Top Blockchain Platforms to watch out in 2019

Image source binary informatics

Blockchain technology came into existence when a paper titled “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system” was announced by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. However, the word “blockchain” was never used in the paper specifically. The paper discusses a “peer-to-peer version of electronic cash” where network adds timestamps to the transactions by hashing them into a chain of hash-based proof-of-work.

On the other hand, people define distributed ledger as a peer-to-peer network that uses a specific consensus mechanism to prevent updation of an ordered series of time-stamped records. Consensus mechanisms include Byzantine Fault Tolerance Algorithm, Proof of Stake, Proof of Work and more.

Some of the significant use cases of blockchain are supply chain and logistics, agriculture, healthcare, manufacturing, IoT applications and much more. Building a blockchain app from scratch can be quite complicated; however, blockchain platforms allow developers to develop blockchain apps with ease.

As the blockchain technology is gaining a lot of traction with each passing year, several blockchain platforms are now available in the market that facilitates blockchain development.

Since there are a variety of blockchain platforms, you need to pick one that meets your business requirements.

Here’s how can you choose the right blockchain platform for your business

We have selected popular and easy-to-use blockchain platforms for businesses based on their subjective assessment and features. We have done a qualitative analysis of each blockchain platform based on the following factors:

  • Activity
    How active is the blockchain platform in terms of blockchain development projects?
  • Type of network
    Whether a blockchain platform supports public, permissioned or private network
  • Supported Languages
    What are the programming languages supported by the blockchain platform’s SDK?
  • Popularity
    How popular is the platform based on its contribution to GitHub and ratings?
  • GitHub Repo
    Names of the GitHub Repo for platform’s SDKs.
  • Costing
    If the platform is available at free of cost or if it is paid, then what is its price per year.
  • Technical Support
    If the platform is backed a team of technical support specialists or not.

Following are some of the blockchain platforms that we have analyzed based on the factors mentioned above:

  1. Ethereum
  2. Hyperledger Sawtooth
  3. Hyperledger Fabric
  4. Hyperledger Iroha
  5. OpenChain
  6. Stellar
  7. NEO
  8. EOS
  9. Hedera Hashgraph
  10. R3 Corda
  11. Quorum
  12. MultiChain
  13. Ripple
  14. Credits
  15. Elements

Ethereum

Image source Ethereum

In late 2013, the team of developers, Vitalik Buterin, Jeffrey Wilcke and Gavin Wood worked on creating an open-source and blockchain based distributed computing platform, Ethereum. Their goal was to create a fully trustless smart contract platform.

It is an open blockchain platform that allows anyone to develop and run decentralized applications on blockchain technology. Just like Bitcoin, no one can own or control the Ethereum platform. It is based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) that offers the run-time environment to smart contracts built on Ethereum. Each node on Ethereum runs on the EVM.

Being the public blockchain platform, it is built for restricted access versus mass consumption. It has a native cryptocurrency called Ether that is used to fuel the entire Ethereum ecosystem.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Proof of Work
Governance:
Ethereum Developers
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissionless
Useful Links:

https://ethereum.org/ 
https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki/White-Paper

Hyperledger Sawtooth

Image source Hyperledger

Contributed by IBM and Digital Asset and founded by the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger Sawtooth is one of the widely used Hyperledger Projects which is designed to create, execute and deploy distributed ledgers.

It is a modular and enterprise-grade platform that enables digital records to be maintained without the need for a central authority managing it. Using PoET (Proof of Elapsed Time) consensus mechanism, Hyperledger Sawtooth can integrate with hardware security solutions termed as “trusted execution environments.”

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Pluggable Framework
Governance:
Linux Foundation
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned
Useful Links:

https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/sawtooth
https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/docs/core/releases/latest/
https://sawtooth.hyperledger.org/examples/

Hyperledger Fabric

image source Hyperledger

Hyperledger Fabric is also one of the popular Hyperledger Projects that is designed to build blockchain apps using a modular approach. The modular architecture enables network designers to plug in the components of their choice, such as consensus mechanism, membership services. Such modularity of architecture differs Fabric from other blockchain platforms.

