Blockchain technology has grown rapidly in the past five years. With more and more companies showing interest in the blockchain, it is time for blockchain platforms to rise. In this article, we will be going through the blockchain platforms.
The platforms we will discuss will fall in multiple categories, including blockchain enterprise platforms, blockchain cloud platforms, and so on. Blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology. Its major applications can be found in almost every sector out there. You can implement or use blockchain in finance, supply chain, food, voting, and so on.
It was first introduced via the bitcoin whitepaper where Satoshi Nakamoto. So, what we are waiting for? Let’s get started with the best blockchain platforms out there.
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What is blockchain platform? Do we need it?
Blockchain implementation is one of the biggest challenges in the current industry. There are many reports that hint at there is less success rate with blockchain implementation when it comes to complex system implementation. The whole blockchain implementation becomes more complicated if a business wants to build its blockchain network and framework.
In simple words, it is not possible to build a blockchain end-to-end solution from scratch. That’s where the blockchain platform comes in. It lets startups, business, and enterprises to take advantage of existing infrastructure, solution, or service related to blockchain.
We also need blockchain growth into the equation. It is simply not possible for companies to keep their system updated if they use their proprietary blockchain solution. Blockchain is evolving at a rapid pace, and it is always wise to leave the upgrading task to blockchain platforms.
Blockchain platforms come with tons of features.
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Now that we have understood the blockchain platform and its need. Let’s list the benefits of the blockchain platform below:
Benefits of utilizing a blockchain platform
As a consumer, why you should utilize a blockchain platform? For starters, the blockchain platform gives the ability to overcome the most significant challenges. Let’s take into other benefits that you can get by using a blockchain platform.
Getting the essentials
Why would you utilize a blockchain platform in the first place?
The reason is simple. You get the essential features out of almost every blockchain platform out there. Some of them offer a complete solution, whereas others provide you a specific solution.
This means that you get the necessary features to get started. In short, Blockchain platforms are solutions that provide the end-user ability to interact with the blockchain.
At the core, blockchain is a database, distributed and managed by peers. It can keep track of all the transactions in a secure and structured manner. This means that blockchain platforms offer the basic features of blockchain.
Each of the transactions is stored within the block – a secure and encrypted sequence of transactions. This means that no person can manipulate the blocks, providing the necessary security.
Another essential factor that blockchain platforms offer is the implementation of blockchain according to their requirement. Blockchain is open source, which means that it can be crafted accordingly.
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The blockchain platform is optimized to run efficiently. With cloud becoming more common among platform, it is evident that these platforms offer added efficiency. The current business model uses computers and their computational processing power inefficiency. This can change with blockchain as it offers more flexibility and approach compared to other gateway solutions. The gateway solutions have their restrictions, which can determine the price, delivery time, and other factors.
A blockchain platform also enables producers to interact with consumers directly. For example, a food maker can sell their product through a blockchain platform – removing intermediaries and their commission.
Both seller and buyer benefit from the use of blockchain-based platforms.
Blockchain-based platforms such as Ethereum offer smart contracts. Smart contracts is a protocol that sets when and at what condition a transaction takes place. In simple words, a transaction is only allowed if the condition is met.
This is important to protect the platform from frauds. Smart contract protocols need to be planned carefully, and proper testing should be done before them being implemented.
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Blockchain platforms provide fraud prevention. This is because of how blockchain works. It is not possible for the data to be modified once written on the blockchain.
So, if someone sends a certain amount of money, his transaction info is stored within the blockchain. The receiver gets the amount, and everything is now stored within the block. Now, none of the parties can deny the transfer of funds. It is also not possible to modify the transaction information by any of the parties or third-party malicious node.
Blockchain platforms offer transparency. Banks currently use solutions that are not entirely transparent. Banks do fall because of it — as we can find many frauds happening in the banking system.
Also, if a transaction goes wrong or delayed, it is not possible to track them by customers. Only banks can confirm the transaction status, which can easily take 2-3 days to do. Blockchain lets users take care of everything themselves. As there are no intermediaries, the users itself act as a bank and can trace any transaction themselves.
Enterprises who use blockchain enterprise platform can also benefit from transparency. They can set up a transparency ecosystem which can bring more trust into the system.
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Blockchain platforms offer a performance review on the different elements of the business. For example, if a supply chain adopts blockchain, they can find out the weak points on their supply chain and fix them. Blockchain is an excellent tool to not only improve efficiency but also understand your own business better. Also, it reflects upon the parts that are high performance.
