Cryptocurrency has come a long way since the launch of Bitcoin twelve years ago. Bitcoin was designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography, rather than a central authority, to control its creation and management. As time passed and Bitcoin became more popular, developers realized blockchain technology could be used to solve more issues.
The launch of Ethereum in 2015, and the introduction of smart contracts, broadened the scope of things that could be done with this technology. The initial coin offering fever of 2017 is proof of this. Around that time appeared the concept of Blockchain 2.0: applications that aimed to decentralize traditional markets like insurance and housing. This ecosystem quickly attracted millions of users, further popularizing blockchain technology.
However, this caused congestion in the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks – they weren’t prepared to handle such high traffic. Developers have created and proposed many upgrades and add-ons to solve this problem.
However, blockchains require a majority consensus to implement upgrades. If a faction of the network doesn’t agree with it, the chain splits. Recently, many projects have appeared, claiming they can deliver a better experience than Ethereum. All of these networks have two things in common: they provide tools to build decentralized applications (dapps), and they are compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Despite its current flaws, Ethereum is still the biggest blockchain to host dapps. The DeFi ecosystem (and the GameFi ecosystem) bloomed on Ethereum. But at the moment its fees are too high for users, and that means that projects can’t get the traffic they need. So, the key to create successful blockchain is to make it perform better than Ethereum, while at the same time being compatible with Ethereum.
This way, developers can easily migrate their applications. For users, it means they can use the new chain with the same tools they use with Ethereum without having to adapt to a new interface and dynamics. Which are these blockchains? The most popular ones currently are Polygon, TRON, Cardano and Avalanche. Let’s see what they’re all about.
What is Polygon?Polygon, previously called Matic Network, was launched in 2017. Instead of battling against Ethereum, it aims to improve it. Polygon provides a set of tools to create new blockchains that are compatible with the Ethereum network. This way, they benefit from its safety, but run in a different, more scalable environment. Blockchains built with Polygon use the project’s proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. As a result, transactions are processed faster and with lower energy consumption. The final validation, however, happens on the Ethereum chain with its proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm. It’s worth noting that transition to a PoS model is planned for Ethereum in the coming months.
What is TRON?TRON is a blockchain platform created in 2017, by entrepreneur Justin Sun. This network focuses on content sharing and distribution through a decentralized P2P system. To accomplish this goal, it provides different tools and protocols for developers and users to create and use. In 2019, Sun acquired BitTorrent, the company behind the development of the BitTorrent protocol, the most popular P2P file-sharing system of the internet. TRON is compatible with the EVM, through its own infrastructure called TRON Virtual Machine (TVM). It features a delegated-proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism to validate its transactions and secure the network. The network supports smart contracts, so any dapps built on Ethereum can be migrated to its blockchain.
What is Cardano?Cardano is one of the most popular cryptos at the moment, ranking #4 according to coinmarketcap.com. It was launched in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson, one of the founders of Ethereum. Cardano is the biggest blockchain to use PoS as of now. Its development has had a clear roadmap since its launch, with every step being followed closely. In the second half of 2021, the development team activated what is calls “the Goguen era”. This upgrade introduced smart contracts on the network, making it suitable for building dapps. The news attracted a lot of developers, who began building applications on the platform right away. This influx of new users made the token scale quickly. The network infrastructure is supposed to handle heavy use, while remaining fast, cheap, and decentralized.
What is Avalanche?Avalanche is the newest blockchain on the list. It was launched in 2019 by a company called Ava Labs, led by renowned crypto academic Emin Gün Sirer. Avalanche is the first permissionless system to provide strong security guarantees – such as upholding safety even if a 51% attack was to occur. It boasts one of the highest throughputs of all smart contract-capable blockchains, coming in at 6,500 transactions per second. This network doesn’t require PoW or PoS mechanisms to validate its transactions. Instead, it features a directed acyclic graph (DAG) protocol to randomly assign transactions to validators.
All of these projects offer unique features and characteristics. For that reason, they have gained public adoption and have climbed in value. Kirobo is considering expanding its list of supported coins. Which one would you like to see connected to Kirobo services? Kirobo allows you to send cryptocurrency safely, knowing that if you make a mistake, you won’t lose your coins forever. With the Kirobo Undo Button you create a password which the recipient must enter in order to collect a pending transfer. Moreover, all supported coins are compatible with the P2P Swap Button – a service allowing direct token swaps free of exchange fees and slippage.