Explicitly designed for permissioned networks, Hyperledger Fabric only allows known identities to participate within the system. Only authorized participants can be involved in the transactions taking place on Hyperledger Fabric platform.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Pluggable Framework
Governance:
Linux Foundation
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned
Useful Links:

https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/fabric
https://github.com/hyperledger/fabric

Hyperledger Iroha

image source Iroha.tech

Hyperledger Iroha has been founded by the Linux Foundation to build trusted, fast and secure dApps on blockchain technology. Based on a highly fast and secure consensus algorithm, Yet Another Consensus, Iroha protects the nodes from failures or adversary nodes.

Supporting both Linux and macOS environment, the platform is widely used to build the supply chain and IoT solutions. Like other Hyperledger projects, Iroha is also simple and modularized distributed ledger system.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Chain-based Byzantine Fault Tolerant
Governance:
Linux Foundation
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned
Useful Links:

https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/iroha
https://iroha.readthedocs.io/en/latest/

OpenChain

Image source Medium

Developed by CoinPrism organization, OpenChain is an open-source blockchain platform, well-suited for businesses willing to handle the digital assets in a scalable and secure way. Using partitioned consensus, one instance can only have a single authority for validating transactions on OpenChain platform.

As there is no miner involved in OpenChain, the asset administrator can validate the transactions. Since transactions on OpenChain are free of cost, it is the most efficient platform than any other blockchain platform.

Industry Focus: Digital Asset Management
Consensus Algorithm:
Partitioned Consensus
Governance:
Linux Foundation
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned
Useful Links:

https://www.openchain.org/
https://github.com/openchain

Stellar

image source stellar

Stellar is a distributed ledger platform, specifically built to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value. Stellar allows developers to develop smart devices, banking tools and mobile wallets on the top of Stellar Blockchain Network.

With Stellar Consensus Protocol (SCP), it becomes possible to achieve consensus without relying on a closed system to record financial transactions.

In comparison to proof of stake and proof of work, SCP opens up the financial system to new members and reduces barriers to entry. SureRemit is one of the applications that leverage the Stellar platform to connect immigrants abroad with the merchants offering services in a different country.

Industry Focus: Financial Services
Consensus Algorithm:
Stellar Consensus Protocol
Governance:
Stellar Development Foundation
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Both public and private
Useful Links:

https://www.stellar.org/
https://www.stellar.org/papers/stellar-consensus-protocol.pdf

NEO

Image source Themercle

Founded by the members of blockchain R&D company “OnChain,” NEO blockchain platform is designed to build scalable dApps. Using Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance mechanism, NEO works better than other platforms.

It has a native cryptocurrency known as “NEO” which can be used for paying transaction fees to run apps on the NEO network.

Industry Focus: Smart Economy
Consensus Algorithm:
Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance
Governance:
On-chain governance through votes of NEO holders and Off-chain governance through NEO Foundation support.
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://neo.org/
https://docs.neo.org/en-us/whitepaper.html

EOS

Image source leewayhertz

Founded by a private company, Block.One, EOS was launched as open-source software in June 2018. EOS aims to provide decentralized application’s hosting, smart contract capability, decentralized storage of enterprise blockchain apps and solve scalability issues with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The EOS platform also eradicates the additional fees for all its users while accomplishing consensus using multi-threading and delegated proof of stake algorithm.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Delegated Proof of Stake
Governance:
EOSIO Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF)
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://eos.io/
https://developers.eos.io/

Hedera Hashgraph

image source steemit

Hedera Hashgraph is a lightning fast and fair platform that does not need to compute a heavy proof of work algorithm as compared to other blockchain platforms. The platform comes with the functionality of smart contracts. It has a unique but optional mechanism, “binding arbitration” that allows smart contracts to be deployed with a list of the public key of arbitrators who can add new features and fix bugs.

With asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance Algorithm, Hedera Hashgraph provides a high degree of security.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance
Governance:
Hedera Hashgraph Council
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://www.hedera.com/
https://www.hedera.com/whitepaper

R3 Corda

Image source Chatsworth Communications

R3 Corda is an innovative blockchain platform that allows institutions to make transactions directly with smart contracts, thereby removing costly frictions from the business transactions.

Built initially only for the financial sector, R3 Corda can now be applied to other use cases such as healthcare, supply chain, government authorities and trade finance.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance
Governance:
Hedera Hashgraph Council
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes
Ledger Type:
Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://www.hedera.com/
https://www.hedera.com/whitepaper

Quorum

image source Google

Launched by JP Morgan, Quorum is an enterprise version of Ethereum blockchain. By modifying Ethereum’s core, the platform can quickly incorporate Ethereym updates.

It is an open-source blockchain platform that uses vote based algorithms to execute hundreds of transactions per second. Since it a permissioned blockchain platform, it only allows authorized participants to take part in the transactions on the platform.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Majority Voting
Governance:
Ethereum Developers and JP Morgan Chase
Smart Contract Functionality:
No
Ledger Type:
Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://www.jpmorgan.com/country/US/EN/Quorum
https://github.com/jpmorganchase/quorum

MultiChain

image source medium

Multichain is a blockchain platform, designed for the development and deployment of private blockchains and offers control and privacy within a peer to peer network.

Using MultiChain platform, it is possible to control who can send, receive and monitor transactions, create streams, blocks and assets. A blockchain app can either be developed as open or closed blockchain depending on the business requirements.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Distributed Consensus
Governance:
Not Mentioned
Smart Contract Functionality:
Yes, but they are referred to as smart filters
Ledger Type:
Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://www.multichain.com/
https://www.multichain.com/download/MultiChain-White-Paper.pdf

Ripple

image source Bitcoinwiki

Ripple aims to connect digital asset exchanges, corporates, banks and payment service providers via RippleNet, the blockchain network with no chargebacks. It enables international payments via a digital asset “Ripple” or “XRP.”

Using probabilistic voting, Ripple can reach the consensus between nodes on the network. Big brands like American Express, SBI Holdings and Deloitte are experimenting with the potential of Ripple’s Blockchain to transform the payment processes.

Industry Focus: Financial Services
Consensus Algorithm:
Probabilistic Voting
Governance:
Ripple Labs
Smart Contract Functionality: No
Ledger Type: Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://ripple.com/
https://ripple.com/collateral/

Credits

Image source Credits

Credits is a development platform to build and execute decentralized applications (dApps) based on smart contracts and blockchain technology.

It provides developers with a wide range of solutions that can be used for application development. It uses the Credits Decision Consensus Algorithm to build scalable and robust blockchain apps.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Variant Proof of Stake
Governance:
Not Mentioned
Smart Contract Functionality: Yes
Ledger Type: Permissioned 
Useful Links:

https://credits.com/
https://developers.credits.com/

Elements by Blockstream

image source blockstream

Elements Blockchain is an open-source sidechain-capable platform that provides access to unique features built by the community members. Its special features include Confidential transactions and assets. By issuing multiple privately transferrable assets on the single blockchain, Elements blockchain opens up various use cases.

Elements blockchain uses the signatories known as block signers for signing and creating blocks timely and efficiently.

Industry Focus: Cross-Industry
Consensus Algorithm:
Strong Federations
Governance:
Not Mentioned
Smart Contract Functionality:
No
Ledger Type:
Permissioned
Useful Links:

https://elementsproject.org/

https://github.com/ElementsProject/elements

This article will help you get information about the popular blockchain projects, which are now being used by several blockchain companies to build dApps. As a blockchain development company, we understand the above blockchain platforms and have a team of developers who can develop blockchain applications on the top of these platforms.

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