The impact and influence that Ethereum had on the cryptocurrency space is unparalleled. The Ethereum blockchain envisioned by Vitalik Buterin completely redefined what everyone thought could be achieved with technology.
It initiated a wave of innovation and technology that continues to fuel the raging fire of the evolution of the blockchain space. If Bitcoin marked the beginning of the blockchain revolution, Ethereum established the blockchain revolution for what it is today. Today, Ethereum continues to be the second most popular cryptocurrency project with a market cap of almost $500 billion. There’s no doubt that Ethereum is the blockchain protocol with the most utility, but it has inspired a number of worthwhile Ethereum alternatives.
While 2021 has undoubtedly been a year full of progress for Ethereum, it was quite revealing for the project. Although Etheruem has been proven to be a powerful and versatile platform, it has its drawbacks. The DeFi platforms based on the Ethereum blockchain revealed how unready it was for the increasing number of users.
The DeFi boom of 2020 catalyzed by the pandemic led to an increasing number of users shifting their trust from heavily centralized financial institutions to decentralized finance powered by cryptocurrencies. Now at the time, Ethereum was the leading platform that ran decentralized apps and powered a slur of financial services that anyone with an internet connection and a smartphone could access.
However, Ethereum’s greatest gift to humanity turned out to be its greatest curse. The blockchain could barely handle the increasing number of users joining the platform or using apps based on the platform. This led to scalability issues, high transaction costs, network congestion, disputes between miners and users on the platform, and more. Network fees went as high as $5000 amid the DeFi boom.
Interestingly, the surge in the influx of people using DeFi services only revealed how unready both the sectors were. It revealed the gaps cryptocurrencies had in contrast to traditional fiat assets and the drawbacks DeFi had in contrast to centralized financial apps.
The inherent problems of Ethereum led to a revolution of “Ethereum killer” or “Ethereum Alternatives” platforms that solve the scalability issues and deliver a credible and competitive platform that could cater to the increasing demand of blockchain platforms capable of running DApps more efficiently and at a significantly lower cost.
In this article, we’ll be talking about some of the best Ethereum alternatives in the cryptocurrency space.
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The Top Ethereum Alternatives
Solana is a long-term rival of the Ethereum blockchain. Ranked 6th on the world’s top 10 largest digital coins, Solana is undoubtedly one of the hottest and most trending blockchain platforms at the moment.
Known as the world’s first web-scale blockchain, it has one of the fastest blockchains networks in the world, and thanks to its speed, it thwarts Ethereum’s transaction speeds with its throughput of 50,000 transactions per second.
Like Ethereum, Solana is a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that runs smart contracts and hosts decentralized apps. Unlike Ethereum’s abhorrently high network fees, Solana handles a phenomenal amount of transactions per second at a nominal cost of $0.00025 per transaction, making it easily the fastest and cheapest blockchain in the market and one of our top Ethereum alternatives.
Polkadot is undoubtedly one of the most highly-anticipated next-generation, smart contract-focused blockchain platforms. What makes Polkadot so unique is that it was created by one of the smart people that made Ethereum what it is today. Ranked 8th on the world’s top 10 largest digital coins, Polkadot is yet another promising blockchain platform that aims to solve the blockchain trilemma.
Polkadot is a multi-chain network that connects various blockchains together and creates another blockchain. Although it’s not as fast as Solana, Polkadot can process up to 1000 transactions.
Like Ethereum, Polkadot also supports smart contracts and powers a framework that makes it super easy for developers to create DApps and smart contracts without having to worry about the complex and technical aspects that connect them together.
Launching in 2019 as a direct competitor to the Ethereum blockchain, EOS is another impressive platform that has been specifically designed and marketed as “Ethereum for big businesses.” Like the other platforms on our List, EOS also aims to solve the blockchain trilemma.
What’s unique about the EOS platform is that it powers its extensive list of Decentralized Apps via its operating system called the EOS.IO. The operating system has been engineered to control the execution of smart contracts and DApp instructions on the EOS blockchain.
This unique strategy allows EOS to support a transaction speed up to 100,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchain networks in the world.
Cardano is another platform that was introduced by the fantastic people that made Ethereum what it is today. Based on extensive research, Cardano is an open-source scientific project that aims to solve the scalability issues and drawbacks of the blockchain industry. Cardano is a smart contract platform with
meager network fees and a comparatively high throughput of 257 transactions per second.
However, since the project is very adaptive, it can theoretically handle up to 1 million transactions per second. Ranked 4th in the world’s top 10 largest digital coins, Cardano has been the closest Ethereum alternative thanks to its superior proof of stake consensus protocol and better DApps.
Dubbed as the Chinese Ethereum alternative, NEO is a smart contract platform that powers a slew of decentralized apps famous in China. With a throughput of 10,000 transactions per second, NEO has one of the fastest blockchains in the market. What’s unique about the NEO platform is its developer-friendly smart contract platform.
Unlike Ethereum, where smart contracts have to be written in the platform’s own coding language, smart contracts on NEO support various popular coding languages such as Python, Java, C++, and more.
Ranked 22nd in the cryptocurrency market, Stellar Lumens is a promising blockchain platform created by the founder of Ripple.
With a throughput of 250 transactions per second and a transaction fee of $0.000003, Stellar Lumens is undoubtedly the cheapest blockchain in the crypto space.
Thanks to its incredibly low transaction fees, developers can readily host apps on the platform, and users can seamlessly use these apps without worrying about network fees.
While these Ethereum alternatives improve upon Ethereum’s original vision, it only translates to good things for the cryptocurrency space and community.
The rising number of Ethereum alternatives has put enough pressure on Ethereum to speed up the development of Ethereum 2.0. The transformation from the Proof of Work protocol to the Proof of Stake protocol, the introduction of sharding, and L2 solutions could evolve the cryptocurrency space.
With expectations of supporting over 100,000 transactions per second, Ethereum could solve its issues and retain its spot as the most utilized smart contract platform in the cryptocurrency space. However, until it does that, Etheruem will continue to struggle from high network fees, network congestion, and miner disputes.
While Ethereum’s competitors inch closer to closing the gap, Ethereum remains the second-largest cryptocurrency project as it breaks through the $4,000 mark and supports some of the most popular DApps in the market.
It will take a lot to completely replace Ethereum.