The Most Outstanding Blockchain Platforms to Look Out for in 2021

21 Jun 2021 updated
11 min read

The global market of blockchain technologies is ever so prospering, demonstrating a heavy share of progress in almost every related aspect (e.g., blockchain-powered tech innovations such as cryptocurrency, IoT, Big Data, etc.). If we look at the statistical numbers – industry studies indicate that the total value of the blockchain market in 2021 is somewhere at $5.88 billion. And this is expected to increase exponentially in the course of the following 6 or 7 years, reaching the predicted value of $390 billion(!) by 2028.

If this alone is not a sufficient indicator of how fruitful blockchain development service market is currently and what prospects it shows for the future, the extreme demand for the industry-leading blockchain platforms should additionally convince you.

For one thing, it is highly unlikely that you haven’t heard about Bitcoin or Ethereum, even if you are not related to these concepts in any way and never used crypto. If you are related to this particular field, though, here are the top platforms you should look out for in 2021.

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Ethereum

Let’s start with the blockchain programming language and platform that gained its share of renown and spawned ether – a cryptocurrency that’s next in popularity only to bitcoin. And this is quite well-deserved, as Ethereum initially provided a very flexible and simple way to conduct crypto transactions and build blockchain-based applications (wallets, decentralized networks, etc.) without the pressure that the bitcoin community tends to go through. 

For many entrepreneurs and crypto enthusiasts, this provided a major opportunity to create downtime-free distributed apps and smart contract solutions that help companies avoid intermediaries in commercial transactions. This spawned the next level of security and transparency as businesses no longer needed to pass transactions through third parties that could easily undermine the honesty and correctness of operations and steal valuable data.

At that, the Ethereum platform remains one of the most user-friendly solutions out there, providing convenient screen sharing, simple and fast group calling, transactions via messages, rapid tokenization opportunities, fast mining, and more cool features.

ETH

Why it’s among the best:

  • Game-changing smart contracts that stood the test of time;
  • Open-source development foundation with flexible capabilities;
  • Full transparency of transactions and other distributed ledger activities;
  • Autonomous smart contract execution;
  • Huge loyal international online community;
  • Bridges the gap between users and crypto developers.

Corda

The main principle here is well-known – an open-source distributed ledger system that allows users to employ direct, private transactions via smart contracts and cryptocurrency. What makes Corda stand out among other blockchain platforms, though, is the sheer simplicity of all operations (which saves operational costs), utter flexibility of processes and integrations, and a firm focus on helping build strictly private closed blockchain networks between two trusted parties. 

Corda is currently positioned as a multi-party app development platform for all existing commercial and financial business sectors. This means that companies get to build fully custom distributed networks in tandem, pointing out and implementing just the things they both require and find necessary to have in the private system. This interoperability may save lots of costs and unnecessary extra expenses while helping both parties keep their mutual distributed network strictly in line. 

On top of that, Corda provides great file management opportunities, including easy management of check-in and checkout files in the repo, highlighted possible solutions to file keeping conflicts, and a simple search for older versions of files. 

corda blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Fully transparent multi-party development capacities;
  • Novel and utterly convenient interoperability opportunities;
  • Overall simplicity and speed of the system;
  • In-depth level of security and data protection;
  • Cost-saving file management and record keeping.

EOS

The Entrepreneurial Operating System is yet another renowned platform hosting its eponymous cryptocurrency EOS, on which a whole unique EOS.IO blockchain protocol is built. The main focus of EOS is the reliable, high-quality creation, hosting, and running of distributed apps that can boast decentralized data storage, smart contract data protection, and thorough commercial compatibility. All in all, the platform is flexible, it grows and expands consistently, and it helps optimize numerous business processes via several dedicated modules (of which the platform consists).

The only busy moment to handle here is the integration of EOS with your running business – you need to know which components to enable for which purposes and which you need at all. You might have to hire a specialist to help you with that. But once this moment is out of the way, working with integrated components is pretty intuitive and hassle-free.  

As a whole, the system is focused on providing blockchain-based and crypto business running capacities for eager entrepreneurs (just like the name implies). So you can freely use the platform as a full-on foundation for your company management, not just as a solution dedicated strictly to handling transactions or virtual deal-making. 

eos blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Full-on commercial functionality for thoroughly managing a crypto business;
  • Documents and elaborates on the best practices for higher performance;
  • Focus on the corporate values and attributes;
  • Hassle-free creation of dApps for various purposes.