Auditing is an essential part of the business. It brings accountability to everyone who is part of the business. Blockchain brings that audibility on the table. With the blockchain platform, it is easy to store all the information that can be checked for accountability. For example, a supply chain company can hold its workers accountable when the items reach their destination.
Criteria for selecting the blockchain platforms
There are tons of blockchain platforms out there.
To ensure that we choose the best ones out there, we have come up with a certain set of criteria to match. These criteria include the following.
The criteria could differ according to your requirement. So, it is always a good idea to research before setting the right criteria set. In general, the following the generic criteria that you should look out for.
- Activity and popularity → How popular or active the blockchain platform is.
- Architecture and Supported languages → Which programming languages are supported by the blockchain platform? Also, what architecture does the blockchain platform offers?
- Network type → What is the network type? Public, private or permissioned network
- Github Repo → Do they have Github repo? If yes, is it updated regularly?
- Implementation and operations cost→ What is the cost?
List of Best Blockchain platforms
Now, that we have gone through the benefits of using the blockchain platform, it is time to list the best blockchain platforms out there.
Popular Blockchain Platforms
Hyperledger is known as one of the best blockchain platforms out there. Hyperledger platform is a unique approach to solving blockchain problems. It is an open-source collaboration done across cross-industry. It is currently hosted by The Linux Foundation. Big companies across banking, finance, supply chain, and others have participated in the Hyperledger.
Hyperledger platforms a wide range of frameworks/projects aimed at different use-cases. The ones that we think are worth mentioning include:
- Hyperledger Fabric – It is a blockchain framework implementation that is aimed to provide the foundation for businesses to build their solution or application using the modular architecture. It offers a wide range of features, including membership and consensus services. Moreover, you can also host smart contracts using a “chain node.” IBM and Digital Asses are the initial contributed to the project.
- Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake: Sawtooth its modular platform. It is aimed to provide services to users for deploying and running DLTs.
- Hyplerleder Iroha: Hyperleder Iroha is another blockchain platform implementation that is written using C++. It uses Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus algorithm. Its unique feature is the use of PostgreSQL.
There are also other Hyperledger projects including Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Aries, and so on. Not all projects are currently inactive state. Few of the projects, including Hyperledger Burrow and Hyperladder Grid, are still in the incubation stage.
Excited to learn more about Hyperledger? Then check out Hyperledger: The Enterprise Blockchain.
Its approach is quite different from traditional blockchain, where one transaction needs to be verified by a lot of nodes. Its approach is to reduce the number of validations and improve efficiency while keeping all the feature-set of blockchain intact.
The three key features of R3 Corda is open source, open design, and open development. This means that anyone can use R3 Corda and utilize the open-source blockchain platform to their needs and requirements.
If you are curious, then you can check out our ultimate guide on R3 Corda. It will teach you more about R3 Corda including business principles, architecture, the global Corda network, Corda Bass Vendor, and much more!
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If you are a business who want to take advantage of an open-source, globally accepted blockchain platform, then Ethereum is a great choice. It can be used to create highly sophisticated decentralized applications(dApps).
Ethereum blockchain is developed by Vitalik Buterin, who is known for his expertise on the blockchain. For developers, they have getting started guides, including programming smart contracts and finding the latest developer tools. Ethereum also utilizes Solidity, which is popular among the developer community.
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Enterprise Ethereum is also known as one of the best enterprise blockchain platforms out there. Ethereum is an open-source, public blockchain. It is suited for some businesses out there, but not for enterprise.
Enterprise requires a blockchain platform that offers permissioned blockchain development while also providing the blockchain features such as transparency, security, and immutability.
This is where Enterprise Ethereum comes in.
Enterprise Ethereum offers a flexible, secure, and scalable blockchain aimed at business. It offers three types of implementation, including private, hybrid, and consortium. This means that any business can take advantage of Ethereum by customizing it to their requirement. With the tools provided, you can build decentralized applications. Moreover, you can also test your dApp.
Enterprise Ethereum is a highly capable blockchain solution which means less downtime, better implementation, and customizability. It also helps you reduce the cost of implementation and increase trust in the whole system.
The key benefits of using Enterprise Ethereum include
- Better trust at low cost
- Improved efficiency
- Offers full customizability including custom permissioning
- Increase security
- Better and new business models
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance is behind the standards and implementation of Enterprise Ethereum. Their focus is to develop an open standard that can work worldwide. Their collaboration consists of 250+ member companies which are spread across 45+ countries.
