If you’re familiar with Ethereum, you most likely associate it with ETH, its cryptocurrency, and recognize it as a tool for buying, trading and staking cryptocurrency. Ethereum is both those things plus one more: A blockchain platform.
12 Top Blockchain Platforms
- Chainalysis KYT
- Hyperledger Fabric
- Hyperledger Sawtooth
- IBM Blockchain
- Tron DAO
- XDC Network
What Is a Blockchain Platform?
Blockchain platforms are entities with scripting languages that are intricate and robust enough to create and manage an array of Web3 functions, including but hardly limited to NFTs, the initiation and execution of transactions and the creation of smart contracts. Smart contracts, in fact, are thought to be the first non-cryptocurrency use of a blockchain platform, and that platform was Ethereum.
Many blockchain platforms are the products of and supported by nonprofit foundations, as is the case with a variety of cryptocurrencies, among them Ethereum, Tron, Ripple, Stellar, Solana and Polkadot.
Blockchain Terms to Know
- API: Application programming interface; it enables interface between a blockchain and another piece of software
- BaaS: Blockchain-as-a-service: a third-party service for creating and managing cloud networks for companies in the blockchain space.
- DAO: Decentralized autonomous organization (also called DAC, or decentralized autonomous corporation), run by a transparent computer program and not a formal governing body of people
- dApp: Decentralized application, which runs on a blockchain or other distributed ledger system
- DeFi: Decentralized finance, the “no middleman” concept underpinning blockchain
- DLT: Distributed ledger technology — another name for blockchain
- KYT: “Know your transaction” — a process that gathers information on transactions made by financial institutions
- TPS: The number of transactions per second that a network can process
- Web3: The web world comprising blockchain and its attendant technologies, including cryptocurrency, NFTs and decentralized social networks
20 Blockchain Platforms to Know
Avalanche, which calls itself the fastest smart-contracts platform in the business, says it gives users the ability to quickly and inexpensively build decentralized apps; scale quickly with minimal hardware; and launch customized, private and public blockchains, according to its website. It’s also energy efficient, boasting CPU-Optimal energy efficiency, which means computers will stay relatively cool while using the platform.
Binance Smart Chain
“Build Web3 on the blockchain with the most users,” promises Binance Smart Chain, an arm of Binance, which also maintains a cryptocurrency and a crypto trading platform. The website says the platform is suitable for building game and decentralized finance apps, and offers tutorials for developers new to blockchain.
This open, proof-of-stake platform says it is the first founded on peer-reviewed research. Its goal is to “be an enabling force for positive change and progress,” according to its website. Use cases include verifying credentials such as diplomas; establishing provenances to prevent the online sale of fake luxury goods; and supporting stakeholders along the food-production chain, from farmers to retailers.
Chainalysis KYT’s website details easy-to-use interface, real-time API (application programming interface) and top-notch intelligence. Chainalysis Data comprises thousands of services, including scams and darknet offerings, that could affect blockchain security.
Quorum, one of six products offered by Ethereum software company ConsenSys, bills itself as “the complete open-source blockchain platform for business.” Quorum’s lineup of products includes a fully-managed ledger service, Enterprise Key Management for security and consolidation of accounts and key management; and Tessera, a private transaction manager, according to the ConsenSys website. ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin co-founded Ethereum.
Eosio calls itself the “leading open-source platform” for businesses and developers that use blockchain. The website describes the platform as fast and flexible, allows for scalability and is highly configurable, and offers developers a choice of tools and resources. Eosio’s foundation in C++ makes for a “highly configurable” environment for private and public networks alike.
Ethereum, which also has a coin (ETH) is a blockchain platform for all things Web3, including NFTs, decentralized finance, decentralized social networks and crypto staking. The open-source technology’s web page for developers offers a list of tutorials helpful for learning Web3 tools, including blockchain and smart contracts.
“Open, proven, enterprise grade DLT” (distributed ledger platform, also known as blockchain), touts the website for this open-source platform. The platform enables modular architecture, making it ideal for many applications. The platform also sports the ability to create a “network of networks” that makes security (or lack of) an option in transactions involving multiple parties. IBM is one of the main R&D contributors to Hyperledger Fabric.