Ripple

Ripple is a big and complex platform for payment processing, transaction management, and other financial exchange settling tasks that are mostly focused on B2B companies and large-scale financial handling providers. Its related cryptocurrency is called XRP and is deemed a “crypto for banks”. 

In terms of blockchain opportunities, the provider offers RippleNet – a high-performance blockchain-powered platform that enables a range of business capabilities, from convenient and protected messaging to rapid (almost immediate) smart contract-backed transactions via a decentralized network.

At the same time, you get to save tons of extra expenses on extraordinarily low transaction fees – 0.0001 XRP per transaction – so low it makes us laugh a bit hysterically, to tell you the truth. And along with this outstanding cost-saving opportunity, you can employ the On-Demand Liquidity service to leverage XRP and forget about nuanced pre-funding, focusing on a smoother and faster introduction of one’s financial powers to international markets.

ripple blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Ridiculously cheap transaction fees;
  • Extensive crypto leveraging opportunities through dedicated modules;
  • Jaw-droppingly fast transactions settling;
  • Preferred by some of the large banks in the world.

Microsoft Azure Blockchain

Microsoft Azure seems to be a truly all-consuming, all-purpose advanced tech system that doesn’t stop expanding overall relevant digital technologies and niches. Thus, it offers authentic blockchain functionality as well, giving you Azure Blockchain Service – Microsoft’s decentralized network builder that has been helping users create, deploy, and run blockchain networks hassle-free for years. 

The system boasts a dedicated blockchain data manager for thoroughly interacting with ledger data assets, codeless consortia and governance management for managing tasks in bulk, ready-made original tools and wide app integration opportunities for deploying clear blockchain networks, and more. 

The only sad thing about the Azure blockchain is that it is retiring this September 10th with all the essential functionality being replaced with Quorum Blockchain Service as an alternative. So you may as well be looking out for that one, as it pretty much translates all the capabilities of Azure. Until then, Azure Blockchain Service remains among the top solutions in its niche.

Azure Blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Extensive decentralized network building capabilities;
  • Consortium management out-of-the-box;
  • Wide committed online community;
  • Simple publishing of blockchain data.

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database

Amazon Quantum Ledger Database or QLDB for short is a reliable source of transparent crypto transaction logs. The primary purpose of using it is to transparently store and track various decentralized network activities and promptly react to any substantial changes taking place in blockchain-protected systems. The creators claim that it can ultimately help you achieve the clearest, most accurate reports on the history of changes. All history instances are also verifiable.

On top of that, Amazon QLDB is serverless (which removes provisioning capacity and other limitations), can be managed through an easy-to-grasp SQL-compatible query language, and boasts high availability without extra costs. It is a highly scalable system as a whole, successfully being employed by organizations housing up to 100 employees and more.

Amazon QLDB is widely preferred by users for the ability to maintain solutions where intense daily transactions are taking place, all-around management where most errors depend only on the way you interact with the platform, and thorough finances tracking capacities.

QLDB

Why it’s among the best:

  • Thorough tracking of ledger records without limitations;
  • Seamless integrations with tons of compatible Amazon solutions;
  • Reasonable fees and commission charges;
  • Almost unlimited scaling opportunities.

Hyperledger

Initially launched by the bright minds of the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger currently collects multiple blockchain-focused solutions to make your crypto management life easier and more profitable. The system has very dear and reliable support from the international community, which means it grows and expands by the day, being pushed by passionate first-hand users. And we can say for sure that only such force can move a solution as complex as this is the most proper direction.

The immense versatility is the unique selling point of Hyperledger as it provides not one or two separate solutions dedicated to different formats of business, but whole six distributed ledger solutions, each with its own set of tools and capacities. These include:

  • Hyperledger Besu for consortium-focused, Ethereum-based activities;
  • Hyperledger Burrow for single-binary blockchain distribution solutions;
  • Hyperledger Fabric for modular development of blockchain applications;
  • Hyperledger Indy for working with root files in blockchain systems in an interoperable fashion;
  • Hyperledger Iroha for more out-of-the-box blockchain use;
  • Hyperledger Sawtooth for specifying business rules in smart contracts without diving into the core system.

