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Ethereum has long reigned as the king of smart contract platforms, thanks in no small part to the huge range of applications already operating on the platform, and the number of developers building on it.
But as one of the first smart contract platforms, it’s beginning to show its age, and is now struggling to keep up with rampant demand for decentralized applications. With gas fees skyrocketing, transaction delays commonplace, and numerous other frustrations for the end-user, many developers are now beginning to look for suitable alternatives.
Fortunately, there are dozens of Ethereum competitors being built — some of which offer features that would be hard to rival. Here, we take a look at three of the most promising in 2021 and beyond.
Widely recognized as the first quantum-resistant blockchain platform, QAN is designed to host the next generation of truly secure decentralized applications (DApps).
With the rapid improvement in quantum computing capabilities thanks to recent progress made by firms like IBM, Fujitsu, Google, and Honeywell, quantum computers are rapidly approaching the capability to break current generation encryption systems — including Bitcoin’s SHA256 and Ethereum’s KECCAK-256. If ever cracked, this could decimate the two platforms, and any other platforms that have similarly outdated security.
Besides being quantum attack-proof, QAN also stands apart from Ethereum and most other blockchains thanks to its extreme focus on the developer experience. The platform is designed to make building DApps an incredibly simple task that is accessible to even those with limited development experience. In short, QAN allows builders to create and deploy their DApps within just minutes, compared to hours or days with other platforms.
With its 1-click hardware and cloud deployment, multi-language development support (inc C, C++, Rust, etc.,) and support for up to 97,000 transactions per second (tps), QAN is well positioned to experience an explosion of innovation with the impending release of its mainnet in Q1 2022.
Interoperability is increasingly coming into view as an incredibly important pillar of the blockchain landscape.
With more and more projects looking to deploy across multiple chains and build an ecosystem of cross-chain partners and interactions, there is now a strong need for a platform that can support these projects.
Polkadot is quickly emerging as the first choice for many of these projects, thanks to its ability to link any existing blockchain with a range of upcoming Polkadot-based chains — without requiring any modifications to the base layer. This will allow for true any-to-any chain value and information transfers, helping to do away with the closed-off approach to application development by giving users access to the best features of every connected chain.
Besides its impressive support for cross-chain interactions, Polkadot also boasts a futureproof upgrade feature, which allows it to add new features and fix bugs without forking the chain and causing a schism in the community. Combine this with extreme scalability and a low-energy proof Nominated Proof-of-Stake (NPoSs) consensus, and Polkadot looks like a powerful platform for developers.
With Parachain auctions set to go live later this year and the first wave of interoperable blockchains launching shortly after, we may be right at the cusp of a new interoperable blockchain future.
Besides blockchain, artificial intelligence is widely regarded as one of the pivotal technologies of the years and decades ahead — with AI-powered tools set to revolutionize practically every industry.
It comes as no surprise then, that the two would eventually cross paths, and a blockchain platform would emerge that leverages the power of AI to iterate itself and adapt to changes in network demand.
Velas is exactly that. The platform leverages state of the art cryptography and artificial intelligence to produce a self-governed, adaptive blockchain capable of sustaining and adapting to the stresses that come with supporting massively scalable decentralized applications.
Built on the Solana codebase, albeit with a few powerful modifications, Velas is built to support a rapidly expanding ecosystem of DApps and products. The platform leverages a unique AI-powered consensus mechanism known AIDPOS to maximize the stability and scalability of the blockchain to ensure a consistent experience across all DApps.
The platform recently migrated to its 3.0 mainnet, bringing with it a suite of next-gen features, including a social media platform known as BitOrbit, support for synthetic assets, and a novel security mechanism known as Velas Vault. With this, Velas aims to provide a full-fledged ecosystem that developers can use to produce powerful applications.