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Solana is one of the blockchain projects that have the potential to revolutionize smart contracts and blockchain products due to great scalability. However, Solana is not the only project that does this, and while it is considered to be the most scalable one, it has yet to perfect its technology.
Meanwhile, there are numerous alternative projects out there in the crypto industry that may not be as scalable, but they are more stable and reliable as of July 2022. In other words, while Solana may be the key to the blockchain world of the future, developers who need a scalable, yet stable network now might be interested in one of these alternative networks. Today, we decided to look into some of these projects and see what are they all about.
In our search, we identified 8 of them that are currently the best ones available, and those include the following:
The first on the list is Polkadot, which is on its way to becoming one of the largest development platforms today. The project found its own way to reach scalability by developing new chains that would run parallel to its main blockchain. These new chains, called parachains, could be dedicated to different projects and function almost as standalone blockchains, but they could also take over a portion of work from Polkadot’s main chain, thus reducing the amount that the main chain has to process.
Furthermore, Polkadot’s parachains also have the ability to connect to different blockchains, thus establishing a network with Polkadot itself at its heart. This also makes it one of the most advanced interoperability projects out there, thanks to its potential to connect public and private chains, oracles, future technologies, permissionless networks, and more.
To learn more visit our Investing in Polkadot guide.
Next, we have Ethereum, and while Solana was developed to offer an alternative to Ethereum because of its low scalability — Ethereum is still the birthplace of smart contracts, dApps, DeFi, and pretty much every other blockchain product ever created. This means that its network is the most diverse when it comes to these types of products, and that — despite its lack of technical capabilities — chances are good that any future products will emerge on its network first, as well.
One thing that Ethereum has working in its favor is the fact that its developers are still working on implementing Ethereum 2.0 — an upgrade that will revolutionize the network, make it faster, more scalable, and cheaper to use than it is today. Because of ETH 2.0, Ethereum still manages to stay in the game, despite its technological limitations that other chains on this list have already solved.
To learn more visit our Investing in Ethereum guide.
In the third spot, we have Avalanche, which enjoys the reputation of being the fastest smart contract platform in the blockchain industry, at least as far as time-to-finality is concerned. Whether this is true or not is up for debate, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Avalanche truly is blazingly fast, which means that it can be used for the development of smart contracts, and through them, other blockchain products, without problems such as high transaction fees or long waiting periods in terms of transaction processing.
Furthermore, Avalanche is extremely eco-friendly, which is of great importance in the crypto industry of today. So, combining all of this means that any smart contract-enabled app that runs on Avalanche can theoretically outperform any competitors from other chains.
To learn more visit our Investing in Avalanche guide.
Halfway down the list, we have Internet Computer (ICP). This is a decentralized blockchain network that is barely over a year old at this point. However, it is also a revolutionary project whose goal is to push the boundaries of smart contract support and internet functionality. Essentially, the project wishes to enable smart contract development at a massive scale, which would also do the same for dApps, DeFi protocols, and other products that depend on smart contract usage.
The project’s long-term goal is to turn the public internet into a massive, world-class computing platform. It is an ambitious goal, but with the next version of the internet seemingly going to be based on blockchain technology — the project is in a perfect position to attempt at achieving it.
To learn more visit our Investing in Internet Computer guide.
In the fifth spot on our list, we have Cardano — a project that has been among the top-ranking cryptos for years, even though it only joined the ranks of smart contract-supporting development platforms in the last 9 months. In October 2021, Cardano completed the second of its five development phases, or Eras, called Shelley. This allowed it to launch smart contracts, and developers from all over the world rushed to its platform to launch new dApps that would become dominant projects in Cardano’s ecosystem.
While Cardano’s ecosystem is young, it is extremely functional and scalable, cheap to use, and there are still three more development phases for the project to go through, which is sure to boost the value of its token, ADA, moving forward.
To learn more visit our Investing in Cardano guide.
Up next, we have Zilliqa, which is a permissionless, public blockchain created to offer high throughput. Yet another platform that was developed to solve the scalability problem, Zilliqa can process thousands of transactions per second. Its own approach to solving the scalability issues relies on sharding technology, and so far, the platform has become home to numerous dApps.
Over the last two years, it has also started attracting many due to its introduction of DeFi functionalities, such as staking and yield farming, which came just around the time when DeFi became a global blockchain phenomenon, making Zilliqa a problem deserving of being on the list of Solana alternatives.
To learn more visit our Investing in Zilliqa guide.
Nearing the end of the list, we have Binance Smart Chain. This is the second blockchain belonging to Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume. Essentially, Binance launched BSC as its own version of Ethereum, making it faster, more scalable, and cheaper to use. Thanks to Binance’s resources, the chain was highly-functional right from the start, and because of its reputation, it quickly attracted users.
It also helped that Binance reacted quickly to the growth of the DeFi sector in 2020, launching its chain while many others were still debating whether DeFi is worth getting involved in or not. Its blockchain is now brimming with projects, and it is one of the biggest competitors to Ethereum and Solana alike.
To learn more visit our Investing in Binance Smart Chain guide.
Finally, we have Kusama. This is a project that was launched to serve as an experimental network for Polkadot. The two chains are actually nearly identical when it comes to their technology. However, Kusama was always been a so-called canary network, where experimental projects were supposed to be tested, and then introduced to Polkadot after reaching an operable state.
However, many opted to simply remain on Kusama, turning it into a real, legitimate network with unique projects and pretty much the same capabilities as Polkadot. Today, it is both, a test network for Polkadot and a separate, standalone network, with every developer being free to treat it as either option.
To learn more visit our Investing in Kusama guide.
The blockchain industry is vast, and constantly evolving. That means that there are projects out there that might become massive game-changers for the industry in only a few years, or even in a few months. Until they mature enough to do so, however, the projects on the list above are some of the best ones for the development of blockchain products such as DeFi protocols and dApps.
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Ali is a freelance writer covering the cryptocurrency markets and the blockchain industry. He has 8 years of experience writing about cryptocurrencies, technology, and trading. His work can be found in various high-profile investment sites including CCN, Capital.com, Bitcoinist, and NewsBTC.
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