The blockchain industry has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, with many different platforms being developed and launched to facilitate the use of blockchain technology. Each of these platforms has its own unique features and capabilities, making them suitable for different use cases and an essential part of the blockchain ecosystem.
Leading blockchain platforms
Since the advent of blockchain technology in 2008, there have been thousands of blockchains have been developed. Of these, only a handful have actually flourished and are used widely. Let’s look at a few popular blockchains:
- Ethereum: A decentralized, open-source platform for building decentralized applications (dapps) and smart contracts.
- Bitcoin: A decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency and the first decentralized blockchain platform.
- Binance Smart Chain: A fast and efficient blockchain platform built by the popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance.
- Solana: A fast and secure blockchain platform that enables high-performance decentralized applications.
- Cardano: An open-source blockchain platform that emphasizes security and sustainability.
Features that make blockchains popular
But what is it that makes a blockchain popular? What features do people look for in this technology that make them want to use it?
The most common features include the following:
- Security – The main feature that is most sought after in blockchain technology is security. In a world where data is free-flowing, privacy is a luxury. It is very hard to hold on to personal data without leaks on the internet. This is why most people expect new technologies like blockchain to be more secure
- Open source – The future of technology is open source. The main advantage of blockchain is its decentralization. A strong proponent feature is keeping them open source. This way anyone and everyone has the access to see how applications are built on the blockchain. This ensures maximum transparency.
- High speed – While optimal speed is yet to be achieved, the future of a decentralized blockchain network looks promising to become very fast
- Low fees – Since monetary transactions are one of the most common use cases of blockchains, low transaction fees are an enticing feature to have. Especially since centralized transactions between banks account for unnecessary transaction charges
Most popular blockchains today
These are some common, but popular features that make blockchain technologies easy to use and recommend. Let’s look at how the above-mentioned popular blockchain networks leverage these features, and more, in their technology:
- Ethereum: Ethereum has become the de facto platform for decentralized applications (dapps) and smart contracts due to its versatility and ability to handle complex operations. It has a thriving developer community that is constantly working on improving its features and scalability.
- Bitcoin: Bitcoin is the first decentralized blockchain platform and is known for its secure, decentralized, and transparent nature. It has a large user base and is widely recognized as a store of value, leading to its status as a leading cryptocurrency.
- Binance Smart Chain: Binance Smart Chain is known for its fast transaction speeds and low fees, making it attractive for decentralized exchanges, NFT marketplaces, and other high-performance dapps. The integration with the popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance also gives it a strong user base and ecosystem.
- Solana: Solana is a fast and efficient blockchain platform that is designed to handle high volumes of transactions per second. It has a low latency network, which makes it attractive for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, gaming, and other use cases that require quick transactions. To create smart contracts on Solana, you have to use Rust, which you can learn at a blockchain bootcamp.
- Cardano: Cardano is an open-source blockchain platform that is focused on security and sustainability. It uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism and is designed to be more energy-efficient compared to other blockchain platforms. It has a strong emphasis on community engagement and governance, making it attractive for long-term investment and usage.
To fully understand how these popular blockchains actually drive the industry, we need to take a look at what industries are actually leveraging blockchain technology and how it benefits them.
How industries benefit from blockchain
Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt and transform a wide range of industries. Some industries are currently benefitting the most from blockchain technology. Let’s look at a few of these and also some companies in each of these industries:
Blockchain is being used in the financial industry to increase transparency, security, and efficiency in financial transactions and create new financial products such as decentralized exchanges and stablecoins. A few companies here include
Ripple: a blockchain-based payment platform that enables fast and secure cross-border payments.
Coinbase: a digital currency exchange that allows individuals to buy, sell, and store cryptocurrencies.
Supply Chain Management
Blockchain is being used to improve the traceability and transparency of supply chains, allowing for real-time tracking of goods and reducing the risk of fraud and counterfeiting. Some companies in the supply chain include
Ambrosus: a blockchain-based platform for supply chain management in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
VeChain: a blockchain-based platform for supply chain management and product traceability.
Blockchain is being used in the healthcare industry to securely store and share patient data, streamline clinical trials, and improve drug traceability and safety. Healthcare companies include
Gem: a blockchain-based platform for secure and interoperable health data exchange.
MediBloc: a blockchain-based healthcare information platform that empowers patients to manage their own health data.
BurstIQ: a blockchain-based platform for secure health data exchange and management.
Blockchain is being used in the gaming industry to create decentralized and provably fair gaming platforms, as well as to allow for the creation and trade of unique digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Axe Infinity: a blockchain-based game where players can buy and sell character accessories and weapons on the blockchain as NFTs and other tokens seamlessly and securely
Blockchain is being used in the real estate industry to improve the efficiency and transparency of property transactions, as well as to create new investment opportunities through tokenization.
Ubitquity: a blockchain-based platform for secure and transparent real estate transactions.
Propy: a blockchain-based platform for buying and selling real estate property.
Atlant: a blockchain-based platform for decentralized real estate ownership and management.
Blockchain can improve the efficiency, transparency, and security of various government operations, such as voting systems, land registry systems, and public record-keeping.
Follow My Vote: a blockchain-based platform for secure and transparent online voting.
Bitfury Group: a company that provides blockchain solutions for government and institutions, including land registry systems and public record-keeping.
Sofocle: a blockchain-based platform for secure and transparent government procurement processes.
As you can see, there are several use cases in blockchain technology. Numerous industries can benefit from this technology as we move to a more data-sensitive future. Furthermore, we can see a huge number of companies testing and establishing themselves in each of these sectors as they invest in the future of blockchain technology.
But what is the future of blockchain?
We have seen a wide variety of applications of blockchain in a wide range of industries. Clearly, blockchain technology is slowly establishing itself as a new alternative to counter data leaks and privacy issues prevalent on the internet.
However, it is important to be aware that blockchain technology is still in its infancy (as hard as it may seem to believe, given all the examples you’ve just read above). Several of these applications are in an experimental phase and a lot more needs to be figured out in terms of security and mass usability. Some are established, but many are yet to be.
However, the technology in itself is promising. All we need is some good market traction from a use case that is so popular that everyone is comfortable using it on a blockchain network. Once established, we may see a snowball effect in its adoption.
Until then, it’s a waiting game for all of us.