In this article, we’re going to talk about different blockchains within the crypto space. This will be the first article in a series about blockchains.
We can’t talk about blockchains without first talking about bitcoin. This was the first blockchain and is now considered the biggest and most powerful decentralized network the world has ever seen.
In a way, the invention of the blockchain created a weird modern day gold rush. Instead of using a pick axe and a shovel to dig gold out of the ground, you plug in some computers and pull money from the electricity — sounds simple, right?
What first started as an experiment, has now become something a lot of people weren’t sure was even possible. Bitcoin has yet to really go mainstream but the steps we’ve been seeing certainly paint a pretty picture.
Over the years, blockchains have evolved and grown to offer new and innovative products. None of this would have been possible without the first blockchain coming into existence over a decade ago. The creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency also brought a new wave of financial freedom, of which we still haven’t fully envisioned yet.
Take a simple, modern day example. Huge tech companies like Uber and Airbnb really only found market fit a couple decades after the internet had been created. Technically speaking, we had the infrastructure and technology to make it happen in the 90’s, however it wasn’t until 20 years later were they actually a thing.
I believe the same can be said with regard to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. We’ll have innovations in the future that will blow the top off these industries and unleash monetary wealth and freedom for all who are willing to put in the work to discover and take advantage of it.
While bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) mining is out of the question for most of us, new innovations in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have opened the pandora’s box of new financial products available at the fingertips of anyone with an internet connection and a device.
I think it’s fair to say Ethereum and its ever-growing ecosystem deserves the next mention. Ethereum ushered in the term “DeFi”. This term itself means Decentralized Finance and really emcopasses a plethora of financial strategies, products and instruments that run on a protocol.
The development of smart contracts really leveled up the blockchain and showed the world what the tip of the crypto-iceberg really looked like. We’re now only starting to get into the nitty-gritty, to see what this technology can do but without Ethereum and the development of smart contracts, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
The foresight and understanding of these technologies allowed the creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin to envision the applications within his grasp. We owe a lot of modern day DeFi concepts to the creation of the Ethereum network and thus another reason it’s deserving of this second mention.
While Ethereum is the mother of smart contracts, Binance Smart Chain is the long-lost relative who shows up at the family reunion claiming rightful heir to the throne.
This blockchain was brought to life by one of the largest crypto exchanges on the planet, Binance. Their strategy was simple, let’s centralize decentralized tech and beat them on price. The brainchild behind Binance, Changpeng Zhao or as most people know him “CZ”, played into consumers’ habits. He realized that most people care about convenience and speed, and less about security and privacy.
By replicating what Ethereum had created, he could improve on consumers’ experience by making everything run faster, more efficiently, and at a fraction of the cost. By making the network centralized and running only a couple of dozen nodes, their organization could essentially capture a large market segment by offering a solution for something most within the space we’re very familiar with, high transaction fees.
Regular crypto junkies flocked to Binance Smart Chain and it wasn’t long until there were more transactions done on BSC than on the Ethereum network. It took Binance about a year and a half to do what Ethereum did in five years. Mind you, Ethereum was a first-mover so the comparison doesn’t hold that much water however the network effect Binance was able to accomplish within such a short time frame was impressive.
We managed to cover a few different blockchains for you to keep your eye on. In a future article, we’ll go over a few others like Fantom, Solana and Waves and discuss why it might be worth exploring some of these.