In the past few years, we have seen new and exciting technologies that promise a more decentralized and secure economy. In this article, I have included some of the main players in this developing market.
Golem is an open-source, decentralized computer network.
How Golem Works
The Golem Network is a market for computing power, where users can earn from ‘renting’ their machines or by developing and selling software.
Within the network, users renting computing power are called “providers” and users acquiring power are called “requestors.” The requestors use Golem for various purposes, including graphics processing, data analysis, microservices, and machine learning.
- The work division means that tasks can be completed simultaneously, thus enabling shorter timelines for projects.
- The cost of doing business is less than cloud-based services.
- Users can be instantly paid for their work with the Golem Network Token (GTM), a token on Ethereum blockchain.
- Golem is building their whole stack from bottom to top, an approach that typically results in great UXs.
IExec is a decentralized marketplace for cloud services focused on blockchain-based distributed applications and affordable, high-performance computing.
Unlike Golem, iExec (since the release of its v1) allows anyone to develop and run applications.
The iExecc Dapp store contains a variety of apps. Considering the experienced team behind iExec, their reason to choose the Dapp pathway is that there’s probably less competition here. After establishing themselves in the decentralized Dapp market, iExec plans on expanding into decentralized computing tasks.
RLC is short for ‘Runs on Lots of Computers,’ and it’s the native token of iExec. There are currently 87 million of the ERC-20 token in circulation.
Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based platform that enables users to build decentralized applications. The computations are performed in an isolated environment called Ethereum Virtual Machine that resides in all node connected on the network. The product of the computations is stored on the blockchain.
Features of the Ethereum Blockchain
Ether is the currency of the Ethereum blockchain. The cryptocurrencies ETH (Ethereum Hard Fork) and ETC (Ethereum Classic) are two values of Ether.
The EVM is capable of executing a “smart contact,” an algorithm that stores and automatically executes terms of agreements. Both parties involved in a transaction agree to the terms written in the smart contract.
Bitcoin vs Ethereum Platform
The Bitcoin blockchain focuses on a set of pre-defined operations, such as tracking Bitcoin transactions, while Ethereum allows users to run code of any complexity, making it suitable for any decentralized application, including cryptocurrencies.
Computation on the Ethereum network cost more and take longer than a standard computer because of the parallelization of computing. To maintain consensus, all participants must agree over the order of all transactions that have taken place, whether they have taken part in the transaction or not.
Ethereum nodes store the most recent state of each smart contract, along with all of the Ether transactions. As EVM is an isolated system, the code runs without access to the network or the filesystem. So, there’s limited accessibility even among smart contracts.
4. Hyperledger Fabric
Hosted by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger Fabric is an open source distributed ledger technology (DLT) having a modular and configurable architecture that can be employed at the enterprise level in various industries.
Features of Hyperledger Fabric
Privacy, Development, and Performance
- The Fabric platform enables permissioned, private operation where the operators know each other and can be bound by rules, such as a legal agreement.
- Fabric supports smart contracts written in common languages, such as Java and Go, so no additional training is required to create the smart contracts.
- Performance is enhanced because, unlike Ethereum, only parties taking part in the transaction have to reach consensus.
Also unlike Ethereum, Fabric nodes have different roles and tasks in the consensus process. The nodes can be orderers, clients, or peers.
Fabric does not have a native cryptocurrency. However, chaincode can be used to develop a native currency.
Tendermint has a blockchain consensus engine, known as Tendermint Core, and a generic application interface, known as Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI). The software enables secure and consistent replication of an application on multiple machines.
The Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) middleware of the consensus engine can securely replicate state transition machinery. BFT middleware can tolerate one-third of failures, including hacking attacks.
Tendermint had the goal of offering a more secure and efficient consensus algorithm than Bitcoin’s PoW (Proof of Work). The software formed the basis of important research by consensus protocol Casper’s team: a fault-tolerant chain, such as Tendermint, can make good decisions about who produces a block, while a less reliable chain results in a chicken and egg problem.
The software is user-friendly, replicates applications written in any language, and has multiple applications.
Lisk is a decentralized and distributed platform that allows users to develop apps and support them with customized blockchains.
Lisk’s Consensus Mechanism
Lisk asks developers to follow “rules” for contracts to ensure consensus. For instance, they ask developers to “don’t use Math.random().”
7. Corda (V 3.0)
Corda is an open source, distributed ledger platform (DLT) catering to the financial industry.
Features of Corda
Corda’s network is a permissioned network – it’s not open to all node operators. The nodes run on Corda and CoDapps and communicate point-to-point with each other.
The ‘doorman’ of each network sets the admission rules for nodes that want to join the network. Like Fabric, Corda offers more privacy because of its fine-grained access control to records, and better permeance because of limiting consensus to the involved parties.
On Corda, contract developers also add legal prose to their contract. This feature consolidates the contract by legitimizing it with the associated legal prose. The platform does not have a native token.
Rootstock (RSK) is an open source smart-contract platform that is built on the Bitcoin blockchain.
RSK is enabling smart contract on the Bitcoin network. It uses the Turing-complete Rootstock Virtual Machine (RVM) for smart contracts. A 2-way peg allows users to directly send Bitcoin onto the Rootstock chain. The RSK coins can be used with smart contracts and Dapps. RSK contracts replicate ‘Proof-of-Existence,’ which is used to prove the existence of a document (or property right).
The RSK blockchain has merge-mining, giving it the same level of security as Bitcoin in terms of settlement finality and double-spending.
RSK is a sidechain of Bitcoin. The Bitcoins on the Rootstock blockchain are called SBTC.
RSK is filling the gaps in the Bitcoin network by enabling faster transactions. Besides being convenient for users, it also helps to keep the Bitcoin block size within limits.