The Solidity programming language, created for the development of blockchain smart contracts, has become the crypto industry standard. This language was used for the smart contract of Ethereum, the largest network for decentralized applications.
Solidity lets you create Turing-complete smart contracts, meaning there’s no need for third-party. The language is the basis of Tendermint, one of the most advanced consensus mechanisms based on the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT), and the core of the Cosmos blockchain network. We will review the large platforms that support Solidity.
Solidity was developed by the Ethereum team, which also created a blockchain platform using the language. Now, the Ethereum network is the world’s leader among smart contract-based projects. Ethereum was created in 2014 by Vitalik Buterin, one of the most influential persons in the crypto industry.
Ethereum provides an ecosystem for the development of decentralized applications (DApps) and serves as the basis for the largest DeFi protocols, such as Uniswap, MakerDAO, Compound, Aave and many others. In fact, this is not an advantage for Ethereum — the more apps, the heavier the load.
The rapid growth of DeFi popularity clearly demonstrated that. High user activity caused an unprecedented rise in transaction costs, sometimes the fee exceeded $100 per transaction.
A huge community that formed over the 7 years of the Ethereum existence supports the platform. Despite such popularity, the Ethereum network has some scalability problems, leading to slow and expensive transactions.
The developers are trying to solve the problem by updating Ethereum 2.0. The updated platform will use the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, and the protocol will be based on the deflationary mechanism that appeared on the network after the London hard fork. It means that some of the coins paid for Gas will be permanently burned, and the ETH issue will decrease.
Few people know that Ethereum Classic is the original Ethereum blockchain, which “broke off” after the hard fork, a result of hacking the infamous The DAO, and ETC coins turned into ERC-20 tokens. It was necessary for restoring the lost funds, and the main blockchain continued to function as a fork.
Ethereum Classic runs on a Proof-of-Work algorithm, just like Ethereum does at the moment. Supporters of the original blockchain are maintaining the original protocol. This is the main drawback of the platform as the original blockchain limits the cryptocurrency issue to 210 million ETC, while the ETH issue will only decrease over time.
Despite the drawbacks, the Ethereum Classic token ranks 19th by capitalization in the Coinmarketcap rating, which indicates strong community support. However, the outdated PoW algorithm and the scalability lack will not give any benefits to the platform.
This platform uses the Solidity language for smart contracts. The Polkadot ecosystem combines several blockchains into one network, making the platform scalable. These blockchains in the Polkadot network are called parachains. They increase the network bandwidth and also interact with each other. This property is known as interoperability or, In other words, blockchain compatibility.
The Polkadot network is segmented, and the parachains are not isolated unlike other blockchain networks such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. They can process transactions in parallel with each other, and if one network is overloaded, the users can use another blockchain for transactions.
Moreover, such architecture allows to optimize individual blockchains for solving specific tasks, for example, identity management or data storage. The decentralized applications based on Polkadot will also be able to interact with each other. Polkadot is one of the main competitors of Ethereum and other similar networks.
Binance Smart Chain
All projects and tokens based on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem use smart contracts in the Solidity language. Binance Coin (BNB), Binance USD (BUSD), PancakeSwap (CAKE), Venus (XVS) and other BEP-20 tokens use Solidity in smart contracts.
Binance Smart Chain is the second most popular ecosystem of decentralized applications after Ethereum. The BSC network has better bandwidth, and transactions are faster and cheaper.
Initially, Binance Coin (BNB) was created as an ERC-20 token based on the Ethereum blockchain. Later, the Binance developers improved the smart contract and launched their own main Binance Chain network, where BNB tokens migrated and turned into a cryptocurrency. Then the Binance Smart Chain network appeared, which became an improved Binance Chain version. Despite the higher bandwidth compared to Ethereum, the BSC network has the same disadvantages. They became evident as the popularity of the blockchain was grown. With high load, transactions became slower and more expensive.
It is another large network of decentralized applications and the largest platform for blockchain games. Tron specializes in the entertainment industry, offering decentralized games, marketplaces and token exchanges.
The Tron architecture is based on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform was created in 2017 by Justin Sun, who headed the non-profit Tron Foundation. The developers use Solidity to create decentralized applications, parts of the Tron ecosystem.
Tron has been repeatedly accused of copying Ethereum architecture without introducing anything new. But, like the Binance Smart Chain, the Tron network has improved its scalability, making the transactions fast and cheap. In addition, unlike Ethereum, the Tron blockchain is based on the PoS consensus mechanism.
In reality, the holders can make free transactions by freezing TRX coins to get the energy that powers the platform. Apart from the narrow focus on the media industry, the Tron blockchain doesn’t differ from its competitors.
Uniswap is a DeFi protocol based on the Ethereum platform and created for the exchange of ERC-20 tokens and yield farming. The platform works as an automatic market maker (AMM) with the decentralized exchange (DEX) functions.