Wondering what more Enterprise Ethereum offers? Then check out our guide on Enterprise Ethereum: Private Blockchain For Enterprise.
Quorum is the brainchild of J.P.Morgan. It is also enterprise-focused and is mainly created for financial institutes. So, if you are a business in the finance industry, then Quorum should be considered as a blockchain enterprise platform.
Quorum’s main features include fast transaction and performance, which makes it ideal for the finance sector. Moreover, it is also one of the most advanced security protocols which make it secure. Quorum is also based on Ethereum, which means that it offers features such as smart contracts and the ability to create decentralized dApps.
Features Of Quorum
- Better performance
- Improved contract privacy
- Proper network management
- Voting-based consensus mechanism
Quorum utilizes Istanbul BFT consensus algorithm, which offers high security and improved performance. Also, Quorum is open-source, which means that you can customize it for your requirement. The open-source approach also brings in trust, maturity, and community.
Some of the notable projects that are utilizing Quorum includes VAKT, KIMLIC, IIN, FOGCHAIN ETHHOTELS, and others.
Want to learn more about Quorum? Then check out the Ultimate guide on Quorum blockchain platform.
Blockchain as a service platforms (BaaS Platforms)
Now that we have gone through some of the best blockchain platforms let’s list the blockchain as a service platform.
These BaaS platforms offer services to enterprises, business, and startups as it enables them to host their blockchain solution.
According to IBM, the early movers have their advantage. They offer trusted expertise, which consists of 1500 industry experts. They also have a large client base of 500+ clients and are ranked #1 when it comes to research.
Their enterprise blockchain ensures that you can build, govern, operate, and grow using their easy-to-use blockchain solution. If you use IBM blockchain, you also get access to IBM cloud, which ensures that you can scale your blockchain application quickly.
Amazon also offers its BaaS solution with the use of Amazon Managed Blockchain. With it, you can create and manage blockchain. It works with popular blockchain networks such as Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.
With it, you get the following benefits
- Fully managed
- Choose Ethereum or Hyperledger Fabric
- Secure and Scalable
Many use cases can be implemented using the Amazon blockchain. For example, you can implement a supply chain, retail, asset, and trading transfer. To help enterprises build their blockchain application, they offer a wide range of solutions, including Amazon QLDB(Quantum Ledger Database), Amazon Managed Blockchain, AWS Blockchain Templates, and AWS Blockchain Partners.
Curious to know more about BaaS? Enroll Now: Getting Started with AWS Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
Oracle also provides their blockchain expertise through their Oracle blockchain platform. It offers an easy to use way to build blockchain application, thus making it easy for an enterprise to adopt blockchain.
Oracle defines themselves as an enterprise-grade blockchain platform. They provide services that are required to transform business application and process to use blockchain.
Their key features include pre-assembled managed services, plug and play integration, automated operations, enterprise-grade, and open. They are already providing their blockchain-related solution to supply chain with CargoSmart.
Other Blockchain Platforms Worth Mentioning
OpenChain is blockchain technology for the enterprise. It is open-source, just like most of the other blockchain platforms. OpenChain is mainly aimed at organizations who want to ensure that their digital assets are managed and issued in a secure, robust, and scalable way.
It is easy to use, and anyone can create their own OpenChain instance in a matter of minutes. It is also customizable by the administrators. The rules can be set by him where the end-users can participate and exchange value defined by those rules. Each transaction is digitally signed to ensure security.
OpenChain utilizes the partitioned consensus. Each Openchain instance has one authority for transaction validity, where the blockchain utilizes Openchain instances for decentralization purposes. This means that the transaction needs to be validated by different OpenChain instances.
Other key features of OpenChain includes more efficiency due to the use of client-server architecture and no miner. This also means that transactions don’t need any fees and are instant.
Lastly, it uses a modular design for better integration with other business processes. The use-cases of OpenChain include creating securities for real-world assets, ownership implementation of creative work, loyalty points, and gift cards.
Stellar is a blockchain platform that help connects banks, people, and payment systems. It is all about getting money across borders using their technology. Stellar calls itself the future of banking. It offers remittances, mobile branches, micropayments, mobile money, and services for the underbanked. If you are in the payment sector, then you can use Stellar to customize payments infrastructure. You can develop using the network quickly.
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This leads us to the end of our best blockchain platforms list. Along with blockchain platforms, we also covered BaaS platforms. These platforms offer businesses, enterprises, and startups to get started with blockchain and build their full-fledged blockchain applications.
*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!