Which blockchain to choose to develop your applications?

Blockchains are seeing renewed interest in their ability to streamline supply chains, improve traceability, simplify commerce and optimize financial transactions. The B2B attraction for this technology had faded, due to the shortcomings of the first generation platforms (like Bitcoin) which were very energy consuming and not necessarily very fast.

Next generation platforms are now trying to address these problems. In fact, they bring concrete added value to business uses and applications.

Suseel Menon – from the research company Everest Group – thus confirms a marked awakening of interest in blockchain in situations of multi-party cooperation or data exchange: monitoring of the supply chain, financing of commercial operations, digital assets and identity management they are no longer experimental.

For Alex-Paul Manders, a partner of the technology consultancy Information Services Group, the evolution of blockchains also marks the beginning of the rise of new decentralized finance models, or DeFi, that threaten the traditional banking and financial sectors.

Here is the essential to know the 9 “new generation” blockchains (even if some like Ethereum or Corda come from the first generation) that are the most popular and the most promising for B2B uses:

  1. Ethereum
  2. IBM blockchain
  3. Hyperledger fabric
  4. Sawtooth Hyperledger
  5. Rope
  6. Tezo
  7. EOSIO
  8. Stellar
  9. Quorum

1.Ethereum

Appeared in 2013, Ethereum is one of the oldest and most widespread public blockchains. Its main asset, Alex-Paul Manders analyzes, is to enable real decentralization and take charge of smart contracts. Its main drawbacks are the long processing times and the higher transaction costs compared to other platforms. In addition to its role as a blockchain platform for business applications, it has its own cryptocurrency, the ether.

Ethereum is popular with decentralized application developers or dApps. A mature set of tools allows you to write smart contracts in the Solidity programming environment running on the Ethereum virtual machine (Ethereum virtual machine, EVM). However, other blockchain networks can process transactions much faster and cheaper, although many scholars believe this is likely to change once Ethereum adopts a more efficient security mechanism.

Its active developer community, orchestrated by the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, has over 250 members, including Intel, JPMorgan and Microsoft.

The Ethereum community is transitioning from a Proof of Work system (proof of workPoW) to a proof-of-stake system (proof of participation, PoS) with lower energy impact. This migration required the development of a new blockchain (Beacon) to be merged with the active and historical Ethereum blockchain. According to the Ethereum Foundation, this change would reduce network power consumption by 99.95%.

2. IBM blockchain

The IBM Blockchain is a private and decentralized blockchain network, highly valued by companies, decrypts Alex-Paul Manders. Its main advantage, he explains, is to integrate with existing technologies and the cloud more easily than other decentralized networks.

The IBM Blockchain development tool is designed to be flexible, functional and customizable. IBM boasts an ergonomic interface to simplify essential tasks such as configuring, testing, and rapidly deploying smart contracts.

Among the blockchains of semi-public consortia that rely on this platform are the IBM Food Trust blockchain (used by Carrefour), with over 18 million transactions for 17,000 products, or the Blockchain Community Initiative, in Thailand, which supports services such as payment bonds for 22 Thai banks.

3. Hyperledger fabric

Hyperledger Fabric is a collection of tools and applications for building blockchains. Backed by the Linux Foundation, the open source platform was tailored for enterprise distributed ledgers (or DLTs). Its rich ecosystem offers a multitude of connectable components on a modular architecture.

It is suitable for private blockchain implementation, which optimizes security and speed. It also supports an open smart contract template compatible with various data models, such as UTXO accounts and templates (Transaction output not spent).

Hyperledger Fabric can also improve data privacy by isolating transactions across channels or by allowing certain private data to be shared in private data collections under the principle of selective knowledge (“need to know”).

One of its other strengths is that it confirms and completes transactions very quickly.

Among the latest developments in the platform, organizations can join a channel without having to copy the entire log history. Therefore, the boot process is faster and requires less storage space. The active Hyperledger Fabric community is working today to add features related to consent algorithms and GDPR compliant data privacy options and to improve operations.

