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A blockchain platform is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. There are hundreds of different blockchain platforms. Some are stable and manage financial transactions worth billions of dollars. Others are new and only rising.
This article focuses on the best blockchain platforms for Web3 developers and crypto enterprise solutions.
|Main use case
|JP Morgan / Consensus
Every blockchain platform has these characteristics:
Smart contracts capabilities are the backbone of any decentralized blockchain network. Smart contracts are programmable rules that automatically govern on-chain transactions.
Any error in your smart contract code can lead to undesired behavior or asset loss. External audit by a reputable third party is the most effective way to ensure your smart contract functionality works as intended.
Founded in 2013, Ethereum is the most popular blockchain network for Web3 and decentralized apps (dApps). With the most trusted execution environments among all blockchain solutions and pioneering smart contract functionality, Ethereum platform is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization.
When talking about Ethereum, it’s difficult not to mention its co-founder Vitalik Buterin, one of the most prominent crypto influencers of the decade. However, Ethereum is now a community of hundreds of blockchain developers building a scalable platform for other developers.
As the most popular decentralized blockchain platform, Ethereum platform supports various use cases related to DeFI, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, NFTs, and governance.
Ethereum virtual machine offers superior smart contracts functionality that works across different EVM-compatible blockchain protocols. Building and deploying a secure dApp to Ethereum network is easier with a professional smart contract audit tailored for this blockchain platform.
Scalability issues and transaction fees have been the most pressing problems for Ethereum. Despite all the challenges, Ethereum’s status as the most suitable blockchain space for decentralized applications will be unchallenged throughout 2023.
In 2023, we are going to some clever layer 2 implementations built on top of Ethereum aimed at solving these problems. In addition, the network itself will finalize the transition to the proof of stake consensus algorithm.
Founded in 2017, Polygon is the second most popular blockchain platform with EVM functionality. It is the most common layer 2 blockchain for Metaverse projects.
Secure smart contracts are a prerequisite to getting the most out of the Polygon blockchain. Hacken offers a comprehensive code review and analysis for smart contracts built for Polygon to help you with this task.
2023 is the year of monumental improvements for Polygon. Blockchain technology is in dire need to address the high costs of transaction fees and speed up transactions. That’s why Polygon is launching zero-knowledge (ZK) rollups this year. Polygon zkEVM has been in the public testnet since Oct 2022. In Dec 2022, the company launched an external blockchain audit to ensure security.
The quest for the cheapest and fastest transaction is underway. There are dozens of implementations of layer 2. Because it is already well-established, Polygon may be leading the race for scalability in 2023.
When talking about blockchain platforms, we must also mention Hyperledger Fabric. Founded in 2015, Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source blockchain platform brought by the Linux Foundation. Its main features are plug-and-play components for a versatile enterprise-grade commercial deployment.
Hyperledger Fabric is one of the most important blockchain frameworks for developing applications or enterprise solutions with a modular architecture. As an enterprise-grade distributed ledger technology, Hyperledger enjoys enormous backing from the biggest cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, IBM, Google, and Oracle. For example, Hyperledger Fabric is the foundation layer of the IBM Blockchain Platform.
The key features of this blockchain are a permissioned network, confidential transactions, and programmable smart contracts. Hyperledger Fabric is different from other blockchain platforms above because it doesn’t rely on cryptocurrencies.
The use of Hyperledger is not as common among Web3 developers and crypto entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, it supports decentralized apps and offers smart contract functionality to automate business processes.
Projects developing decentralized applications can use an Ethereum client by Hyperledger called BESU. Hyperledger BESU uses proof of stake, proof of work, and proof of authority consensus mechanisms, in addition to an extractable Ethereum virtual machine implementation.
Hyperledger Fabric is extremely popular among well-established businesses. With its new Ethereum client BESU, Hyperledger blockchain network is definitely one to look for in 2023.
Founded in 2016, Quorum blockchain is built for privacy. It’s an enterprise DLT solution for businesses wanting to utilize Ethereum for their blockchain applications. The underlying technology is called Quorum Blockchain Service (QBS). It can be used both for private and public connections.
Businesses can integrate their existing systems, services, and data streaming using low-code connectors. It works with any operating system, An important point of difference is the extreme attention to customer support. Quorum offers three levels of support: developer, business, and enterprise.
Quorum has strong ties with Consensus, an entity responsible for maintaining it. Still, it positions itself as an open-source blockchain platform. Developers can build on top of the Consensus’ base.
Overall, Quorum has everything it takes to challenge Hyperledger’s status as the top blockchain network for enterprises.
What’s similar between SAP, NASDAQ, and Accenture? They all use Corda blockchain. R3 consortium created Corda in 2015. Just like other blockchain networks, Corda is permissioned, p2p, and uses DLT. But it’s still unique in several ways. Firstly, Corda only supports private transactions. Secondly, it has superior integration of existing business systems. Thirdly, Corda is an ideal choice for tightly regulated industries because it’s compatible with ISO 20022 and ISDA CDM.
Founded in 2012, Ripple (formerly known as Opencoin) is a blockchain platform determined to drive traditional payment providers out of business. Ripple’s native coin XRP has a market capitalization of nearly $20 billion.
The figure does not match Ethereum’s mcap but still constitutes a considerable amount for any cryptocurrency. And Ripple is not unlike your average cryptocurrency. In fact, Citi and other well-known names use Ripple.
The Ripple Ledger is called XRPL. XRPL has three main use cases:
Overall, Ripple has been successful on two fronts at once. First, it’s on a watchlist in the crypto world. Second, XRPL has much to prove in the world of finance. The blockchain platform is worth watching in 2023.
Founded in 2021, Aptos blockchain is a Move-based layer 1 chain created by former Meta engineers. Aptos Labs, a company behind the blockchain, consists of professionals from the Diem team. The team is better known for its involvement in Meta’s quest for digital asset monetization.
There’s more to Aptos than its history though. Their main net is up and running. It has already surpassed 67 million total transactions. Comprehensive Aptos Smart Contract Audit is instrumental in creating secure and reliable dApps on this chain. Aptos layer 1 solution has much to offer to the Web3 community this year.
An honorable mention goes to these blockchain platforms:
These blockchain protocols are not as established as their more mature peers, but they bring innovative solutions for blockchain technology. Arbitrum is bringing optimistic rollups to L2. zkSync and StarkNet will compete for the best implementation of zero-knowledge rollups. Sui will challenge Aptos for leadership in object-oriented programming with Move. Cosmos will continue connecting different blockchains together with its proof of stake consensus. These platforms may pave the way for revolutionary blockchain applications. Hence, Web3 developers and crypto entrepreneurs should pay attention to them.
Different platforms serve different needs. The level of differentiation can be almost infinite. Roughly speaking, all blockchain platforms can be divided into two broad categories:
However, don’t let this separation trick you into thinking these categories are fixed. In fact, 2023 will be the year when the boundary between public and private networks will subside. Both businesses and Web3 developers recognize the importance of having multiple chains and various degrees of centralization vs. decentralization for different use cases. Some may even consider using a hybrid blockchain. Our list features both types to reflect this trend.
At the end of the day, only the commercial development of blockchain technology will bring smart contract capabilities, decentralized storage, and digital asset exchanges based on a consensus algorithm to a traditional financial industry. After all, a decentralized application is at the heart of decentralized finance.
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