Like Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth is a product of the open-source Hyperledger Foundation. Unlike Fabric, which only offers permissioned access to blockchain, Sawtooth supports both permissioned and permissionless networks, according to various sources. Sawtooth was developed by Linux with assistance from IBM, Intel and SAP, and is an example of BaaS, or blockchain-as-a-service.
This blockchain platform from tech mainstay IBM offers “trusted data exchange and workflow automation beyond the boundaries with distributed ledger technology and blockchain,” its website says. These, in turn, enable operational agility and the possibilities of new revenue streams, the company says.
“The metaverse blockchain for all,” trumpets the website for this open-source platform, which plans to be the platform of choice for the world of gaming. Parent Klaytn Foundation, headquartered in Singapore, recently announced integration with cross-chain system Wormhole. The foundation also maintains a $1 billion fund to support projects and apps built on Klaytn.
This platform sports super-speedy tools to create and deploy blockchains apps, according to the Multichain website. Users can make blockchains as open or closed (using permissions) as they like; customize the blockchains with optional proof-of-work consensus; and design and build blockchains “with minimal hassle,” the website says.
“This is blockchain unbound,” declares Polkadot’s website, referring to its parachain and cross-chain capabilities. Parachains, shorthand for parallel chains because they run parallel to the relay chain, are custom-made, customizable blockchains, designed for a specific project, Polkadot’s website explains. Parachains can be used for decentralized finance apps, IoT apps, digital wallets, gaming and Web3 infrastructure, the website says.
Corda, a product of blockchain company R3, is a specialized platform for regulated industries such as banking, capital markets and international trade, its website explains. It is extra-secure and enables free movement of assets among various parties while keeping parties apprised of actions related to the asset and maintaining regulatory compliance, the website says. Corda is used for applications pertaining to digital assets and currencies, payments, global trade, fraud detection and smooth, streamlined reconciliation, the website says.
Ripple bills itself as the one-stop shopping platform for business, sporting solutions that are faster, more transparent, and more cost-effective than traditional financial service, its website proclaims. Bank of America, Brazil’s Banco Rendimento and Singapore-based global payments company Nium are among its customers, according to Ripple.
Solana offers the ability to create “scalable, user-friendly apps” with its platform, and also says it’s the fastest blockchain in the world, with 400 millisecond block times. It is also super-secure, low-cost ($0.01 per transaction) and resistant to censorship because the network is spread over thousands of independent nodes, the website indicates. Tutorials on the website offer guidance on how to build a decentralized app, run a validator node, and other blockchain functions.
Stellar boasts a “universe of opportunities” for developers interested in creating financial access. Its open network offers speed, affordability and utility, the Stellar website states. Its network of rails extends to 185-plus countries. Users can employ Stellar to connect with both fiat and crypto institutions with a single integration, and fintech organizations can use Stellar to “enhance, not supplant” the global financial system, the website says.
“A blockchain designed to evolve,” says the website for Tezos, which also has a coin (XTZ, a.k.a. Tez). The platform promises scalability, thanks to a modular architecture; energy efficiency, due to its proof-of-stake consensus mechanism; “institutional grade” security; active community governance; and super-smart smart contracts.
Tron DAO, which has its own cryptocurrencies (TRX and stablecoin USDD), says it is the world’s fastest-growing public chain, with 100-million-plus accounts and some $4 billion in transactions. Its blockchain platform boasts a “highly effective” smart contract and high through-put thanks to improvement of its TPS (transactions per second). Tron’s Sun Network is said to help decentralized apps operate quickly, safely and with less energy consumption. Tron decentralized in 2021 to become Tron DAO, which stands for decentralized autonomous organization. Tron’s founder, Chinese crypto magnate Justin Sun, is famous for being controversial, according to this feature in The Verge.
Supported by the XDC Foundation, XDC Network describes itself as a hybrid blockchain that can power use cases and remain flexible to meet the demands of a changing industry. In 2022, via a partnership with blockchain game Metaverser and fintech firm Globiance, the network opened a branch in Metaverser’s Crypto Valley.