By Anastasia Chernikova
In 2013, software engineer Vitalik Buterin proposed that blockchain, the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies, can be used to support not only finance but all sorts of decentralized applications. Buterin’s idea became the basis of Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency and the “world computer,” a platform for running applications without the need for centralized servers.
From social networking to collectible cards, news publishing, and virtual reality games, the Ethereum blockchain powers all sorts of decentralized apps (dapps) today. But as the first blockchain of its kind, Ethereum is not a perfect platform. It suffers from high energy consumption, slow transaction speeds, and high transaction costs. It also suffered from scalability issues, which means transactions and applications become slower as more and more users are added to Ethereum.
In recent years, several other blockchains have emerged that provide platforms for exchanging monetary value and running applications while addressing the shortcomings of Ethereum. Here are five Ethereum alternatives that have great potential and are worth watching in the next few years.
Free TON is a high-performance, scalable, and secure blockchain platform with a throughput of millions of transactions per second. It is a spin-off from the Telegram Open Network (TON) project, the original plan of messaging platform Telegram to move its application to its own blockchain.
Free TON runs on multiple blockchains, which gives it the power to speed millions of transactions. The platform supports the development of services and applications for a wide range of sectors, from government bodies to private companies and individual users.
Unlike Ethereum, Free TON is not run and maintained by a centralized organization. It is supported by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), a community of diverse parties that use smart contracts to vote and approve changes and directions of the project.
Free TON’s currency is the TON Crystal. Among the key features of the TON Crystal are its fast speed and very small transaction fees. TON users will be able to make transactions for less than $0.01 in fees and pay less than $0.05 per coin exchange transaction (swaps). Free TON also uses the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to approve and register new transactions on its blockchain, which is much more energy-efficient and environment-friendly than the compute-heavy proof-of-work consensus used in Ethereum and Bitcoin.
Polkadot is a multi-chain network that joins various blockchains together, which is why it is known as the “blockchain of blockchains.” It acts as a framework that makes it easy for developers to create dapps and smart contracts for various blockchains and cryptocurrencies without worrying about the underlying mechanisms that connect them together.
DOT is Polkadot’s cryptocurrency. Aside from its monetary value, DOT allows holders to vote on potential code changes, which then automatically upgrade across the network if a consensus is reached. Like Free TON, DOT uses the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to verify and approve new transactions.
Since its launch in 2020, Polkadot has climbed to become among the top-ten cryptocurrencies with over $40 billion in market cap and $14 million in 24-hour trading volume. The Polkadot multi-chain already hosts more than 430 projects with more being added every day. And despite being young, it has already been endorsed and listed on several top exchanges. Polkadot also hosts its own decentralized exchange (DEX) platform, Polkastarter.
Cosmos aims to be an “internet of blockchains.” Like Polkadot, Cosmos’s vision is not to have a “blockchain to rule them all” but to have a constellation of blockchains that can coexist and interoperate (hence the name Cosmos). Cosmos has a streamlined model that allows…