In this article, we will go through some major points to keep in mind while choosing smart contract platforms. So, let’s see what are these considerations.
Various considerations when choosing a smart contract platform
We just talked about smart contracts and a few popular smart contract platforms. What should you consider when choosing a smart contract platform? Keep the following considerations and questions in mind:
1. The reputation of Ethereum as a smart contract platform
If you need to create a cryptographic token, then you can use a blockchain platform like the Ethereum blockchain network. Vitalik Buterin and his team had created this network. They offered “Ethereum Virtual Machine” (EVM), a Turing-complete system to develop blockchain applications.
The rich ecosystem of this public blockchain network helps developers. This blockchain network uses the “Proof of Work” (POW) algorithm as its consensus mechanism. If you want security via decentralization, then Ethereum is certainly a good choice.
While the 2016 Ethereum DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) hack had raised questions about its security, the Ethereum blockchain did prove its mettle. The DAO smart contract had a bug and not the Ethereum blockchain network.
The Ethereum project team as we know it today had implemented a hard fork to issue refunds. This enhanced its reputation. Many DeFi (Decentralized Finance) ventures use the Ethereum platform.
Ethereum will transition to the “Proof of Stake” (PoS) algorithm in the future. Users can stake their Ethers (ETHs) to become a validator in that network, and the Ethereum project team is working on this. Ethereum will remain secure even after this transition.
2. You have a use case that doesn’t require you to create your own token
Some applications of blockchain can do just fine without a cryptographic token. Are you pursuing use cases that require a permissioned blockchain? Perhaps you are developing a supply chain assurance system or other enterprise blockchain applications? This kind of blockchain application doesn’t need a cryptographic token.
As we had explained in our blockchain project planning guide, you should use an Enterprise blockchain. You could use Hyperledger Fabric. Are you pursuing a FinTech-specific use case? Quorum, an enterprise blockchain platform can help. JP Morgan had developed it. ConsenSys, a blockchain software technology company has acquired it in 2020.
3. The long-term prospects of the EOS blockchain network
The EOS blockchain network had promised a lot. As a result, some entrepreneurs and developers consider it for smart contract development.
However, some experts have found drawbacks in the EOS network. ConsenSys has conducted a benchmarking exercise on the EOS network in 2018. It found that the “Delegated Proof of Stake” (DPoS) consensus algorithm used in this network has security flaws.
The report from ConsenSys states that EOS has performance issues. Finally, the report states that the EOS network is vulnerable to manipulation by centralized cartels. We recommend you analyze security and performance-related risks carefully before using EOS.
4. The promises of Cardano, a next-generation smart contract platform
You might have read a lot about the promises of Cardano, a new entrant in the landscape of smart contract platforms. Should you use it? It offers the following advantages:
- The project team has learned lessons from earlier blockchain networks about handling digital assets better.
- Cardano maintains two separate layers for transactions and computation, which should offer more scalability.
- The POW consensus algorithm involves huge electricity costs, however, PoS is a low-cost consensus algorithm.
- A non-profit foundation runs the Cardano project, and it collaborates with academic institutions for research and development. We can expect Cardano to deliver what it promises.
Note that the development roadmap of Cardano is a bit long. Keep this in mind when you evaluate this platform for your project.
5. How suitable is NEO as a smart contract platform?
You might have considered NEO for your smart contract development requirements. This Chinese blockchain platform does not have its own smart contract language. It allows you to use several popular programming languages. This eliminates the need to learn a proprietary programming language like Solidity for smart contract development.
NEO uses a “Public Key Infrastructure” (PKI) for digital identity, furthermore, it promises a higher transaction throughput. These are advantages.
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However, NEO could be influenced by the Chinese government. At the time of writing, the developers of this platform control about half of all the cryptographic tokens in this platform. This points to centralization. These create questions about the long-term prospect of NEO. Think carefully before you choose this platform.
6. Should you use the RSK smart contract platform in your project?
Rootstock (RSK) is a smart contract platform that’s connected to the Bitcoin blockchain. This platform uses the “sidechain” technology, therefore, it doesn’t cause congestion in the Bitcoin network.
RSK uses the security mechanisms of Bitcoin, which is the most secure blockchain network. It can execute Ethereum smart contracts. Developers can code smart contracts using Solidity, the popular language of Ethereum.
If you have Ethereum smart contract developers in your team, then you can use RSK without hiring new developers. You certainly can use the RSK smart contract platform in your project.
Planning to Choose a Smart Contract Platform for your Blockchain Solution?
As you may have understood by know the scope and objective of your blockchain application will guide you when choosing from smart contract platforms for blockchain development.
The process would be a lot easier for you if you have professional blockchain developers in your team who have experience in using a number of these smart contract platforms for building market-competitive distributed ledger technology applications.
Read our guide here to get an idea of what skills such as proficiency in programming languages, software development kits, frameworks, etc. would you require from your blockchain developers team.
If you feel your software development team lacks these skills then we would advise you to partner with a reputed software development company.
DevTeam.Space can help you here as its field-expert blockchain developer community has experience in building numerous blockchain solutions. Write to us your initial smart contract implementation requirements via this form and one of our technical managers will get in touch with you to discuss further details.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ethereum is regarded as the popular smart contract platform for implementing and deploying smart contracts for general use cases. It can be easily used for a range of blockchain technology applications from ICO to decentralized applications for trade finance, etc.
Smart contract platforms facilitate, verify, and execute smart contracts. They provide the basis of blockchain smart contracts by assisting in smart contracts programming, testing, deployment, and hosting. They add the inputs and outputs of smart contracts to the blockchain network.
Hyper ledger fabric, waves, Neo, etc. are some commonly used top smart contract platforms.