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Will competitors kill Ethereum?

Aleksandre B

Ethereum competitors earn points by criticizing its poor scalability, extensive delays in transactions, high transaction costs, vulnerability to hacker attacks in the system of smart contracts. Do these plans of Ethereum rivals to kill the giant and take its place respond to reality?

EOS: A year for ICO and tokens of uncertain purpose

09-05-2018 21:00:00  |   Investments

Project founder Dan Larimer (Dan Larimer) is known for such projects as Bitshares and Steemit. In the future EOS system, the performance of smart contracts and decentralized applications is planned, just like in Ethereum, but without its shortcomings.

The features of EOS:

  • The consensus mechanism will be implemented using the Delegated Proof of Stake algorithm (DPOS). It’s a controversial decision, but the speed is higher, and the resource requirements are lower than in the Ethereum system;
  • There is no commission for transactions while Ethereum requires users to have gas, as payment for services;
  • Impressive performance is announced: up to a million transactions per second against a maximum of thirty in Ethereum;
  • ICO of EOS is conducted on the Ethereum platform, and ERC-20 tokens are used to collect investments. In June 2018 the end of ICO is scheduled, and EOS tokens will be allocated between all holders of the current tokens.
  • Future tokens don’t have an exclusive option on the EOS platform as the developers say on the official website. Anyway, from the White Paper of the project one can conclude that the system's performance will be distributed among the hosts of the decentralized applications in proportion to the number of digital coins in the account.

The main, and as it seems so far the only success of EOS is the high position of tokens in the cryptocurrencies capitalization rating. All other impressive achievements are only the plans. It's worth waiting for the soon end of ICO and seeing what this Ethereum killer will look like in reality.

Cardano is a competitor designed by the former Ethereum developer

Charles Hoskinson is known as a man who has worked for the development of many popular projects: Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitshares. The Cardano platform that he designed challenged the giants of the market.

The features of Cardano:

  • According to Charles Hoskinson, already this year, Cardano will be better than Bitcoin and Ethereum by whatever indicators;
  • The project has a transparent structure. Administratively — three departments with independent tasks work on development. Technically, the platform consists of two program layers with different functions (CSL is a blockchain system with ADA and CCL cryptocurrency circulation — a software environment for performing smart contracts and decentralized applications);
  • The roadmap phases of the project are named Byron, Shelley, Gauguin, Bashô and Voltaire, and the first one is almost completed;
  • Daedalus, the platform wallet, works with one cryptocurrency only — ADA, but Bitcoin and Ethereum support are soon promised.

The project has started quite vigorously and ADA cryptocurrency pretty much straightaway hit the Top-10 digital coins on capitalization.

Rivalry with Ethereum is still just in words, as the capabilities of the platform for working with decentralized applications, and smart contracts are only in the distant future. However, this year it will be possible to verify the words of Charles Hoskinson.

NEO: Chinese and almost public Ethereum

In 2014, this company, founded by the Chinese star of the blockchain market, Da Hongfei entrepreneur was called AntShares, and later has changed its name to NEO. At the same time a related company, OnChain was founded in order to work with enterprises and government agencies.

The features of NEO:

  • The blockchain of the platform uses DBFT (Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance). This is a modification of the POS protocol;
  • The system of smart contracts and decentralized applications supports a variety of programming languages ​​including C#, Go, Python, Java;
  • NEO works with digital assets, developing the so-called "smart" economy — an exclusive system of certification and identification that allows using the platform to calculate a variety of different values;
  • NEO tokens are indivisible and are intended for voting for bookkeeper nods (the elements of blockchain responsible for confirming transactions) and for changes in the project;
  • This platform also uses gas to pay for transactions inside the system, but unlike Ethereum, Gas is separate tokens that are charged to all NEO coin holders.

NEO achievements:

  • The platform already has numerous decentralized applications;
  • The NEO own token has a high capitalization, and it’s in the TOP-20 of cryptocurrencies rating;
  • Onchain is in close contact with government structures of China, it's involved in supporting the blockchain projects at the highest level;
  • Such companies as Microsoft China, Alibaba, Hyperledger announced a partnership with NEO at various times.
  • NEO is actively developing in the niche that Ethereum has occupied, and unlike most other competitors, it has a fully functioning product. This project can be easily called a rival of Ethereum.

TRON — an ambitious Chinese competitor...in future?

Justin Sun, the founder of TRON is a well-known Chinese entrepreneur, was present in the Forbes magazine's lists in 2015 and 2017 as one of the thirty richest businessmen in Asia under thirty years old. The competition of his project with Ethereum is declared as one of the goals. The nearest plans are to get into the TOP-6 cryptocurrencies rating.

