Features of various Blockchains: A Comparison

Ever since bitcoin was introduced in 2009, the blockchain technology has garnered a lot of attention. The blockchain technology is based on the distributed ledger technology, and has become very popular due to a number of features such as:

  • Decentralization: It’s the process of distributing powers or functions among all the nodes in the network. It helps us do away with the idea of the existence of one central authority.
  • Immutability: A block in the blockchain cannot be altered.
  • Trustless: Nodes need not trust each other to come to an agreement.

Many organizations have come up with their own blockchain platforms. Most of the development work of these platforms is open-source, and they have come up with interesting use-cases that go beyond just cryptocurrency. Some of the popular blockchain platforms are:

Sno Blockchain Platform USP
1 Bitcoin First cryptocurrency.
Decentralized, p2p transactions. No central authority.
2 Ethereum
Allows for decentralized applications (DApps) to be built on top.
Has a Turing-complete VM on which DApps run. Allows for the execution of Smart contracts.
Uses GHOST protocol to resolve conflicts that arise when there are faster transaction times
3 Monero Secure, private, untraceable
Open source
Mining algorithm doesn’t favour ASICs
4 Cardano
(Token: Ada)
Has a consensus algorithm that’s scientifically proven to be secure.
Smart-contract capable platform
Faster transaction speeds, reliability, quantum computing resistance
5 Ripple There are no miners; all 100 billion coins of XRP that exist were created when the network launched in 2012
Based on a unique consensus algorithm
6 NEO Supports digital assets, digital identities and smart contracts
Turing-complete smart contracts can be executed in the NeoVM but it also employs a “deterministic call tree” that ensures termination of smart contracts
Introduces lattice-based signatures and encryption technology that will prevent quantum crisis
7 NEM Supports multisignature transactions
Employs Eigentrust++ as a reputation system(that monitors past behaviour of nodes and takes into consideration the quality of work done),
NEM’s blockchain exposes its functionality through a powerful API interface that can be used with any programming language, not a specific “smart contract” language.
8 Hyperledger Fabric Ledger data can be stored in multiple formats, consensus mechanisms can be switched in and out, and different MSPs are supported.
Hyperledger Fabric also offers the ability to create channels, allowing a group of participants to create a separate ledger of transactions.
9 ZCash Protects privacy of transactions using Zero-knowledge proofs(zk-SNARKs)
Fork of bitcoin
10 Intel Sawtooth Highly Modular. Sawtooth’s core design allows applications to choose the transaction rules, permissioning, and consensus algorithms that support their unique business needs
11 Stratis
(Token: Strat)
Offers end-to-end solutions for development, testing and deployment of native C# blockchain applications on the .Net framework
12 Waves Allows users to launch their own custom cryptocurrency tokens. Supports FIAT money as well as other cryptocurrencies.
Very fast transaction rates as it uses POS which theoretically enables hundreds of transactions per second.
13 EOS Smart contract enabled hosting platform for open-source projects and consumer-facing decentralized applications, similar to ethereum
More scalable than ethereum
Uses coin voting to achieve decentralization
14 ICON With ICON, numbers of blockchains are connected around Nexus via Portal. Nexus is a loopchain based blockchain. It realizes a decentralized governance by allowing Portals and different nodes to participate.
In sum, the ICON Project aims to connect all the activities in a country through its own blockchain, and allows for multiple communities to interact with one another without the need for a third party.
15 Steem It’s a blockchain used as a database.
It’s an incentivized, blockchain-based, public content platform.
Supports community building and social interaction with cryptocurrency rewards.

A closer look at some of their features:

Sno Blockchain Platform Introduced Permissioning and development Applications Consensus algorithm Current Market value (in USD)*
1 Bitcoin January 2009 Permissionless
Open source
Cryptocurrency Proof of work 9564.54
2 Ethereum
July 2015 Permissionless
Open source
DAPPs Proof of work 832.54
3 Monero April 2014 Permissionless
Open source
Digital currency Cryptonight Proof of work Hash algorithm 270.73
4 Cardano
(Token: Ada)
2015 Permissioned/Permissionless
Open source
Digital diplomas, cryptocurrency Ouroboros Proof of Stake algorithm 0.318
5 Ripple 2012 Semi-permissioned
Open source
help settle cross-border payments
faster and more cheaply
Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA)
based on a voting system where votes from nodes
in each node’s unique node list (trusted validators) is taken
into consideration for a node to decide on the next block
in the blockchain.
6 NEO 2014 Permissioned
Open source
Asset record keeping delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) 116.06
7 NEM 2015 Permissioned
Open source
Automatic accounting, KYC,
Logistics, Voting
Proof of Importance 0.381
8 Hyperledger Fabric Dec 2015 Permissioned or permissionless
Open source
Used to create DApps Consensus algorithms can be switched in and out
9 ZCash 2016 Permissionless
Open source
Cryptocurrency Proof of work 387.12
10 Intel Sawtooth 2014 Permissioned or permissionless
Open source
For enterprise use No particular consensus algorithm.
Eg: Sawtooth Lake uses something
called Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET)
11 Stratis
(Token: Strat)
2016 Permissioned
Open source
Identity management,
supply chain management
Proof of stake 7.29
12 Waves 2016 Permissionless
Open source
Transfer custom tokens
from person to person
Proof of stake 6.42
13 EOS 2017 Permissioned
Open source
DApps delegated Proof of Stake 7.82
14 ICON 2017 Permissioned
Open source
Interconnect various blockchain communities Loopchain Fault Tolerance(LFT) 3.7
15 Steem 2017 Permissioned
Open source
public content platform Delegated Proof of Stake 3.41
*(as on 25th Feb, 2018)

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