Ethereum is the most popular smart contract platform out there and it’s been used for a wide range of use cases - from DeFi applications to DEXs. Compared to many other altcoins, it looks like Ethereum has a huge advantage due to its active community and mature technology. That being said, many developers are actively searching for alternative smart contract and DApp platforms, especially because they think Ethereum is not scalable enough to support more mainstream products.
But how true is that narrative? And which other smart contract platforms can give Ethereum a run of its money? Well, let’s find out together!
Before we continue, make sure you understand what a smart contract is. There’s a good article that explains it, visit here. If you already understand what a smart contract is, let’s continue.
Ethereum vs EOS and Ethereum vs Tron
Talking about these three platforms, let’s start from this very important aspect - which is popularity. According to dappradar, three most popular smart contract platforms are Ethereum, EOS, and Tron. Ethereum used to face huge challenges from EOS and Tron but for now the trading volumes for Ethereum’s DApps are slightly better. In this aspect, Ethereum has over $21 million from its top 5 DApps combined. They come from Uniswap, Kyber, 1inch, HEX, and MakerDao.
Meanwhile, EOS’ top 5 DApps are Newdex, Banker.Bet, Bluebet, BigGame, and Felix. Outside Newdex (which is a decentralized exchange on EOS) and Banker.Bet (a gambling DApp), others don’t really show much transaction activities.
And then, we have Tron. The biggest DApp on Tron is WINk, with over $1.3 million trading volume. After WINk, there are RocketGame, 888Tron, TronTrade, and FIGHTRON. Compared to both EOS and Ethereum, Tron is still far behind.
Apart from the fact that Ethereum has more DApp activities than EOS and Tron, Ethereum is also being used by all the major stablecoin issuers. Tether (USDT), TrueUSD, USDC, PAX, BUSD, and DAI are all operating on Ethereum. Anyway, Tether is not only operating on Ethereum blockchain but it’s also available on both OMNI and Tron. However, Ethereum-based USDT is definitely far more popular than Tron-based USDT.
Overall, Ethereum is significantly more popular and has more users compared to EOS and Tron. Despite the fact that EOS and Tron are presently more scalable due to their utilization of Delegated Proof-of-Stake mechanism, Ethereum has one thing that the other platforms don’t - which is the first mover advantage.
As for technical aspects, Ethereum mainly utilizes Solidity as its smart contract programming language. That means, once you understand how Solidity works, most likely you will be able to program various kinds of DApps on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
A good technical explanation on Ethereum smart contract can be found on this link.
While Ethereum seems a little bit less flexible compared to EOS and Tron, learning Solidity might actually worth your time. After all, many of less famous smart contract platforms still adopt Solidity.
Of course when it comes to analyzing the better smart contract platform, we must also acknowledge the importance of scalability. At this point, we should know which platform is more efficient.
Ethereum is currently able to process 25 transactions per second (TPS) while Tron claims its mainnet can process up to 2,000 TPS. As for EOS, it is able to process a maximum of 3996 TPS.
Both Tron and EOS are able to achieve much faster transaction speed compared to Ethereum thanks to their utilization of DPoS consensus mechanism. Unlike Ethereum, Tron has Super Representatives and EOS has Block Producers to confirm and validate the blockchain transactions.
Ethereum is currently in the migration process to Ethereum 2.0 where they will gradually move from Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm to a hybrid of PoW/PoS and then they would adopt a full-blown Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus. It’s widely believed that their version of PoS would help them to compete directly against EOS and Tron in terms of speed and scalability.
How About The Other Smart Contract Platforms?
Of course, Tron and EOS are not the only competitors to Ethereum. There are also VeChain, NEO, Tezos, IOST, and others. The thing is that these other altcoin projects rarely have any interesting DApp - which means it would be hard for them to attract new developers. It’s like a “chicken and egg” game where new developers would only be interested to develop in your platform when they see other apps have some success over there.
Tezos and NEO might have some chance to become much more popular in the upcoming years, but only time will be able to tell.
The biggest smart contract platforms after Ethereum are still Tron and EOS - then followed by Tezos, NEO, Vechain, IOST, and others. While newer smart contract platforms might provide better scalability and promise smaller gas fees, it doesn’t change the fact that Ethereum has a big first mover advantage. And if Ethereum 2.0 is able to deliver its promises and fulfill people’s expectations, it will be able to increase its gap to its rivals.