Smart contracts aid the effective exchange of shares, property, money or any other item of value in a conflict-free and transparent way – one in which the services of middlemen are unnecessary.
Think of the regular vending machine we find almost everywhere – this is a simple but effective example of how a smart contracts work. You pick what you want, put in your money and out comes your protein bar. If you were to go to a regular store, you’ll have to interact with the cashier at the checkpoint. This also applies with most valuable exchanges in life. You’ll have to visit a lawyer or a notary, pay their fee and have them give you a document. This isn’t necessary with smart contracts.
As applies in traditional contracts, there are rules, agreements and penalties in smart contracts, however, unlike the traditional methods; the penalties are automatically meted out to defaulters. There are many smart contracts on offer and it can be a little confusing to settle for one, especially if you are relatively new to crypto investments. Well, we’ve listed our top 5 blockchain based smart contracts platforms below:
In very simple terms, Ethereum is a blockchain based open software platform capable of giving developers the ability to build and deploy a decentralized application. Sound like a lot of mumbo-jumbo but wait, I’ll explain further. Before Ethereum, Blockchain applications were only able to perform only one set of operations cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were initially designed to operate only as peer-to-peer digital currencies.
Ethereum, on the other hand, allows people to run different programs on its Virtual Machine (EVM), irrespective of the language, as long as there is enough memory and time. EVM makes it easier to create blockchain apps. Ethereum makes it possible to develop up to thousands of applications on one platform instead of having to build a completely new application for each.
With the aid of Ethereum, you can decentralize any centralized service. Imagine the number of intermediary services that exist across all the industries such as the very popular ones like bank loan services to the less popular ones like regulatory compliance, voting systems, title registries etc.
NEM is a blockchain based, decentralized peer to peer network conceptualized in January 2014 and launched in March 2015. On this platform, third parties have the opportunity to build applications such as crowdfunding tokens and cryptocurrencies. NEM has both private and public blockchains.
NEM uses proof-of-importance consensus rather than proof-of-stake or proof-of-work and this distinguishes it from other blockchains. Proof of importance means that the verification of transactions on the NEM network is based on comparative importance and this is determined by the proof-of-importance algorithm.
Proof-of-importance like the proof-of-stake has saved a lot of energy, unlike the proof-of-work consensus as each transaction on the Nem network is completed with one hundred times less power than used on the Bitcoin network.
NEM’s next-gen blockchain also has other benefits like; multi-signature accounts, mosaics, privacy, messaging, scaling and the fact that practically every member of the NEM community can suggest updates and developments. $XEM is cheap and easy to transfer. It has a 0.1% as transaction fee i.e. it would cost you only $0.2 to transfer $200 worth of $XEM.
The influence of Asia on the global crypto market is cannot be understated. Their importance lies not only in their buyer population, but in the quality and quantity of new blockchain projects springing up from there and NEO is one of the most recognized blockchain projects in all of China and Asia. NEO as a platform offers the opportunity to execute trustless smart contracts. This implies that much like Ethereum, in addition to being used for financial dealings, it can also be used as a platform for more complicated transactions. It is often referred to as China’s “Ethereum Killer”
But, there are certain important features that distinguish it from Ethereum.
- NEO makes it easier for developers to write languages that are already known so NEO’s smart contracts are a lot easier to write
- NEO makes use of a proof-of-stake system with delegated Byzantine Fault tolerance (dBFT) instead of the power-hungry proof-of-work consensus algorithm that Bitcoin and Ethereum use.
- There are 2 tokens on the NEO network; NEO (which is the main token on the platform) and GAS which is an automatic creation that comes about when NEO is held in an officially-approved wallet – it can also be used for transactions on the NEO network too.
A platform is only as strong as its ecosystem and the NEO dApp is very user-friendly.
If you are a regular visitor to the CoinMarketCap site, you may have noticed that a relatively new or unknown coin sneaks its way into the top ten every now and again. Well, that’s Cardano and although it has been live for only a couple of months, it’s market cap is already close to $3billion.
Cardano too has been labeled an “Ethereum killer,” as it is quite similar to Ethereum. Like Ethereum, Cardano’s platform has a cryptocurrency (ADA) and makes it possible to execute smart contracts. Also, one of its founders was once the CEO of Ethereum.
As expected, Cardano has some features that differentiate it from Ethereum and other smart contract blockchains. Firstly, it claims to be the first blockchain project built on peer-reviewed research. Apart from its whitepaper, the developers behind Cardano have also published as much as 5 peer-reviewed scientific papers on the technology associated with it and these papers are readily available and accessible.
Another amazing feature is that the company has plans to issue debit cards. Users will have the opportunity to fund this card from their online wallet and this card can be used to shop almost everywhere. The charges will be done immediately using the ADA/ fiat exchange terms.
The Ouroboros, which is Cardano’s proof-of-stake extracting algorithm, is another feature that sets it apart from Ethereum. It eradicates the need for the power-hungry proof-of-work algorithm that Ethereum uses that consumes approximately the same amount of electricity as a small country. Ouroboros is based on peer-reviewed academic research, unlike other proof-of-stake systems. This approach is as safe as the proof-of-work systems but consumes a lot less power.
I must first point out that Hyperledger isn’t a software but a project framework that is administered at the Linux foundation. If you create a blockchain project that you think stands out, you submit to the Linux foundation and if it gets their approval, it goes into incubation in the Hyperledger project.Serving as a trusted source of innovative, quality-driven open source software development community is the most valuable role played by the Hyperledger Project. It is a modular open source platform that focuses on smart contract technologies and distributing ledgers. It’s safe to say they have a bright future ahead of them, after all; they’ve been able to create a brand widely accepted as the default platform for the deployment of enterprise teams.