What are the best smart contract platforms, and what other good options exist besides Ethereum? Numerous projects compete in the area of smart contracts, but only a few are truly worth mentioning. The launch of ETH2 and rising stars like Polkadot have made it more important than ever to comprehend this special market.
Since its inception in 2015, Ethereum has dominated the smart contract industry. Vitalik Buterin’s idea hasn’t been outdone despite multiple attempts to become its fair competitor. Even the renowned NEO ecosystem, once known as Antshares, missed the opportunity to establish itself as a key hub for smart contracts during the previous bull run.
In 2021, smart contract platforms will be even more crucial as the $40 billion decentralized finance (DeFi) market expands. As the current ICO gold rush occurs, developers are marketing their various ecosystems as the ideal nest for dApps and other blockchain endeavors.
What are the best platforms for smart contracts in 2021, and is there anything that can unseat Vitalik Buterin and the organization, especially in light of the upcoming release of a scalable Ethereum 2.0? Before continuing, let’s quickly recap the importance of smart contracts.
With the revolutionary smart contracts feature of blockchain technology, individuals can converse and deal with one another utilizing a “robotic intermediary.” A smart contract is a self-executing collection of computer code that is capable of doing specific tasks that ordinarily call for user interaction.
Why is using smart contracts so important? They provide the element of trustlessness needed by blockchains. Can you really trust someone who is acting anonymously to accomplish your online transaction? Of course not. First-generation blockchains like Bitcoin lack a smart contract counterpart that may compensate for the lack of trust.
Consider finding someone online who is willing to buy your 2 Bitcoin. He wants you to send him your assets before he sends fiat money to your bank account. Your confidence in the other side is the only thing supporting this $100,000 transaction. A system or outside entity cannot confirm that the person will send the money once the transfer has been made.
Smart contracts drastically change the situation in that regard. But they might also host decentralized apps and automate procedures in addition to building trust (dApps). In order to automate innovative features like staking, regular loans, flash loans, and other loans, DeFi developers commonly use them.
With a market cap of about $200 billion, Ethereum is the leading platform for smart contracts and decentralized applications. Polkadot, Binance Smart Chain, EOS, Solana, and the rest of the cryptocurrencies are still vying for the best spot, but neither of them can get the pioneer from its throne.
Top Smart Contract Platforms
Now that the importance of this not-so-new technology has been brought to our attention, it is time to examine the leading smart contract platforms and evaluate how they compare to one another. Will Ethereum perhaps lose its throne or at the very least have it shaken?
The Ethereum smart contract ecosystem was built in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and four other co-founders. Two years later, the Ethereum Foundation-led project evolved into a decentralized solution after a token sale that brought in a total of $16 million.
The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a reportedly Turing-complete system, resides on Ethereum, a Proof of Work blockchain network. Due to its ability to closely resemble an ideal machine, it is well recognized for being regarded as the world’s computer. Developers create EMV apps using Solidity, an object-oriented programming language for creating smart contracts.
Similar to how it was for ICOs during the previous bull run, Ethereum is now a hotspot for both DeFi projects and apps in addition to being one of the best enterprise blockchain solutions available. The number of ecosystems vying for a piece of the DeFi pie has increased, but none of them have significantly hurt Ethereum’s standing.
Polkadot, a different smart contract ecosystem, was created by none other than Gavin Wood, a co-founder of Ethereum. The former CTO decided to create his blockchain network after learning that ETH is not at all the secure and scalable protocol that its creators had intended.
The software development company Parity Technologies created the Polkadot blockchain network, which is currently ranked as the fifth-largest cryptocurrency project by market capitalization. It is also backed by the Web3 Foundation, another team of like-minded individuals constructing a decentralized web.
To solve the blockchain trilemma and grow smart contracts without compromising their security and decentralization, the Solana project was created.
The network supposedly supports a record-breaking 65,000 transactions per second because of its ground-breaking Proof of History consensus method. Since March of last year, 330 validators from around the world have helped Solana execute more than $5.5 billion in transactions at prices more than a thousand times less expensive than Ethereum.
Document Verification Using Blockchain
Today, fake documents are tragically all too widespread, and as most of you know, getting one is not difficult. It is challenging for the average individual to tell the difference between genuine and fake documents because they are so similar to one another. Service providers must invest millions of dollars to verify applicants’ supporting documents.
The aforementioned issue might be fixed by a blockchain-based digital document verification system. Document verification is now less arduous and resistant to misleading representations thanks to blockchain technology. Blockchain technology is used to create a distributed ledger that contains a list of the documents that need to be validated. Instead of a digital copy, a cryptographic copy is stored on the blockchain network.
Blockchain technology eliminates the middleman in document verification, lowering network transaction costs. In essence, this reduces expenses. Also, to enable access to data from anywhere at any time, certificates are stored on a distributed ledger. Blockchain allows for the secure storage of documents that only authorized users can access with their private keys.