Unlike centralized crypto exchanges, Uniswap does not depend on an intermediary, and liquidity providers provide liquidity to the decentralized platform. The users can simultaneously and securely exchange digital tokens on the exchange and earn from liquidity mining by adding tokens to pools.
The main problem with Uniswap is its dependence on the Ethereum ecosystem. This means that it will have the same problems as the main blockchain. With the demand increase for the platform more scaling problems will arise forcing the users to look for alternative platforms. This is what happened to Binance Smart Chain. High fees made many users switch to the BSC network which, in turn, also led to scalability problems.
The Zhcash platform is based on a hybrid approach, providing the flexibility of smart contracts based on Ethereum. Zhcash combines blockchains and Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVMs) to create flexible and productive blockchain applications.
The Zhcash team presented tools for quickly developing their own smart contracts, DApps and issuing Ethereum-based tokens. The users can quickly launch effective applications with minimal programming skills in the Solidity language.
Zhcash is a Bitcoin fork with an Ethereum virtual machine. In other words, the developers used the best properties of both protocols to create an innovative blockchain network.
The decentralized platform uses a combination of three consensus algorithms at once:
- PoS V3 is a new Proof-of-Stake concept. It allows every wallet in the Zhcash network to become a full-fledged node that can participate in staking on par with the validators.
- IPOs are a unique mechanism developed by the Zhcash team. Token holders can delegate coins to supernodes.
- DPoS is an algorithm that divides the network into validators and delegates. Most modern blockchains, such as Solana, Cosmos, Tezos, and many others, are based on this consensus mechanism.
The Zhcash network uses a separate full-scale blockchain instead of the Ethereum blockchain. Zhcash’s independence allows it to be unrestricted by Bitcoin or Ethereum so that the users can add new and improved functions.
Avalanche is an open decentralized platform for creating Ethereum-based blockchain networks and applications, created by Ava Labs. The Avalanche platform aims to displace Ethereum as the main network for launching decentralized applications.
The developers have created their own DeFi ecosystem. This attracted the attention of crypto enthusiasts, and AVAX became one of the fastest-growing tokens in 2020. Some famous crypto projects, such as bZx, Reef, SushiSwap and TrueUSD, integrated their solutions with the Avalanche platform.
The Avalanche architecture is based on a subnetwork, also called the Primary Network, which is a group of validators that ensure the entire network security, confirm transactions and add blocks.
The Primary Network includes three blockchains:
- X-Chain is a platform for issuing and trading crypto assets (tokens).
- P-Chain is a blockchain that coordinates the work of validators and allows the creation of new subnetworks and custom blockchains.
- C-Chain is a blockchain that simplifies the smart contracts’ creation.
The developers presented their own Avalanche Virtual Machine (AVM) and a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm called Snowball. The main difference from the classic PoS is that Snowball completely cancels rewards, instead of cutting them down, if the validators act maliciously. Although the concept seems interesting, blockchain experts are not sure that Avalanche is a serious threat to Ethereum.
This network is built completely from scratch and does not use the existing blockchain networks technologies included in the global DeFi ecosystem. Note that developers use the Solidity programming language, it is evidence of its wide functionality for the advanced blockchain networks’ development.
Instead of complex and time-consuming mining, the Hedera Hashgraph platform offers a different algorithm, a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG). Hedera Hashgraph is not a typical blockchain. The network resembles a tree of graphs.
This structure is notable because the transaction speed increases as new transactions are added to the network. In other words, transactions in the Hedera Hashgraph network are processed and confirmed in parallel, not sequentially, like in the Bitcoin or Ethereum networks. The aim is to achieve throughput exceeding 100,000 transactions per second with minimal computing costs.
The Hedera Hashgraph team uses the same language as the Ethereum creators to develop a smart contract. Smart contracts in the Hedera Hashgraph network let users create their own DApps for games, DeFi platforms, digital identification, and much more.
However, Hedera Hashgraph has a significant drawback: unlike most projects, the platform contains closed source code, which complicates the audit and makes it impossible to reveal the founders’ intent. Moreover, the creators of Hedera Hashgraph have patented the technology, so that independent developers can’t create forks to improve the protocol operation.
Only a few platforms use the Solidity language to create architecture and smart contracts. However, this programming language has become the blockchain industry standard. After all, many leading platforms, such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Polkadot and others, are created in Solidity. But most developers of these platforms do not seek their own way. They try to displace Ethereum by replacing it in the DeFi ecosystem.
Instead of just competing with Ethereum, the Zhcash developers have created a unique concept based on the most effective blockchains’ properties. Zhcash uses a hybrid model for blockchain functioning, which allows validators and standard nodes to easily and quickly switch between consensus algorithms for the most effective interaction.
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