalized in seconds, Algorand’s transaction throughput is high with large financial and payment networks.
It is one of the first blockchain protocols to provide immediate transaction finality.
Following are some of the significant benefits of the Algorand Blockchain Protocol
- Consensus-Level Security
Algorand’s decentralized byzantine agreement protocol can bear an arbitrary number of malicious users as long as honest users hold a majority of the total stake in the system.
In Algorand, authority is in the hands of users holding the stake. Each user earns a number of rewards proportional to their stake for every block committed to the chain.
- Permissioned and permissionless environment
Algorand works securely and efficiently, even in a permissionless environment where users can join the system at any time. It works in a permissioned environment.
Klaytn is an enterprise-grade blockchain platform that brings a user-friendly blockchain experience to millions of users. It combines the features of both private and public blockchains using an efficient “hybrid” design. It enables entrepreneurs and businesses to capture value using blockchain technology.
It focuses on empowering businesses to provide blockchain apps with robustness, usability and responsiveness. Further, Klaytn collaborates with global brands to run its distributed network under a shared and transparent governance and develop a business platform supported by decentralized trust.
The benefits of the Klaytn platform are as follows:
- Unlimited use cases with low transaction fees
Klaytn provides users the opportunity to initiate, build and deploy applications that are suitable for users. Therefore, it can be said that the users have unlimited use cases.
- Business development
Klaytn facilitates businesses’ technical operations that are a push forth for businesses. Its flexible nature provides developers and businesses the ability to track the fast-moving world of blockchain.
The platform has re-engineered distributed ledger technology by enabling secure exchange of data and value without additional fees. It does not involve blocks and miners. Instead, when you send an IOTA transaction, you prove two other transactions.
It plays a significant role in the next-generation industrial revolution, enabling economic connections between machines and bridging machine and human economies.
Following are some of the major benefits of the IOTA Platform
- Zero-fee transactions
- Highly scalable
- Finality within seconds
- Low resource requirements
- Fast transactions
It is a high-performance, customizable, secure and scalable blockchain platform that broadly targets the following three use cases:
- Developing application-specific blockchains
- Developing and deploying scalable dApps
- Developing arbitrarily complicated digital assets with custom riders, rules and covenants
Avalanche aims to provide a unifying platform for the transfer, creation and trade of digital assets. The platform possesses the following properties:
Businesses, developers and validators use Elrond to develop a new internet economy by bringing a 1000x improvement in blockchain scale, cost, speed and user experience. They have proposed a new consensus approach called Secure Proof of Stake, which is fast and ensures distributed fairness while removing the need for energy-intensive PoW algorithms.
It is an easy-to-integrate blockchain protocol with unmatched scalability, low transaction cost and high speed.
Here are some of the benefits of the Elrond blockchain protocol
- Adaptive State Sharding
The approach to blockchain sharding needs to consider benefits from all types of sharding; transactions, network and state. Elrond’s approach to adaptive state sharding combines all three types of sharding into a solution that enhances communication within shards and improves performance drastically via parallel processing.
- Elrond VM
The Elrond Virtual Machine is a smart contract execution engine developed on WASM. It can expand the family of languages available to smart contract developers by including C/C++, C#, Typescript and Rust. It implies that you can write smart contracts in a programming language of your choice, compile it and debug its WAT human-readable format.
- Secure Proof of Stake
Using a novel consensus algorithm called “Secure Proof of Stake”, Elrond eliminates PoW computational waste and combines eligibility through rating and stake with random validator selection. It maintains high security via random reshuffling of nodes into other shards and random sampling of the consensus group.
Waves platform provides a unique approach to dApp development by avoiding non-turing complete language and gas fees. The protocol offers its native language called Ride.
Based on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, every participant’s chance to generate a new block is proportional to the economic stake in the network.
Following are some of the key features of the Waves blockchain
- Waves LPoS Blockchain
In a traditional proof-of-stake model, any node that locks up tokens is eligible to add blocks to the blockchain. The chances of adding a block increase or decrease based on the number of coins a node locks in a special contract.
Using LPoS (Leased Proof of Stake), nodes get the option to lease balance to full nodes. It means when a full node is selected to generate the next block, nodes that lease tokens to the chosen node earn a specific percentage of the payout.
- Waves NG
The protocol identifies which node gets the right to produce the next block is defined as Waves-NG. It classifies the Waves blockchain into two types of blocks – “key blocks” and “micro blocks.”A randomly selected proof of stake miner creates key blocks and other nodes in the network use a public key to create various micro blocks that include transactions.
- Smart Assets
Waves blockchain can create smart assets with an attached script written in Ride. Any token can be provided functionalities by attaching a script.The execution of the scripts is priced at 0.004 WAVES. As Wave allows users to issue tokens without a programming experience, tokens and related transfers are executed as attachments added to transactions.
As blockchain technology is growing rapidly, new ecosystem protocols are coming to the market with additional features. Working with leading blockchain platforms has made us the experts in building a blockchain ecosystem from scratch.
We, at LeewayHertz, do not only help our clients build blockchain applications, but we can also upgrade the entire blockchain platform with our team of experienced and certified blockchain developers.
Our Blockchain R & D team can help you launch a scalable and secure blockchain platform and drive millions of investors and developers to your blockchain platform.
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Know about some of the top blockchain platforms to explore in 2021 and identify how to select the right one for your business use case.