Over the years, the blockchain industry has significantly expanded. New networks to overcome the shortcomings of current blockchains are emerging. Ethereum has become a major inspiration for the emergence of these blockchains. The smart contract, consensus, scalability, and open-source features have been improved in the new networks. Examples include Cardano, Solana, Polkadot, and many more. This lesson will discuss Cardano, Solana, and Polkadot as new blockchain networks in detail.
What is Cardano?
Cardano is an open-source, decentralized, and public blockchain network. It uses proof-of-stake to achieve consensus. A universally recognized programming language, Haskell, is utilized for creating its open-source code. It was founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, Ethereum’s co-founder. Cardano’s native token, ADA, facilitates peer-to-peer transactions to keep the network stable. In addition, the Cardano network is programmable, which implies that it serves as a platform for other virtual currencies and applications.
Like other altcoins, ADA stores value and as a payment method in the Cardano platform. Conversely, the blockchain is wholly based on scientific and statistical principles. It is designed by cryptography and engineering experts to be used in creating smart contracts. In addition, it is designed to allow developers to build decentralized applications (DApps), games, and new digital tokens on the platform. Cardano’s objective is to solve scalability issues facing earlier blockchain networks. Apart from solving sustainability problems, the network is focused on tackling real-world problems in third-world nations. It is one of the fastest-growing blockchain technologies in the crypto industry. The network also considers regulations in its development while providing its duties to users.
Why Cardano is Special
Cardano was invented to solve Ethereum’s problem of scalability amongst many challenges the existing blockchains face. So what makes the Cardano network so unique?
First, Cardano utilizes statistics and science to provide a secure network. This makes the network less prone to scammers and hackers. Cardano utilizes Ouroboros’ mathematical security to select the network validators randomly. The consensus mechanism creates a transparent and secure voting mechanism for network users. Additionally, the consensus algorithm offers infinite scalability.
Consequently, Cardano separates its network layers into computational and accounting layers. The accounting layer, Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL), allows network users to receive and send network tokens at minimal fees. The computational layer (Cardano Computational Layer or CCL), on the other hand, is the backbone of the network. The CCL ensures compliance and security by running smart contracts. Moreover, it allows identification and blacklisting, amongst other advanced features.
The network also has its own wallet, called Daedalus Wallet, for its native token, ADA. Users get to run a full blockchain node with the wallet. Thus, the wallet offers users complete control over their funds and ensures transparency on the network. The wallet also serves as a place where ADA holders can participate in the staking system and earn rewards. Users earn rewards by delegating ADA or by participating in the staking pool within the wallet.
What is Solana?
Solana is an open-source blockchain platform that utilizes proof-of-stake (PoS) and proof-of-history (PoH) to achieve consensus. PoH allows users to create historical records as proof when a specific event occurs. It employs a high-frequency VDF algorithm to achieve proof-of-work. Solana was founded by Anatoly Yakovenko back in 2017. The network’s native coin, SOL, is used to stake in the blockchain and maintain its stability.
The idea behind Solana was to make a distributed, trustless, and permissionless protocol that ensures more scalability. The global impact Solana has had attracted the attention of bigwig investors like Abstract Ventures, Foundation Capital, CMCC Global, amongst others.
Why Solana is Special
The network is amongst the fastest-growing blockchains in the industry. Its speed supersedes that of Ethereum by far, processing 500ms block time and nearly 50,000 TPS. The Mempool-less transaction protocol plays a role in the speed achieved. The Gulf stream, for instance, pushes transaction cache and forwards it to the edge. Thus, network validators can execute transactions ahead of time, reduce the confirmation time, minimize memory pressure on the network validators, and quick leader switching.
In addition, a TPU (transaction processing unit) in the network pipelines data streams to respective hardware. Pipelining allows the payment information to be replicated and validated across the nodes. The consensus algorithm thus provides a higher throughput rate and provides more efficiency. Furthermore, the network easily keeps track of the order of events due to the recorded transactions, making it even easier to track payments.
In addition, a block propagation mechanism, called the Turbine, allows the network to address bandwidth and scalability issues. The turbine breaks data into small data packets, making their transmission to the network nodes easier.
What is Polkadot?
Polkadot is a multi-chain protocol that enables large amounts of data to be transferred across networks in a trustless fashion. Arbitrary data is transferred across open, public, permissioned, private, and permissionless blockchains. Hence, it can be defined as a blockchain of blockchain networks. It was created by Gavin Wood, Ethereum’s co-founder, and CTO, and launched in 2020. Polkadot’s native token is DOT that users utilize to validate the chains while earning rewards.
Polkadot seeks to encourage a worldwide connection of computers to operate a network that allows users to operate and launch their blockchain networks. The Polkadot network operates two unique blockchains, a relay chain, and parachains. The relay chain is the heart of the network where permanent transactions take place. The main chain separates new transactions from their validation to achieve more incredible speeds, over 1,000 TPS. Moreover, the relay chain ensures the platform’s consensus, cross-chain interoperability, and shared security,
On the other hand, parachains are user-created networks customized to use the main chain’s computing resources. The relay chain helps confirm the accuracy of the parachain transactions. Parachains can have their own tokens. In addition, they can optimize their unique features in executing exceptional use cases.
Polkadot also has a third blockchain, bridges, that allows parachains to communicate with other networks. The main chain utilizes nominated-proof-of-stake (NPoS) to keep the network in understanding its state.
Why Polkadot is Special
The heterogeneity of Polkadot makes it easily scalable and more flexible. Moreover, no assumptions about the nature of the blockchains within the network are made. Hence, even non-blockchain networks can be converted to parachains by following specific criteria. Thus, the network’s scalability translates to an increased pivot ability plus more unique features.
The network is also designed to connect and communicate with other blockchains. The interoperability between private, permissioned, permissionless, and public blockchains allows diverse networks to transfer value. This capability influences private projects, forking, and more activities on the network. Furthermore, the blockchains can choose whether to maintain their validators or use the network’s shared security. Thus, Polkadot encourages innovation for all by developing new-state transition functionalities.
The new blockchain networks are still a work in progress. However, they promise to promote innovation in a safe ecosystem while bringing global change. Polkadot, Cardano, and Solana are the networks that are changing the perception of blockchain networks.