Ethereum vs Cosmos vs Hyperledger And More!
’s Generals Problem.As the cosmos whitepaper states:“Tendermint provides exceptional performance. In benchmarks of 64 nodes distributed across 7 data centers on 5 continents, on commodity cloud instances, Tendermint consensus can process thousands of transactions per second, with commit latencies on the order of one to two seconds. Notably, the performance of well over a thousand transactions per second is maintained even in harsh adversarial conditions, with validators crashing or broadcasting maliciously crafted votes.”The graph below support the claim made above:Image Credit: Cosmos WhitepaperBenefits of TendermintTendermint can handle transaction volume at the rate of 10,000 transactions per second for 250byte transactions. Better and simple light client security which makes it ideal for mobile and IoT use cases. In contrast, Bitcoin light clients require a lot more work and have lots of demands which makes it impractical for certain use cases. Tendermint has fork-accountability which stops attacks such as long-range-nothing-at-stake double spends and censorship. Tendermint is implemented via Tendermint core which is an “application-agnostic consensus engine.” It can basically turn any deterministic blackbox application into a distributedly replicated blockchain. Tendermint Core connects to blockchain applications via the Application Blockchain Interface (ABCI). Inter-Blockchain CommunicationAs we have mentioned before, Cosmos’s architecture will follow the Hub and Zones method. There will be multiple parallel blockchains connected to one central Hub blockchain. Think of the Sun and the solar system.The Cosmos hub is a distributed ledger where individual users or the Zones themselves can hold their tokens. The zones can interact with each other through the Hub using IBC or Inter Blockchain Communication.See the diagram above?This is a very simplified version of how two Zones communicate with each other via IBC.Cosmos Use CasesThe interoperability achieved by Cosmos has some extremely interesting use-cases:DEX: Since Cosmos is linking so many blockchains with each other, it goes without saying that it can easily enable different ecosystems to interact with one another. This a perfect setting for a decentralized exchange. Cross chain transactions: Similarly, one zone can avail the services of another zone through the Cosmos hub. Ethereum Scaling: This is one of the more use cases. Any EVM based zone which is connected to the Cosmos hub will be, as per the architecture, powered by the Tendermint consensus system as well. This will enable these zones to scale up faster.CardanoToken: ADAThe brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Cardano is a smart contract platform however, Cardano offers scalability and security through layered architecture. Cardano’s approach is unique in the space itself since it is built on scientific philosophy and peer-reviewed academic research.Cardano is a third-generation blockchain which is focussed on bringing scalability and interoperability to the blockchain space. There are three organizations which work full time to develop and take care of Cardano:The Cardano Foundation.IOHK.Emurgo.These three organizations work in synergy to make sure that Cardano development is going on at a good pace.Functional ProgrammingThere is one really interesting quality that makes Cardano unique as compared to the other smart contract platforms. Majority of the other smart contract platforms are coded via imperial programming language. Cardano uses Haskell for its source code, which is a functional programming language. For its smart contracts, Cardano uses Plutus, which is also a functional language.Let us explain the difference between the two types of languages in a straightforward way.In imperative languages, addition works like this:int a = 5;int b = 3;int c;c= a + b;As you can see, it takes a lot of steps. Now, how will that work in a functional language?Suppose there is a function f(x) that we want to use to calculate a function g(x) and then we want to use that to work with a function h(x). Instead of solving all of those in a sequence, we can simply club all of them together in a single function like this:h(g(f(x)))This makes the functional approach easier to reason mathematically.Functional languages helps with scalability and it also helps in making the program far more precise.ScalabilityCardano uses a new proof of stake algorithm called Ouroboros, which determines how individual nodes reach consensus about the network. The protocol has been designed by a team led by OHK Chief Scientist, Professor Aggelos Kiayias.Ouroboros is the first proof of stake protocol that has mathematically been shown to be provably secure, and the first to have gone through peer review through its acceptance to Crypto 2017, the leading cryptography conference.InteroperabilityThe way Cardano plans to execute interoperability is by implementing sidechains.Sidechain as a concept has been in the crypto circles for quite some time now. The idea is very straightforward; you have a parallel chain which runs along with the main chain. The side chain will be attached to the main chain via a two-way peg.Cardano will support sidechains based on the research by Kiayias, Miller, and Zindros (KMZ) involving “non-interactive proofs of proofs of work”.According to Hoskinson, the idea of sidechains comes from two things:Getting a compressed version of a blockchain.Creating interoperability between chains.EOSToken: EOSEOS are aiming to become a decentralized operating system