For the most casual investors of digital assets, the Ethereum 2.0 update promises to be a game-changing event that will improve efficiency, reduce network costs, and promote the entire blockchain and crypto space closer to Web3 reality.
Ethereum has struggled with a lack of scalability and rising gas fees, and as it serves as the largest smart contract and DApp development platform, the move to a more reliable and scalable proof-of-interest (PoS) blockchain will be a welcome punishment. .
Unbeknownst to most casual investors, however, Polkadot’s Substrate platform has made massive strides in the development of a parallel decentralized internet infrastructure that many believe will eventually eclipse Ethereum.
Related: The Polkadot architecture and an introduction to the Substrate infrastructure
Since the publication of the Polkadot White Paper, its value as a bridge between the Ethereum ecosystem and the many possibilities that make up Web3’s online experience has been at the forefront of Polkadot’s major outlets.
So how exactly does Polkadot compare to Ethereum? What is Ethereum’s current progress towards a decentralized internet, and have the parchments of Polkadot become a viable threat to the dominant wisdom network? Here’s a quick look at the technical details that differentiate the Polkadot ecosystem from the upcoming Ethereum update.
Two ways to the decentralized internet
To understand the value that Polkadot brings to the table, we must first compare the Polkadot Substrate and how it differs from what Ethereum currently offers.
There is no denying that, at one time, Ethereum was considered a revolutionary technology and a sought-after platform for DApp development. Over the years, however, scalability has become the Achilles heel of Ethereum. With an estimated 1 million transactions per day, Ethereum’s blockchain is only capable of processing 15 transactions per second (TPS), leading to volatile gas quotas. Although this number will increase with the upgrade to Ethereum 2.0, it will still move away from traditional centralized infrastructures like Visa, which can theoretically process well over 1,700 TPS.
In addition to its slow and congested network, Ethereum’s outdated consent algorithms consume up to 112.15 TWh per year, which is comparable to the electricity consumption of Portugal or the Netherlands. Simply put, Ethereum relies heavily on a proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm, which requires computer-intensive mining to add new blocks to the chain and confirm transactions.
Related: Inside the mind of the blockchain developer: Proof-of-work blockchain consent
Ethereum 2.0 plans to address these concerns by moving from a PoW algorithm to a more efficient PoS algorithm that will eventually allow Ethereum to go carbon neutral and achieve more speed.
Ethereum 2.0 will also use sharding as a scalable solution that will see the network broken into smaller pieces that can process transactions in parallel. In theory, this will allow Ethereum to process an infinite number of transactions per second, but in practice, it will be limited by the number of creations.
To date, the switch to Ethereum 2.0 is still a work in progress, although the test is still alive. Frustrated by the delays, ambitious project developers like Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood left Ethereum to build the Web3 Foundation and Parity Technologies. Parity Technologies and the Web3 Foundation focus primarily on developing three major technologies: Parity Ethereum (also known as Serenity), Parity Substrate, and Polkadot.
Ultimately, the goal of these organizations and projects is to accelerate the Web3 vision.
Their victories and defeats
As a core blockchain infrastructure company, Parity Technologies provides several tools and software that allow developers to launch their blockchains quickly and easily. The Parity Substrate is a toolkit for building custom ground blocks, and it operates some of the most popular blockchains in the world, such as Polkadot, Kraken and Chainlink.
Parity Ethereum, on the other hand, is the software that runs Ethereum 2.0 clients such as Geth and Prysm. Parity’s main contribution to Polkadot is the Substrate Framework, which is used to build custom block chains or parachutes on top of the Polkadot Relay Chain.
Related: How Polkadot’s parachute auctions enable decentralized Web3
Compared to Ethereum’s existing system and also to its upcoming sharding framework, Substrate is highly modular and allows you to build custom blockchains. Developers can pick and choose the features they want for their parachutes to the degree of technical difficulty they can deal with.
Here are some examples of how blockchain functions built with Substrate can differ:
- Zeitgeist has forecast markets (similar to sports betting or betting on what the weather will be like next week) and uses them for chain control.
- KILT is a very complex system for decentralized identifiers (DID) with the aim of bringing identity to Web3.
- Subsocial consists of two communicative Substrate blockchains with social interactions built into the code (a palette for making posts, another palette for comments, another palette for feedback, etc.).
As a result, Substrate allows users to assemble a few pallets and launch their chains in less than an hour, which is much easier than starting from scratch. In the future, they may be much better than Ethereum to perform specific tasks. In addition, they can still communicate easily using XCMP, a cross-platform message format developed for Polkadot that allows interaction between networks that share the same relay chain.
Substrate also provides developers with a library of modules that can be used to create compatibility between new blockchains and legacy chains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Plus, you don’t even need to create blockchains that connect to Polkadot while using Substrate. Simply put, any developer can use Substrate to create forkless blockchains that can be upgraded without the need for hard forks and in any ecosystem outside of Polkadot or Ethereum.
As for validators, Polkadot uses a Nash-balanced gameplay that encourages validators to behave in a way that is best for the network as a whole. This differs from Ethereum’s current emphasis on rewarding miners for their efforts, which often leads to centralization and high barriers to entry.
The Polkadot Relay Chain is also designed to be much more scalable than Ethereum’s, with the ability to process about 1,000 transactions per second compared to Ethereum’s shabby 15.
Perhaps the only loophole in Polkadot’s armor is the fact that Parity Technologies did have a major security breach in its multi-sig wallet software back in 2017, when more than $ 30 million ETH was stolen by several multi-sig wallets. wallets.
Not confrontation, but complementarity
When all is said and done, Polkadot is a complementary platform to Ethereum, as both blockchain ecosystems strive for the same goal of delivering a fully decentralized Global Network.
While Polkadot boasts a lot of features and improved capacity, it is still in its infancy, with only a few applications (Moonbeam and Moonriver) running on its network. At the same time, Ethereum continues to be the jacket of all businesses, with hundreds of thousands of developers and projects, which gives it a significant advantage in terms of adoption.
Both Polkadot and Ethereum serve different purposes and can coexist and complement each other in the decentralized future.
A glimpse into the future
Polkadot and Ethereum have their own strengths and weaknesses. Going forward, they can even coexist to deliver a fully decentralized Web3. Developers could use Substrate to create decentralized social media platforms or video sharing programs that integrate Ethereum’s ERC-20 token economy. With more developers coming to help speed up the move to the Web3 Internet, it is unknown what the future holds for both Polkadot and Ethereum.
This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and business move involves risk, and readers need to do their own research when making a decision.
The opinions, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Oleh Mell is the developer of Subsocial, a social networking platform built to support the social networks of the future. These programs will feature built-in monetization methods and censorship resistance, where users will own their content and social graphics. Built with Substrate pallets, Subsocial is unique in the Dotsama ecosystem, and designed specifically for social interactions. These interactions don’t have to be specifically social networks, as Subsocial can support apps like YouTube, Shopify or even Airbnb.