As the completion of Ethereum’s upgrade is nearing its completion, the race to unseat the leading network has become tougher. The network has been plagued by issues of scalability, interoperability, and high gas fees which are expected to be resolved after its upgrade is completed. The ETH 2.0 full release is expected to happen in 2023. Until then, “ETH killers” are free to make attempts to outperform the reigning blockchain network. Among these networks vying to overthrow Ethereum from its throne, we will give you a list of the top five “ETH killers” with the biggest potential to snatch Ethereum’s spot. But before we delve into the topic, what are “ETH killers”?
ETH killers are open-source blockchain protocols that aim to improve one or more of Ethereum’s issues. By presenting themselves as better alternatives, it is more likely that they could take a chunk from the network’s users. Let’s start our roundup of the top contenders among “ETH killers”.
The network has the fastest among the “ETH killers” with its TPS of 65,000. No wonder it is touted as the next “visa of the digital asset ecosystem” by known institutions like JP Morgan and Bank of America. Since its launching in 2020, the network has immensely grown due to massive adoption. SOL (Solana), the network’s token is now ranked at #9 among the leading cryptocurrencies in the market today. It is also second among the most staked digital asset next to Ethereum. As of writing, SOL (Solana) price has a market cap of $13,853,831,485 with its price of $40.08 in data by Crypto.co.
Its lightning speed offers scalability and low gas fees. But despite this, Solana has its own fair share of drawbacks. The outages in the network have caused the price of its native token to plummet. Also, it is also criticized for its lack of decentralization making it vulnerable to hacking. Solana charges an incredibly low gas fee of only $0.00025 per transaction as compared to Ethereum’s current at $40. But with the network’s high risk from cyberattacks and the danger of its token’s price crashing could become a major turn-off among users.
The blockchain network utilizes proof-of-stake from the start which is more sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to Ethereum’s proof-of-work. Although it is not as fast as Solana, Cardano can process 250 transactions per second (TPS) which is a far cry from Ethereum’s current TPS of 12-15. The network is looking to resolve issues on scalability, interoperability, and sustainability on cryptocurrency platforms. As of writing, Cardano charges an average gas fee of $0.17 which is definitely lower than that of Ethereum which could go as high as $200 at its peak.
But one of the major flaws of the network is less adoption. Despite presenting itself as a good alternative for Ethereum, Cardano lacks “charisma” to attract users to its fold. The network which is currently in the state of being “a work in progress” has its full potential still unutilized. Ethereum already has smart contracts but Cardano’s is yet to arrive. ADA (Cardano), the native token of the network has a market cap of $16,244,483,727. And despite its low price of $0.481023, ADA (Cardano) has made it to the top ten cryptocurrencies. It is currently ranked at #8 in data by Coinmarketcap.
Similar to Cardano, Tezos runs on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Just like Ethereum, the network supports dApps using smart contracts but comes with unique features compared to the leading network. It has on-chain governance which works more like a DAO. It allows holders of XTZ, Tezos’ native token, to vote on the network’s future direction. This helps to maintain unity in the community and avoid any division that may result in a hardfork or in the devaluing of its token. Its self-amending nature makes it easier to implement upgrades and innovations in the network.
Tezos can process 40 transactions per second but the upcoming release of the Octez V13 version will enable the network to process as much as 1,000 TPS. Once its newest version goes live, it will be faster by more than 66 times than Ethereum. But even with its current TPS, its performance is almost three times compared to that of Ethereum. Tezos charges a gas fee of $0.10 which is definitely lower than Ethereum.
Just like other “ETH killers”, Tezos has its own pitfalls. Despite its successful ICO in 2017, Tezos was faced with numerous disagreements and lawsuits. The ruckus resulted in the delayed release of XTZ tokens prompting investors to file a complaint in the US SEC. The regulatory body declared that Tezos had sold unregistered securities and received a fine of $25 million.
XTZ (Tezos), the network’s token has now reached a market cap of $1,456,486,214 with its current price at $1.64. It is currently ranked at #42 among cryptocurrencies.
The network was founded by one of Ethereum’s founders, Gavin Wood. It was dubbed “the blockchain of blockchains or multichain”. Polkadot consists of three chains: the Relay chain, Parachains, and Parathread. It utilizes a nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS) as its consensus mechanism which enables DOT (Polkadot) token stakers to nominate validators they feel will best serve and secure the network. This also counters the entry of bad actors into the network since nominators will lose their stake if they nominate a bad actor.
Polkadot aims to solve Ethereum’s biggest failures around its community: scalability and governance. This was expressed by Polkadot’s founder in an interview at Unfinished Live. He stated:
“Polkadot came about as a desire to radically iterate upon what I’d built before. So yeah. At the time, of course, we knew that Ethereum, the Ethereum that we built, was not going to be the final blockchain, but it’s great to prototype things. It’s great to deliver an MVP as fast as you can.”
The network can process 1,000 transactions per second making it more than 60 times faster than Ethereum. Polkadot’s actual gas costs will depend on the computer power needed and the amount of data to be saved.
The network’s biggest Achilles heel is its interoperability. The absence of Polkadot’s bridge in the Ethereum network has made the platform unpopular among crypto traders who are exploring DeFi and NFTs.
These blockchain networks may have their own beauties but just like Ethereum, they also have their drawbacks. Despite claiming to resolve the major issues experienced in Ethereum, due to certain factors, they fail to attract the network’s users to shift. To date, Ethereum remains the undisputed king among blockchains and the most preferred network by developers and investors alike. But holding one or two solutions to Ethereum’s problem can be beneficial in the end. With uncertainties surrounding the release of the most anticipated ETH 2.0, these “ETH killers” may still have enough time to resolve their internal issues and finally unseat Ethereum from its current spot. As they say, there is still room for improvement and this could be true for “ETH killers” including the new players.