Smart contract platforms
Top Smart Contract / Blockchain Development Frameworks for 2021
Smart contracts are most commonly associated with Ethereum. However, the most popular Dapp platform still has disadvantages in dealing with digital contracts. The emerging alternative solutions were reviewed by Michael Mulders, a specialist at The Ledger, the results are presented in the table.
Let’s analyze the working platforms and try to supplement this review a little..
Disadvantages of Ethereum
Ethereum smart contracts are being finalized and improved. They are most often used in ICOs, where guarantees of the high-quality functioning of the system are needed. The ERC20 token standard, which is created by a smart contract, has a serious flaw in the transaction — it takes place in two stages:
- Sending a token to a wallet using the transfer () method.
- Depositing a token into a contract using approve () + transferFrom () methods.
If the token was sent directly to the smart contract, then it will accept this transaction, but the wallet will not be replenished with tokens. So you can irrevocably lose money, which has already happened more than once..
Possible solutions to the problem were presented back in November 2017. These are new standards:
- ERC223 — solves the above problem by combining functions into one — transfer () — to eliminate user error.
- ERC777 — will expand the possibilities of mass user adoption by adding transaction processing tools.
Despite these vulnerabilities, the Ethereum smart contract is still considered the most reliable solution for interacting with the blockchain. It is difficult to argue with this, since the errors found are more related to the human factor..
The main advantage of Ethereum smart contracts is flexibility. — absolutely any idea can be programmed into code and then implemented on the blockchain. Proof of this — hundreds of ready-made blockchain applications based on Ethereum.
Nxt smart contracts are available in limited quantities and cannot be modified or new created. But working templates are successfully used in various fields of activity: EPS, trading platforms, instant messengers. To work with these templates, just enter the required parameters.
Benefits of Nxt Smart Contracts:
- Cost effective and reliable.
- Ease of use.
The success of Nxt depends on the number of ready-made solutions, since there is no provision for writing your own programs.
Neo smart contracts use a virtual machine just like Ethereum. The difference is that VM Neo’s computations are aimed at optimizing the contract code before executing it. Thus, the maximum efficiency is achieved when performing tasks in the blockchain, but it takes more time to prepare them. Smart contracts are programmed in several languages.
Qtum smart contracts are based on Ethereum and are called master contracts. The Chinese platform has implemented a hybrid of ethereum and bitcoin, in which transactions on the blockchain are managed entirely on the sides of the participants..
NEM smart contracts are executed directly in the blockchain code, which makes it possible to update the contract after its implementation on the blockchain. In Ethereum, this requires invoking a new smart contract. Nem also has a smart asset system, thanks to which it is possible to create some types of blockchain applications with a few keystrokes..
Hyperledger smart contracts are called chaincode.
Development is carried out in the Go programming language, which is known for its high compilation speed, which is the advantage of Hyperledger. The project was originally created to implement blockchain into corporate networks, where it found its application..
Mulders notes four main features of chain codes:
- change history query.
Hyperledger uses a state database to record keys and key values without affecting the blockchain.
Turing complete smart contracts are not used in the Stellar network, which reduces the level of vulnerability. The payment for the implementation of the contract on the blockchain is much less than that of Ethereum..
Another important advantage is the ability to program in four languages. Such an opportunity can attract developers and popularize the platform, given the good scalability.
Like Hyperledger, this project is focused on introducing smart contracts into business. Neblio alone is going to use as many as eight programming languages, and for work, users need to purchase a wallet in the form of a Raspberry Pi microcontroller. Each user using Neblio will have their own full node, the synchronization with the blockchain of which takes one minute.
Solving the problem of programming language complexity
A barrier arises between humans and smart contracts — knowledge of programming languages. There are several ways to solve this problem:
- Study of YP. Problem — it takes a lot of time.
- Use of ready-made solutions. Problem — uncertainty about correct code editing.
- The use of such templates that Nxt offers. Problem — limited opportunities.
- Payment for the programmer’s work. Problem — a high-quality smart contract programmer takes a lot of money for his work, since there is enough work in the crypto world now.
The most optimal solution is created in the project iOlite, which makes an engine to convert an ordinary language to contract code.
This tool is called the Fast Adaptation Engine and aims to replace the work of coders. Language expression structures are linked to pieces of code, then concatenated and reworked to create a coherent program. For this, a huge database is connected. The data is entered into this database by the developers. If a part of the code contributed by the programmer was successfully applied in the development of a smart contract, he receives a bonus in iOlite tokens.
On the one hand, it is more profitable for specialists in this field to carry out private orders, but, on the other hand, it is obvious that programming will be automated as much as possible over time. At the moment, work is underway to translate English into Solidity.
Summing up, it is necessary to highlight Hyperledger Fabric as a platform that is actively used now, providing developers with flexible tools for applying smart contracts..