Ethereum is the current king of smart contract based versatile crypto ecosystems, both in terms of market cap and overall user base. However, the giant seems to be moving slowly when it comes to implementing solutions to its limitations. Other platforms, like Solana, Tron, or Avalanche, are seizing the opportunity, and are attempting to dethrone Ethereum. Which has the best chance of doing so, and is this even possible? Let’s find out.
Ethereum is a globally used network with millions of users and transactions every single day. Thanks to its popularity, the ecosystem's sole, original blockchain often struggles to process all the data that pours in because of its relatively sluggish Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. Ethereum’s current throughput measured in transactions per second (TPS) is around 14-20, which is an incredibly low number compared to the newest generation crypto projects. There is a solution in the pipeline that would greatly enhance this and other performance metrics, but it looks like it’s not arriving any time soon.
“Ethereum Upgrades” is a set of high-importance updates that will be implemented on a rolling basis over a longer period of time. The upgrades include switching Ethereum’s consensus mechanism from PoW to Proof-of-Stake (PoS), and introducing sharding to the ecosystem, both of which would massively increase the processing power of the network. However, these updates will not happen from one day to another, and despite the unreal demand, it seems that it will take a good while until we can greet Ethereum in its freshly upgraded form. The question is: will it be too late for Ethereum?
During the past few years, numerous ecosystems emerged that all aimed to improve on the functionalities and usability of Ethereum. Of these, only a few managed to even come close to contending with the robust giant of smart contracts, and even fewer count as actual threats to Ethereum; Solana, Tron, and Avalanche are the top ones among them.
Solana (SOL) is a crypto ecosystem that not only offers most of what Ethereum does, such as fungible, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), but does so in a much more cost- and time efficient manner. Objectively speaking, and only looking at the numbers, Solana is better than Ethereum. However, that’s not the actual case, as we must take soft metrics into account too, such as the size of the ecosystem, the opportunities open for users, and the like, in which Ethereum comes in first.
Tron (TRX), too, is a worthy contender for Ethereum’s throne, as it offers most functionalities of the smart contract king with better transaction fees. When it comes to Tether (USDT) transactions, for instance, most traders chose the TRC-20 based USDT tokens and the Tron network, as fees are incredibly low compared to Ethereum (less than $1 compared to tens of dollars).
Avalanche (AVAX) is among the newest, yet most competitive players within the industry. It offers unmatched TPS numbers that are easily in the thousands, as well as all Ethereum functions at better rates. Also, building and launching a DApp (Decentralized Application) is one of the easiest on Avalanche. Its only drawback seems to be its relatively small size compared to Ethereum, which limits the opportunities for early adopters.
By looking at the numbers and facts, Solana, Tron, and Avalanche all have what it takes to become the new king of smart contract based blockchain ecosystems. The only things that seemingly stand between them and the top is Ethereum’s unparalleled user base, and its Layer 2 solutions, like Polygon, that win time for the giant to implement its upgrades and even out the battlefield once again.
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