Although comparisons can be made between almost any two blockchain development platforms, it is almost inevitable to compare Ethereum with Polkadot. Not only at the technical level—they use a similar architecture and proof-of-stake consensus to achieve scalability—but because Vitalik Buterin and Dr. Gavin Wood also have a common history in Ethereum.
Polkadot and Ethereum are entering the last segment of the chain supremacy runway
For both networks, the coming year will be an important year. When the current Ethereum main chain joins the PoS Beacon chain, Ethereum has already introduced a series of improvements before the “merger”. At this point, Ethereum will finally abandon its consensus on proof of work and move to proof of stake entirely. As the network implements additional chains or shards connected to the Beacon chain, more upgrades are expected to increase scalability.
Although the timetable is somewhat vague, it seems that Polkadot is likely to reach its next important milestone before the Ethereum merger. ‘Parachain auction‘Is the process of granting the first shard slot on Polkadot, which is the most recent step implemented by Polkadot’s experimental “canary network” Kusama.
Assuming that it only takes a few months for Polkadot to follow suit, we can expect to see the network fully operational and supporting a series of use cases before the end of this year.
As far as they are concerned, the two founders have been Has been painful Point out that they do not compete with each other. But there is a lot of water under the bridge between Buterin and Wood. Both are the core members of the team that co-founded Ethereum. Dr. Gavin Wood invented the Solidity programming language and founded Parity Technologies, which has always been an important technology engine for Ethereum. Wood also founded the Web3 Foundation to support the development of Polkadot.
He left the position of Chief Technology Officer of Ethereum in 2015. Already proposed A new type of infrastructure that can upgrade the newly launched smart contract platform to a more powerful and scalable platform. It’s worth noting that Wood did not mention Buterin in his article Final Ethereum blog post, Despite checking the names of several other people.
Although Wood and Buterin are tight-lipped about the competition between these two projects, others are more willing to speak out. Peter Mauric, Director of Public Affairs at Parity Technologies, Recently resolved Compare, comment on the shortcomings of Ethereum, and call the smart contract platform a “proof of concept”, which provides the education needed to build Polkadot.
Battle of the Titans
After more than three years of development, Polkadot was launched on the mainnet last year. Although it had been running without any applications before the parachain was running, the project attracted a lot of interest and not just because of the history of the founder. Polkadot promises to achieve true interoperability between applications running on different chains.
During the development of Polkadot, the Ethereum team has been committed to developing solutions for Ethereum 2.0. It is undeniable that the two platforms have many similarities in technology. Both are running on variants of proof of stake. In the case of Ethereum, it is an open validator network, anyone can join the required minimum 32 Ethereum bet. In Polkadot’s proof of nomination rights and interests, DOT holders can pledge DOT to nominate validators.
There is also the fact that both platforms use sharding to achieve scalability, connecting the sharding chain to the central chain responsible for network security. Ethereum 2.0 also abolished Solidity and the Ethereum virtual machine and replaced it with a web assembly language called eWASM. Although Solidity is Gavin Wood’s idea, Polkadot is also built for standard Web assembly language. The key advantage is that this opens up smart contract development to a wider global developer community who are familiar with more general languages such as Go, Rust, and C/C++.
Of course, all these similarities may be just coincidences. However, for Gavin Wood, the fact that Ethereum 2.0 is forming very similar to his own creation must feel like a proof.
On-chain and off-chain governance
There may be a key difference between the two platforms. Although consensus occurs on the chain, governance has always been the off-chain transaction of Ethereum. Seems to be based on Ethereum’s experience with controversial hard forks, Polkadot avoided this model and instead supported a fork-free on-chain governance model.
It should be noted that on-chain and off-chain governance have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it will be interesting to see how these different methods compete against each other.
So two visionary founders, two ambitious roadmaps, two comparable platforms. However, there is a key difference. Polkadot has been developed from scratch for five years and has the opportunity to carefully build and test everything twice-once on the testnet, and once in the real-time experimental environment of Kusama. When Polkadot uses its parachain, it will be a clean start from the beginning.
Although this is no easy task, it can be said that the Ethereum team faces more difficult tasks. For example, they need to replace the engine of a moving vehicle. It is this simple fact that explains why it may take seven years or more from the creation of the first Ethereum to the final transition to proof of stake. It will take longer before the network reaches the level of scalability that its supporters have waited so patiently.
By then, who knows how much the adoption rate of other networks will increase?
In the end, no one could tell what happened in Vitalik Buterin’s head. But to use the vehicle analogy again, the idea of jumping on a brand new sports car must be more tempting than trying to pull an old classic car while cruising at full speed on the highway. Looking at the development of Polkadot, it is hard to imagine that Vitalik Buterin would disagree.
Which blockchain do you think will be among the best-Ethereum or Polkadot? Let us know in the comments section below.
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