During the historic cryptocurrency bull market of late 2017 and early 2018, when digital asset prices reached all-time highs, there were many initial coin offerings (ICOs) launched by issuing Ethereum-based ERC-20 compliant tokens.
Although there were numerous scams orchestrated under the guise of ICOs, there are several legitimate blockchain-based and smart contract-enabled projects that have been developed and successfully launched into the crypto market. EOS and Tron (TRX), which are now among the largest platforms for building smart contract-powered decentralized applications (dApps), saw their mainnets go live during summer 2018.
Ethereum, EOS, Tron Remain Most Active dApp and Smart Contract Development Platforms
According to recent estimates, approximately 28% of all dApp users are currently active on the Ethereum network - as of January 2019. Last year, nearly all, or close to 100%, of dApp users were on the Ethereum blockchain. This, according to data from DappRadar, which has now revealed that about 48% of dApp users are active on the EOS network - while Tron platform users account for around 24% of all dApp users.
More recent data from DappRadar has shown that Ethereum accounts for around 40% of the dApp market share, while Tron and EOS account for around 20 to 30%. There are other smaller dApp development networks such as Steem and IOST, however only a relatively smaller number of developers and users are utilizing these networks to launch dApps.
Most Important Aspects Of Smart Contract Development Platforms
In order to determine which smart contract development platform is best-suited for a particular requirement, crypto analyst Marco Manoppo recommends building applications on networks that support interoperability between different tokens and blockchains. He explains:
In the future, when blockchain technology has matured … these [independent] blockchains & tokens [should be able] to communicate and operate with [each other]. There will be multiple [chains] in the space, ranging from private to public blockchains, with different use-cases on different parts of the world. For instance, a project that is utilized for patients’ data in the healthcare industry must be able to operate with another project that will be used as a payment channel.
Sacrificing Decentralization To Some Extent
Manoppo also points out that “multiple projects that claim to have high transactions per second typically sacrificed … decentralization [to a certain extent] in order to achieve it.”
Balancing decentralization and scalability according to the projects’ goals is not wrong — however, one must ask the question of whether a project is going to greatly improve the existing centralized model. Considering the [potentially] higher cost of creating a properly functional decentralized network [in certain cases], perhaps it is not necessary for the project to exist if its decentralization can still be undermined and the improvements that it made are insignificant.
Is Achieving Scalability The Biggest Challenge?
He further notes:
The most challenging part is to achieve scalability, aka high throughput while maintaining a high degree of decentralization. Ethereum’s current TPS is less than 20 and that is not a numerical value that can [lead to] worldwide adoption ... For blockchain projects aiming to [implement] Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based [technology], higher TPS is required.