Smart contract platforms are believed to offer better long-term investment potential than pure cryptocurrencies. Although Bitcoin is more than a decade old, cryptos continue to be criticized for their speculative nature. On the other hand, the smart contract development platform helps benefit in the long term from the various projects built on it.
Therefore, before making any investment decisions on the most popular cryptocurrency platforms, it is worth considering how each of them will perform in 2023.
What Are Smart Contracts Platforms Used for?
In any crypto smart contract, there is always a stipulation for both parties, but there is also a third party — a kind of gray cardinal. This can be a bank, another person, an escrow, or someone else.
For example, in Ethereum, smart contracts act as operators of transactions on the blockchain, which are triggered by one user and another person gets the result. Moreover, the transactions themselves take place without anyone else being involved.
The simplest example of how any smart contracts platform works is decentralized exchanges (DEX). If you have 1 ETH and want to buy DEL coins using PancakeSwap, that transaction will be done by a blockchain development contract. Your wallet address sends the transaction to the contract, which receives the amount sent. The smart contract blockchain algorithm calculates a price based on the available liquidity, and you receive the appropriate amount of DEL.
Also, as with partnerships in blockchain, the contract cannot be rewritten, deleted or changed. This is possible in rare cases, only if the drafter of the contract himself has not spelled out a self-destruct feature. Most of the time, this does not happen to contracts.
Top 8 Best Examples Of Smart Contract Platforms
Now we’re going to take a look at the top 8 blockchain smart contract platforms that will be the most relevant for 2023. These are the easiest to use and understand for newbies.
Ethereum is a technology for creating applications and organizations, storing assets, making transactions and communicating without control from a central authority. To use Ethereum, there is no need to hand over all of your personal data – you retain control over it and regulate what is handed over yourself. Ethereum has its own cryptocurrency, ether, which is used to pay for certain actions on its network.
The Ethereum smart contract platform, launched in 2015, is based on Bitcoin innovations, but also has some significant differences. Both technologies allow you to use digital money without the involvement of payment service providers or banks. But the Ethereum platform is programmable, so you can also create and deploy decentralized applications on its network.
Ethereum’s programmability means that you can create apps that use the smart contract blockchain to store data or manage application capabilities. The result is a general-purpose blockchain that can be programmed to do anything. As Ethereum’s capabilities are unlimited, it allows for large-scale innovation on its network.
№2 Binance Smart Chain
All projects and tokens based on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem function blockchain smart contracts using the Solidity language. Binance Coin (BNB), Binance USD (BUSD), PancakeSwap (CAKE), Venus (XVS), and other BEP-20 tokens operate Solidity to create smart contracts. Binance Smart Chain is the second most popular decentralized application ecosystem after Ethereum. The BSC network has better bandwidth and transactions are faster and cheaper.
Binance Coin (BNB) was originally created as an ERC-20 token issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Later, the developers of Binance improved the cryptocurrency smart contract and launched its own main network Binance Chain, where BNB tokens migrated and became a cryptocurrency after that.
Then the Binance Smart Chain network — an improved version of the Binance Chain — was launched. Despite the higher throughput compared to Ethereum, the BSC network has the same disadvantages, which became more noticeable as the blockchain grew in popularity: transactions became slower and more expensive at high loads.
EOS was introduced to the market in mid-2018. This smart contract platform has a strong team, and CTO Dan Larimer has a track record of success in previous projects, including large-scale ones such as Bitshares and Steem. Nevertheless, the main Achilles’ heel of EOS is its lack of focus on decentralization.
EOS recently made a big announcement to coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of its core network. The plan is to develop Voice — the decentralized social network on the EOS platform. Within a few short weeks, the announcement was overshadowed by the news that the world’s largest social media is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency. Time will tell whether the EOS Voice will develop into a product that can compete with Facebook.
Tron is currently considered the largest blockchain-based platform using distributed ledger technology. The goal of the service is to reduce the need for centralized channels as a way to make online transactions. Tron has two main priorities and is designed to provide a system focused on decentralization and democratization.
All this is achieved through the use of protocols and tools that work without the need for additional permissions. To ensure the integrity of transactions, the platform uses smart contracts created in the Solidity language. This programming language was originally developed for the Ethereum network, which means that smart contracts programmed for Tron are fully compatible with Ethereum. In addition, it has better scalability within smart contract platforms.
Stellar presents itself as “the future of banking” and aims to become a decentralized payment system for transferring money from country to country and from currency to currency. At the same time, Stellar is not planned to take the place of the existing centralized financial structures. It intends to revolutionize the world of payments peacefully by partnering with central banks and integrating cryptocurrencies into the current financial ecosystem.
However, one difficult issue for the existence of Stellar must be solved. It needs to assure users that it has better features than Ripple and beat the competition for more businesses to start using it.
This is a smart contract development platform designed as a side-chain tied to Bitcoin. The attachment gives it a significant advantage because it is linked to the world’s first, most secure and reliable blockchain.
There is now a second layer, called the RSK Infrastructure Framework (RIF) OS, which also has its own token. The RIFOS layer gives developers features beyond purely smart contract cryptocurrency, including storage, payment channels and communication opportunities. RSK offers everything Ethereum does, and could probably solve the scalability problem as well, reaching speeds of up to 100 TPS.
But its biggest problem is that it is currently not as well-known as similar platforms like EOS and Ethereum. However, given that Bitcoin is currently flying high above its competitors, this could change quickly.
Uniswap is a DeFi-protocol created to exchange ERC-20 tokens and provide liquidity (yield farming). It is based on the Ethereum smart contract platform and functions as an automated market maker (AMM) with the operations of a decentralized exchange (DEX).
Unlike centralized crypto exchanges, Uniswap does not depend on an intermediary provided to the decentralized platform by liquidity businesspeople. This allows users to simultaneously securely exchange digital tokens on the sale and generate income from mining liquidity by adding tokens to pools.
The main concern with Uniswap is that the blockchain platform depends on the Ethereum ecosystem. This means it will face the same issues as the mainstream blockchain. And the more demand there is for the platform — the more scaling concerns will appear, forcing users to look for alternative decks. This is what happened with Binance Smart Chain: due to high fees, many users switched to the BSC network, which, in turn, also led to scalability issues.
Polkadot is a cryptocurrency platform that uses the Solidity language to provide smart contract functionality. The Polkadot ecosystem combines multiple blockchains into one network, creating parachains and making the platform scalable. Not only do they increase the bandwidth of the network, but they can also interact with each other — this is known as interoperability.
The Polkadot network is segmented, and parachains are not isolated, unlike other blockchain networks such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. They can process transactions in parallel with each other, and if one network becomes overloaded, customers are able to use the other parachain to make transactions.
In addition, this approach to architecture allows individual blockchains to be optimized for specific tasks, such as identity management or sensitive data storage. Decentralized applications based on Polkadot will also be able to interact with each other. This platform is considered one of the main competitors of Ethereum and other similar networks.
These 8 blockchain contract development platforms are among the biggest and brightest ones on the market in 2023. The unique features of smart contracts make the system profitable and attractive. But always remember that the whole system depends on trust between the parties. Moreover, all blockchain contracts have their specific strengths and weaknesses, and only time will tell if one of these platforms will dominate the others.