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September Births More “Ethereum Killer” Blockchains

About half (49%) of the Ethereum network hash rate is now signaling to raise the gas limit even as the news of three major “Ethereum Killer” blockchains rolls out. The gas limit raise could see the network’s capacity increase though with some trade-offs which include blocks being have to be validated by every peer and miners having the incentive to keep the gas price high.

The raise comes as Ethereum’s block gas limit passed 9,900,000 for the first time ever to increase the network’s capacity by 25% more than previous week’s record (and still rising). Ethereum also flipped Bitcoin in daily fees on September 18 – and close on trading volume – in another new going by data from Messari. The platform, which builds data tools, shows there’re far fewer transactions happening on other blockchains – outside Bitcoin and Ethereum – if transaction fee on a 24-hour basis is used as a determinant. These figures bring to question whether much is really happening on the other platforms though it’s been argued that fees, being a function of supply and demand, may not be the best metric to determine it unlike using the number of transactions.

The situation may change with time as the infrastructure of several smart contract platforms (e.g. NEO, IOST, EOS, and TRON) to give Ethereum a run for its money as the network of choice for the hosting of decentralized applications (dApps) mature. Ethereum continues its in-road into China as its has now been made available in Chinese for the first time but a key issue in its expansion way is the scalability trilemma – security, scalability and decentralization. This seems to continue to weigh heavily on its prominence as the main choice. Though it still boasts of most smart contract projects that debuted immediately after the ICO craze in 2017, the trilemma continues to lead more projects to switch – or consider switching – to other platforms despite the pending Ethereum 2.0. This September sees the launch of more blockchains to add to the growing list of those seeking to outshine Ethereum, leaving developers with more options.

First it was global messaging platform Telegram that announced the deployment of its $1.7 bln blockchain project TON that would accommodate all projects including those currently run on Ethereum in the first week of September. Then came Harmony with its promise of over 10,000 transactions per second (tps) having claimed to have reached a 118,000 tps in a testnet. Later came the much-talked about Hedera Hashgraph enterprise-grade public distributed ledger platform which announced Open Access to its mainnet beta. The released version is to allow anyone from the general public to create accounts and any developer to build dApps on the platform. The network will offer cryptocurrency throttled to 10,000 tps, smart contract and file service as demonstrated by the 26 dApps and solutions it opened with – and now running live.

According to Yudi Xu, the founder of IoT and DLT startup EVEC which opens with Hedera, the platform provides “a super-fast and secure distributed network for IoT that no other blockchain systems can currently achieve”. The founder of Hashgraph Exchange HEX, Jim Gao, adds similarly that his decentralized exchange chose Hedera for its speed, security and fairness of its algorithm.

While many protocols with millions in market cap may have very low daily fees could be either a ruse, a design feature, or just irrelevant as dAppRadar shows different transaction fees, a clear approach will flesh out in next few years as platforms perform at their optimum.

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