which can support industrial-scale decentralized applications. The driving force behind EOS is Dan Larimer (the creator of BitShares and Steemit) and Block.One. EOS recently came into the spotlight for their year-long ICO which raised a record-breaking $4 billion.That sounds pretty amazing but what has really captured the public’s imagination is the following two claims:They are claiming to have the ability to conduct millions of transactions per second.They are planning to completely remove transaction fees.Scalability Through DPOSEOS achieves its scalability via the utilization of the delegated proof-of-stake (DPOS) consensus mechanism, which is a variation of the traditional proof-of-stake. It can theoretically do millions of transactions per second.So, how is DPOS different from traditional POS? While in POS the entire network will have to take care of the consensus, in DPOS all the EOS holders will elect 21 block producers who will be in charge of taking care of the consensus and general network health. Anyone can participate in the block producer election and they will be given an opportunity to produce blocks proportional to the total votes they receive relative to all other producers.The DPOS system doesn’t experience a fork because instead of competing to find blocks, the producers will have to co-operate instead. In the event of a fork, the consensus switches automatically to the longest chain.As you can imagine, the importance of these block producers definitely can’t be underestimated. Not only do they take care of consensus, but they take care of overall network health as well. This is why it is extremely important that each and every single vote that has been cast has proper weightage.This is why, Larimer introduced the idea of Voter Decay, which will reduce the weightage of old votes over time. The only way that one can maintain the strength of votes is by regular voting.The Voter Decay mechanism leads to two great advantages:Firstly, as we have seen time and again, elected officials may become corrupt and change their tune after getting elected. The vote decay system gives the voters a chance to reconsider their vote every week. This keeps the block producers accountable and on their toes. Secondly, people simply change over time. Maybe the political beliefs and ideologies that someone has today is completely different than what they had a year ago. The vote decay system will allow people to vote for someone who is more congruent with their newly evolved ideologies.This has the potential to be a truly revolutionary concept a
nd can change decentralized voting (maybe even voting) forever.Removal of Transaction FeesEOS works on an ownership model where users own and are entitled to use resources proportional to their stake, rather than having to pay for every transaction. So, in essence, if you hold N tokens of EOS then you are entitled to N*k transactions. This, in essence, eliminates transaction fees.On staking EOS tokens you get certain computational resources in exchange. You will get:RAMNetwork BandwidthComputational Bandwidth.EOS tokens, along with payment coins, can also be used as a toll to get all these resources. HyperledgerFinally, we have Hyperledger.Hyperledger, to be very frank, is extremely different from all the platforms that we have talked about so far. While Ethereum, Cardano, and EOS are proper cryptocurrencies and have their own blockchains, Hyperledger is not a cryptocurrency, and nor does it have its own blockchain. Hyperledger is an open-sourced project by the Linux Foundation. On their website, Hyperledger describes itself as“an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing, and Technology.” The Need For Permissioned BlockchainPlatforms like Ethereum, EOS etc. are all public blockchains, meaning, anyone can choose to join the network. However, for big enterprises who need their own blockchain infrastructure, this is highly undesirable.Think of a blockchain conglomerate of banks.Banks need to deal with sensitive data every single day. From their internal transactional records to KYC data, there are lots of items which they simply can’t reveal to the public. Plus, only banks that have been vetted by the other banks present in the network should be allowed inside the network.Also, as we have already covered before, public blockchains are slow and have performance issues, which is again a big no-no for large-scale companies.Hyperledger allows these companies to create their own high-performance permissioned blockchain (aka blockchains where each and every node must be vetted properly before entering).Interesting Projects Under HyperledgerMaybe the most interesting project in the Hyperledger family is IBM’s Fabric. Rather than a single blockchain Fabric is a base for the development of blockchain based solutions with a modular architecture.With Fabric different components of Blockchains, like consensus and membership services can become plug-and-play. Fabric is designed to provide a framework with which enterprises can put together their own, individual blockchain network that can quickly scale to more than 1,000 transactions per second.Along with Fabric you also have:Sawtooth: Developed by Intel and uses Proof-of-Elapsed time consensus mechanismIroha: Asn easy-to-use blockchain framework developed by a couple of Japanese companies.Burrow: Creates a permissible smart contract machine along the specification of Ethereum.Different Blockchains: Comparing all the PlatformsAlright, so now that we have somewhat familiarized ourselves with these platforms, let’s compare all of them.