Ethereum is a very powerful smart contract platform where it’s been uncontested for the past few years. Ever since it became the default platform for new token sales back in 2017, everybody else has been trying to dethrone Ethereum. NEO, Tron, EOS, IOST, Binance Chain, you name it. However, none of them has been able to do it. Ethereum remains the king of DApps (decentralized applications).
In 2020 we have been enjoying the significant growth of DeFi or decentralized finance. Tokens like YFI and SUSHI became extremely popular even though they were all started from individuals without much VC power (or even none at all in the beginning). And once they became popular, Ethereum also became more popular as everybody tries to connect their metamask to these protocols hoping to get in before it’s too late.
But the rise of Ethereum exposes the usual problems in the Ethereum platform. The high gas fees and the very slow speed of the tx hash have made Ethereum unbearable for smaller investors and traders. It’s a whale game now as everybody puts it. The thing is that Ethereum rose from “people’s power”. So, is it time for a new platform to emerge and replace Ethereum? Well, let’s find out the most likely candidates.
Yes, one of the biggest competitors to Ethereum is none other than Binance Chain itself. Binance started as a standard centralized exchange platform like Huobi, OKEx, and so many others. BNB itself used to be an ERC-20 token. However, Binance decided to create its own blockchain called Binance Chain based on Cosmos SDK.
Binance Chain is different because it’s very ambitious and it has all the whales who might be interested in testing it once it offers something lucrative. While until today, there’s not much activity on Binance Chain, but this can change anytime soon. Recently, Binance launched its own yield farming token through its launchpool. Bella protocol is farmed through BNB staking. As can be seen from the rise of BNB price itself, crypto whale traders are actually interested in Binance Chain as long as it can support whatever is trendy right now (such as yield farming tokens).
Another obvious competitor to Ethereum is Polkadot. It’s one of the largest altcoins right now and almost all DeFi protocols that leverage Polkadot technology have been pumped heavily in the past few months. Polkadot itself is not a direct competitor to Ethereum as its main focus is to enable cross-chain compatibility through its Substrate SDK. It doesn’t even have native smart contract language. However, it is also extremely flexible. Many projects like PLASM, Edgeware, and others have been building their own smart contract building platform on top of Polkadot (Substrate) ecosystem.
The great thing about Polkadot is that it helps Ethereum to bring or transfer tokens from the standard ERC-20 to Polkadot ecosystem via its own bridges that are easy for people to adapt. So far, Polkadot has been doing a good job in promoting its technology for newer startups to adopt. Polkadot was also launched by former Ethereum CTO and the inventor of Solidity, Gavin Wood.
Another huge candidate for Ethereum competitor is definitely Cardano. Just like Polkadot (which was started by Ethereum co-founder), Cardano was also founded by an Ethereum co-founder. This time it’s Charles Hoskinson who used to act as Ethereum CEO for a brief period of time. Cardano itself has become very popular recently after they successfully implemented Shelley upgrade to its mainnet which allows users to stake ADA (Cardano’s native cryptocurrency).
Cardano plans to have its first DApps by the end of 2020, which will hopefully transform Cardano to be a full-fledged blockchain and direct competitor to Ethereum and other altcoins that have dived into the DeFi ecosystem for quite some time. The fact that Cardano is peer-reviewed makes it highly unique compared to other “Ethereum killers”.