Smart Contract Platforms

Smart Contracts have been all the rage ever since they first appeared on the radar of techies around the world. They were both very exciting and quite mysterious as a lot of their potential hadn’t been tapped into. This made them a mainstay on thousands of tech, especially crypto, forums all over the world.

But in 2019, they are a major part of the blockchain ecosystem. Thousands of Dapps owe their very existence to smart contracts and as the interest of major tech companies and governments in blockchain keeps on growing, smart contracts are destined to become even more popular.

Finding the Best Platform

Smart Contracts can theoretically be used on various platforms and developers still debate over which platform would be the best for them to deploy a smart contract on. Following the age-old saying, “when in doubt, ask the experts”, it was obvious to ask the opinion of a true blockchain and cryptocurrency expert and who does that title fit better than Andreas Antonopoulos.

When asked which platform was superior for smart contracts out of Bitcoin with side chains like Rootstock, Ethereum or a third generation blockchain, the following was his answer.

“I mean the problem is you can’t really compare these things, and the reason you can’t compare them is because one exists (Ethereum) and the other two are mostly road map or test software at the moment. So, Ethereum exists, and you can like it, you can hate it, but you can actually express an opinion as to how good it is for smart contracts and what kind of problems it has and how those problems are being addressed by the developers.”

He believes they have done well so far even though there have been a lot of hiccups along the way, there have also been some wonderful breakthroughs. He expressed his interest in Rootstock and is looking forward to seeing how it turns out, I’m interested in seeing how that goes, until then in his expert opinion, Ridge Stock is a more centralized, federated model and that we have to bootstrap some kind of consensus algorithm that’s slightly more decentralized, but it’s still in the very early stages of testing. While it is promising and interesting, we aren’t there yet.

The Problem with Third-Generations Blockchains

On the subject on third-generation blockchains, he added.

“The third generation blockchains are suffering from the fact that most of them are not able to differentiate sufficiently with the first generation blockchains or second generation blockchains and so they’re babies with big ambitions. When they grow up we’ll see and judge according to scale. Do it at scale first. If you’re not doing it at scale, you can’t draw any conclusions. So first you have to put a very big pot of money on the table and say, ‘Hey, I’m gonna secure this with a smart contract, let’s see what happens. ‘And sometimes what happens is millions of dollars get stole or locked into a contract accidentally, but that’s how you learn. That’s how you find those bugs. So, right now the superior platform for smart contracts is really the only platform that’s kind of doing smart contracts at a scale which is Ethereum, and whether it’s superior or not that’s a whole other discussion.”

The Default Superiority of Ethereum

This statement paints a very clear picture that while third generation blockchains are definitely promising, they are still in way too early stages of testing to be called a good platform for deploying smart contracts as the risk is just not worth the reward at this point. Which means that at the time of writing, Ethereum is, by default, the only viable option for you if you have any plans on working on smart contracts.

While Ethereum does have its fair share of problems—some of them which have been brought to light rather recently — Andreas still find the platform itself quite interesting and he doesn’t just mean the ETH token or the blockchain. The idea of smart contracts is what makes Ethereum seem extremely appealing.

This article is a transcription of Andreas Antonopoulos’ explanation about smart contract platforms.

Want to share your thoughts on this?