The Quest for the Greatest Blockchain Ever Created: A Practical Discussion

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The Quest for the Greatest Blockchain Ever Created: A Practical Discussion

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4 min read

Before we dive into this topic, let’s clarify one thing: this is not a declaration that there is one chain currently in existence that owns the title "The Greatest Blockchain Ever Created." Instead, we’re here to discuss various blockchains, their strengths, and their challenges, focusing on practical facts, not price discussions.

With that said, let's get started.

Bitcoin: The Pioneer

Bitcoin, the first and most well-known blockchain. The 14-year old tech has attracted significant attention, research, and investment. However, despite the extensive resources dedicated to its development, its progress is relatively modest. Currently, Bitcoin’s primary use case is as a hedge against inflation. However, this role is not without its challenges. Bear markets, which recur approximately every four years, can cause a hiatus in this role for about two years in each cycle.

Some suggest that Bitcoin’s Layer 2, the Lightning Network, offers speed and usability. However, it has its own set of challenges, and security is undeniably the main focus of concern. This is not to undermine Bitcoin’s achievements, but rather to highlight that even the most established blockchain has room for improvement. Keep in mind, necessity is the mother of all inventions. Had bitcoin been created perfectly, there wouldn’t be a need for L2s or altcoins.

(There have been reports of potential security vulnerabilities in the Bitcoin Lightning Network. These vulnerabilities, identified by Antoine Riard, an open-source developer associated with Bitcoin and Lightning, have raised concerns about the network’s exposure to a novel form of attack known as "replacement cycling attacks"
Source:
Bitcoin's Lightning Network Faces Serious Security Threats - DailyCoin)

Ethereum: The Innovator

Ethereum, arguably one of the most developed blockchains, has faced its fair share of challenges. From crucial fork decision making, to transitioning from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS), and to addressing security issues and scalability concerns. Ethereum’s journey has been marked by continuous evolution. Ethereum might be in fact the blockchain that has experienced the most financial losses, both in magnitude and frequency. These challenges are not criticisms, but rather acknowledgments of the hurdles any complex system must overcome. The Ethereum Foundation acknowledges these challenges and is actively addressing them to the maximum extent.

(According to a research report by SlowMist, Ethereum experienced significant financial losses, amounting to $487 million, due to security incidents in 2023.
Source:
Major losses in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins erase nearly $400 billion in market value | Fortune)

Solana: The Speedster

Solana, known for its speed, has made a significant impact in the blockchain space. It boasts a competitive edge, usability, and a growing ecosystem of dApps. However, like any technology, it has experienced occasional outages. While these outages generally have not resulted in direct loss of funds, due to a disruption in services and transaction, it lead to the liquidation of over $2 million long positions. I feel sorry for the losses of our fellow crypto investors. This in fact, and practically speaking, indicates an opportunity in the structural integrity of the system that needs to be addressed on a protocol level. But let’s remember that no system is perfect; there will always be trade-offs.

(Solana has experienced several network outages, but these have generally not resulted in the loss of funds.

Source*:* 9-14 Network Outage Initial Overview | Solana)

The Contender

Having said those, what would the greatest blockchain look like? In my opinion, it would be practically usable, practically fast, practically secure, practically easy to develop on, and built with the future in mind, again just being practical.

Could Alephium be the owner of this title? Perhaps. It is poised to be, but only time will tell. Alephium is at its very early stages and our goal here isn’t to crown a winner. It’s to acknowledge that every blockchain has its strengths and weaknesses, and that there’s value in each one.

Again, thank you for joining this discussion today. I hope to see you on the next one.


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