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In this list, we will discuss the top Blockchain development platforms, their uses, primary features, and flaws.

No, we aren’t promoting any specific platform here. The goal is simply to bring to you a list that tells you why these are the top Blockchain platforms on the planet. 

It should also clear your understanding of Blockchain basics and help you understand not just these but Blockchain better in general. 

1. Ethereum 

Primary features:

  • Smart contracts 
  • Utilises PoW validation (for now)
  • Decentralised
  • Turing Complete 
  • Very large and active community 
  • Total dApps: 4571 
  • Successful project: UniSwap 

Ethereum is by far one of the most popular Blockchain platforms. Its primary USP lies in the fact that it enabled Smart Contracts. This automated Blockchain to quite an extent, allows self-executing contracts to be recorded and triggered when all conditions are met. 

The fact that the EVM (this is what executes smart contracts for Ethereum) is technically capable of solving any calculation if time and memory are sufficient became the reason why Ethereum is being increasingly used with DApps (Decentralised apps).  This gives developers a platform to create storage platforms, identity storage solutions and much more.

For now, it makes use of PoW for validation. It’s the same mechanism that Bitcoin uses. While it’s a pretty good system, it uses a lot of electricity and power. Ethereum will probably transition to PoS (a less-energy demanding) mechanism for validation very soon. 

This of course means the ETH blockchain is one of the first decentralised ledgers. ETH also has a huge community of developers and supporters not just because of its features but also because it was one of the first Blockchains to support smart contracts.

The very popular, arguably the most popular decentralised exchange UniSwap is one of the biggest and best projects built on the Ethereum network. As of today, 4571 DApps have been built on the ETH network (source: Dappradar)

2. BNB Smart Chain (BSC)

Primary features:

  • Higher speed & lower fees 
  • PoSA validation 
  • Does support integration with ETH (to some extent)
  • Over 5310 DApps 
  • Successful project: PanCakeSwap

BNB surprisingly has more DApps than even ETH. As of today, it boasts over 5310 DApps as per Dappradar. 

The BNB Smart Chain is basically a merger of the BNB Beacon Chain and the BNB Smart Chain. For our purposes, we simply need to understand that the BSC is a decentralised chain just like Ethereum.

However, unlike ETH, BSC uses Proof-of-Stake Authority. It’s the same as PoS except the fact that validators are chosen by binance to validate transactions while ETH uses Proof-of-Work (the same as the Bitcoin network). This means BSC actually uses less electricity for transactions. This also means BSC transactions are faster as well as cheaper. But, BSC definitely is less decentralised than the ETH blockchain. However, its focus on Defi is why its developers flock to it. In fact, BSC has almost exploded in terms of NFTs and DeFi usage. This explosion of activity can also be used for BNB price prediction although do note that this doesn’t necessarily guarantee price movement in any specific direction. 

PanCakeSwap, again, an extremely popular decentralised exchange is probably one of the best BSC projects so far. 

3. Polkadot

Primary features:

  • Multichain Blockchain 
  • Much faster speed and lower fee due to multichain 
  • Great integration with other blockchains 
  • nPOS validation 

This is one of the newest yet most unique Blockchains in existence. That’s because unlike most other blockchains, it isn’t an isolated blockchain. Rather, it’s a network of multiple chains.

Imagine a spine, the spine of the Polkadot Blockchain is called the Relay Chain. Now imagine multiple chains connected to the spin, these are Parachains and are connected to the primary Relay Chain.

Multiple chains naturally mean capacity to handle more transactions, doesn’t it? Then, because they’re all connected to the same primary chain/highway (Relay Chain), it allows for data from one Blockchain to be exchanged with another on Polkadot.

The benefits arising from this are numerous and will primarily depend on the developer and what he/she is trying to achieve.

As for the validation mechanism, Polkadot uses nPOS (nominated POS). It has all the features of POS along with the fact that validators aren’t chosen based on how much coin they hold and are rather nominated and selected by coin holders.

4. Ripple 

Primary features:

  • Primarily for large banking and financial institutions
  • Uses RCP 
  • Less decentralised than some Blockchains 
  • Very fast and cheap transactions 
  • Successful project: RippleNet

Arguably one of the most controversial Blockchains on this list with an ongoing SEC vs. Ripple case for the longest period now. 

Now, Ripple’s primary focus is “making banking faster, cheaper and better” in the simplest of words. As a result, its target demographic is generally financial institutions, international financial institutions to be precise. Unlike all other Blockchains discussed so far, Ripple isn’t an “open for all” Blockchain. It’s open only to those who’re manually allowed on board by the Blockchain.

Again, unlike other Blockchains utilising PoW or PoS validation mechanisms, Ripple uses RCP to validate transactions. RCP stands for Ripple Consensus Mechanism. It’s slightly similar to Polkadot’s nominated PoS but in this case validators are pre-selected and not “nominated”. This also means it’s less decentralised than ETH or other Blockchains.

While the lawsuit has significantly delayed Ripple’s success, RippleNet is still being adopted at a great rate signalling its importance. 

5. Avalanche 

Primary features:

  • 3 primary chains 
  • Compatible with EVM 
  • Snowball validation (faster transactions)
  • Successful project: GMX

Avalanche uses three chains simultaneously instead of a single chain like ETH or BSC. Each chain (X/C and P) has its own uses. This reduces the congestion on each chain letting it process more transactions of different types simultaneously. 

Its C chain is EVM compatible, in other words, it lets Ethereum developers import their projects from the ETH Blockchain to Avalanche. 

Avalanche uses Snowball validation, or Federated Byzantine Agreement (FBA) if you prefer a more technical phrase. Basically, each validated transaction is endorsed more and more by other validators. The more validators you gain, the faster you gain even more validators. In simple words, this makes transactions much faster than on other blockchains.

Despite being a very new Blockchain, it already has about half a dozen Dapps to its name. The GMX exchange that gained a large user-base and trade volume is built on Avalanche. 

6. Solana 

Primary features:

  • Proof of History validation
  • Parallel transactions 
  • Decentralized can be improved 
  • Successful project: Serum exchange 

I personally love Solana because it offers a balance between both worlds- Security and Speed. It brought in a new validation mechanism known as Proof of History (PoH) which validates transactions with fewer information exchanges between validators. It also uses a refined version of PoS in which validators are frequently elected and re-elected to maintain honesty in the network.

Its biggest USP (in my opinion) is its much faster transaction speed than the other Blockchains in existence. This is due to the fact that it can process transactions simultaneously instead of as a linear queue. 

Faster transactions also mean lower fees. While it’s decentralised, the fact that a leader is elected for validations is an issue that requires addressing in the near future. 

The Serum exchange is probably one of the best projects built on Solana. 

Conclusion

I hope you’ve got a decent idea of the top blockchain development platforms as well as their primary features (and flaws) by now, haven’t you?

Well, do note that hundreds of other blockchain platforms exist but these are just the leading Blockchain development platforms that outshine most others.

Also, Blockchain is an ever-evolving technology. This means with time, and maybe even by the time you read this piece, something else will come up that takes over this list. But hey, for now, as of April 2024, these are top Blockchain dev platforms.



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