4. Hyperledger sawtooth

Hyperledger Sawtooth is another open source blockchain hosted by the Linux Foundation. Its new consensus mechanism, PoET (proof of time elapsed), integrates with hardware security mechanisms to create “trusted execution environments” (Reliable execution environmentsTEE).

According to Shawn Amundson, CTO of Bitwise IO and Head of Hyperledger Sawtooth, the most common applications are used to develop supply chain systems and customize Sawtooth.

The Sawtooth library, currently under construction, will allow developers to choose which Sawtooth components to use in their applications. In parallel, Sawtooth is adopting Splinter for network management, to provide dynamic private circuits (groups of nodes), Hyperledger Transact for transaction processing, with the aim of expanding the functions of smart contracts, and Augrim for the consensus, to increase the number of supported algorithms.

5. R3 rope

Is R3 Corda technically a blockchain? The question remains open.

With its new consensus mechanism, transactions are cryptographically well connected, but are not periodically processed in series of blocks.

Corda’s official website continues the confusion by calling the solution “a blockchain that is not a blockchain”. One advantage of this approach is that all transactions are processed in real time, which improves performance.

The R3 consortium has a strong following in the financial sector, as Corda offers an attractive approach and increased security for financial transactions and smart contracts. Bank of America, HSBC, Intel and Microsoft are among its renowned supporters.

Corda has tools that automate business logic between companies. The group has also just launched a technical evaluation version of Corda Payments, which simplifies the process of integrating payment functions distributed in applications.

Corda is likely to become the de facto insurance transaction processing network, says Alex-Paul Manders.

6.Tezos

In development since 2014, Tezos is an older platform that supports decentralized applications, smart contracts, and new tools, such as NFTs.

The platform supports a scalable protocol and modular clients that allow it to adapt to new uses.

The Tezos community has evolved at a rapid pace, which has recently led to improved performance and pushed the size limit of smart contracts. New tools have also helped automate the process of integrating NFTs into supply chains.

7.EOSE

The EOSIO blockchain was born in 2018 as an open source project. It is optimized for decentralized application development and smart contracts. Its complex consensus mechanism, proof of stake (PoS), is more efficient than older others, its community assures. It also supports a governance function that allows you to vote for changes to the platform.

Its main assets are the speed of its transactions and its advanced authorization functions for application implementation. Identity management, supply chain management (SCM), games … more than 400 applications have been developed on EOSIO.

The community offers many tools to customize blockchain implementation across a wide range of decentralized use cases (SCM, healthcare, DeFi).

8. Stellar

Stellar is a new blockchain, optimized for various DeFi applications. It is based on the Stellar Consensus Protocol, which is designed to reduce the time it takes to process and finalize transactions on a public blockchain network.

It also incorporates security mechanisms that exclude malicious or dubious actors from a financial transaction. It has been adopted by many companies that carry out international financial and commercial transactions. MoneyGram for the money transfer, Circle for the payment and treasury infrastructure, Flutterwave for the integration of payment processing with business applications are some examples of applications developed on the Stellar blockchain.

9. ConsenSys Quorum

Quorum is a customized version of Ethereum, developed by JPMorgan. Leverage background work done on the Ethereum blockchain platform, which repackages in a hardened environment adapted to the banking sector. It is optimized to support ultra-fast transactions between institutions such as banks and insurance companies over a private network. It also improves Ethereum’s privacy to comply with regulations like GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California.

ConsenSys acquired Quorum’s intellectual property rights from JPMorgan in late 2021 to incorporate them into its work and create the open source ConsenSys Quorum protocol layer. ConsenSys presents this offering as a way to accelerate the development of business applications that integrate other Ethereum-based tools. The company provides platform development services to clients such as JPMorgan or the Central Bank of South Africa.

The different elements to analyze before choosing your blockchain

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