The features of TRON:

  • The improved DPOS is declared as a network consensus algorithm. Apparently, there are no alternatives to Tron for projects that are going to "beat" Ethereum in scalability and speed;
  • Java is the primary programming language for smart contracts and decentralized applications, and later it is planned to add other languages;
  • The project experiences the test network, but in June 2018 the main network is expected to be launched. By that time, the migration of TRON tokens from the ERC-20 standard of the Ethereum platform to the tokens of the own network should begin;
  • TRON is associated with scandals when there were found borrowings both in the White Paper and the program codes of the project.

TRON is another wannabe-project to beat Ethereum. Anyway, the only achievement of this cryptocurrency is a high capitalization of tokens and numerous plans.

Ethereum Classic — is that real Ethereum?

If this project developed more vigorously, it could be called a competitor and a rival of Ethereum without any discounts and indulgences. The very appearance of Ethereum Classic is a result of a real confrontation, the clash of ethical principles of developers in the Ethereum team after an acute crisis.

A smaller part of the community of the previous but still unified Ethereum did not agree with the developers' intervention in the blockchain of the project. They separated and founded Ethereum Classic with the central principle "code is low".

The features of Ethereum Classic:

  • Strictly speaking, this project is a real Ethereum, since its blockchain has not changed since the launch of Ethereum, and the platform of Vitalik Buterin is a new network that emerged after the hardfork;
  • The "difficulty bomb" (an algorithm that complicates the mining of coins) will be rendered harmless in Ethereum Classic;
  • The number of decentralized applications running on the Ethereum Classic platform is not as large as that of Ethereum, but developers are gradually improving the tools for creating these applications and increasing the capabilities of the system;
  • The maximum number of issued coins is limited to 230 million, in contrast to Ethereum, where no limits are provided.

However, the success of the project is not great. Anyway, it holds its place in the TOP-20 rating cryptocurrencies capitalization. The community of developers believes that users will eventually approve this decentralization and independence.

QTUM: virtual Ethereum machine and UTXO of Bitcoin

The international team, although most of the members are still from China, has founded and is developing a project that looks unusual even for the diverse blockchain market. And it's not just about technical details of the implementation of smart contracts or transactions. The goal of the project is to bring together the best finds and solutions of the market for business, instead of a confrontation and rivalry with the leaders.

The features of QTUM:

  • The platform offers the ability to perform smart contracts created for the Ethereum virtual machine;
  • The core and infrastructure like UTXO-model of transactions is borrowed from Bitcoin;
  • The POS consensus protocol protects the blockchain;
  • Technical solutions of QTUM allow you to run smart contracts and decentralized applications from mobile devices;
  • One more serious and promising segment of the market that becomes easily accessible when using QTUM is the Internet of Things (IoT) — a network of smart devices of the future, connected by secure channels and storing data in the blockchain.

QTUM has not presented all the announced opportunities to the public yet, but it already has made significant progress. ICO of the project has successfully ended with the fundraising of $15 664 829, although it lasted only five days in March 2017. The list of running decentralized applications on the platform contains 26 items and continues to expand. The tokens of the project are included in TOP- 20 cryptocurrencies on capitalization.

LISK — JavaScript and sidechains

Another project, founded by former Ethereum developers Oliver Beddows and Max Kordek. Well-known Charles Hoskinson left Lisk for Ethereum Classic, and later — for Cardano. The current team consists of 36 people.

The features of Lisk:

  • The programming language of smart contracts and decentralized platform applications is universal and uncomplicated JavaScript;
  • Users can create their sidechains from the main blockchain platform — the performance and scalability of the system that uses one blockchain will not become the bottleneck of the platform;
  • The main network of the platform is used for circulation of Lisk cryptocurrency which is used for payment of transactions, commissions, and rewards;
  • Consensus protocol — Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS);
  • It’s not easy to find decentralized Lisk applications but still, there are some:
    http://lisk.buzz/explore/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/Lisk/comments/80uj4y/list_of_upcoming_lisk_dapps/

Lisk has neither roaring success nor resounding flops. Since the successful ICO in 2016, the platform is slowly developing and is fighting for its place in TOP-20 cryptocurrencies on capitalization. Perhaps, the achievements are still ahead, and maybe the project will remain a promising platform, which was knocked out by more energetic competitors.

Ethereum will fall. But later. Perhaps.

Until recently, the prospects of competing companies were cloudy and uncertain: is the market ready for such a number of solutions for smart contracts and decentralized applications? Do developers need a variety of flexible tools? Why do we need other platforms, if there is Ethereum?

But now, such projects remain at the top of the ratings, they raise huge amounts of funds, not even offering test versions of their platforms. Despite the variety of existing projects, the new ones are emerging — there is no doubt that the market has matured.

We cannot exclude that one of the described projects might be David, who will defeat Goliath. Some of them may disappear and become unable to withstand competition and market instability.

We can only say with certainty that the need for quality, stable and secure platforms for smart contracts and decentralized applications exists. Ethereum, which has established itself as the industry leader, will continue to meet new competition in the market of modern blockchain applications.

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