All of these have compatible algorithms and various features and tools that may fit particular purposes of running blockchain solutions and businesses. The most commonly used Hyperledgers out of the bunch, however, are Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth – both working outstandingly for creating and managing your own private blockchain-powered distributed networks.

Hyperledger blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Extensive versatility of use with multiple Hyperledger options;
  • May as well help you handle ALL the blockchain management tasks you have in hand;
  • Committed and loving Linux community;
  • Efficient monitoring of content and sharing of created blockchains in groups.

NEAR Protocol

An open-source solution for the fast creation of decentralized products for all purposes. On its main page, NEAR Protocol promises to enable you to create your first decentralized application in about five minutes. And you can do that right there on the site! A pretty confident step from the NEAR’s creators which encourages entrepreneurs to build their custom distributed network-powered products without fear. 

Yet another loud statement from the creators is that NEAR helps overcome the operational limits set forth by Ethereum. You simply can’t but get excited with this one.

All fees on the platform are paid for with NEAR tokens, which adds up to the platform’s exclusivity. One of the main gists is also the ability to create elaborate dApps that are meant to be fully owned and managed by end-users. At that, the platform enables you to process up to 100,000 transactions per second, which makes it a full-on candidate to become the fastest blockchain platform out there providing nearly instant transactions settling.

NEARProtocol

Why it’s among the best:

  • Processing 100,000 transactions per second!
  • Working cost-saving opportunities;
  • Extensive, secure, tried-and-tested blockchain management opportunities;
  • Strong dedicated online community;

Stellar

Stellar is a decentralized open-source crypto protocol that is primarily focused on handling transfers from digital currencies to fiat money. Thus, it automatically converts crypto to the currency of the business owner involved in the transaction. At the same time, the whole process is a much cheaper alternative to traditional wired money transfers. On top of that, as far as we know, Stellar has never been hacked, which says a lot about the overall level of security on the platform. 

The crypto governed by the platform is SpectroCoin, which is a very popular coin that helped many entrepreneurs start their crypto market journey and figure out the basics in a very user-friendly manner. Past all that, we are looking at a highly convenient solution where you can make global payments with tokens, exchange valuable assets via an out-of-the-box exchange system (including crypto, securities, and forex), and conduct micropayments with reasonable flat fees.

The major selling point of this one is that Stellar perfectly fits the purposes of business large to small alike, providing great functionalities for all layers of commercial activities.

stellar blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Rapid transactions that take mere seconds;
  • Outstanding versatility when it comes to the use purposes and formats;
  • Built-in systems for complex global money transfers;
  • Extraordinary security of data and assets that stood the test of time.

Tron

Tron is a huge established blockchain-powered network that is somewhat of a different beast in the market as it focuses primarily on supplying the entertainment industry with distributed network capacities. This profile along with official partners that include names such as Samsung, BitTorrent, and Opera should indicate the immense popularity of the system among really big market players. 

In this aspect, Tron contributes a lot to the global blockchain community by popularizing the concept of decentralized network opportunities throughout the world. On the technical side, Tron can handle up to 2,000 transactions per second, serves as a flexible tool for creating dApps, and acts as the main supporting cause for media creators in the world of crypto.

tron blockchain

Why it’s among the best:

  • Fast and fully-protected transactions;
  • Progressive focus on online media and its creators;
  • Extensive dApps creation capabilities;
  • Anonymous transactions support, which adds up to the level of security.

Bottom line

The market of blockchain and crypto platforms is brimming with products of all types – you can freely pick from among the up-and-coming promising tools, established all-around functional big platforms, and solutions focused on particular market niches and concepts. The important thing is to stay in the know and get around the most efficient and reliable solutions tested in the field by satisfied users and trend-shattering time.

Coming from our own expertise, we are confident that the above list should help you pick something that should completely fit your particular goals, needs, and causes. For instance, Corda is a simple, hassle-free platform focused on providing the easiest way to create and manage blockchains without excessive elements, even single-handedly if need be. Tron is most frequently preferred by large-scale financial services providers. Hyperledger and Stellar offer extremely extensive capabilities for all scales of business with particular nuances under the hood.

You may also like our article about choosing the right blockchain

In any case, every other potential candidate for your blockchain framework of choice should be investigated further based on your business specifics. And this is where 4irelabs specialists have years of firsthand experience so we can help you make the most proper choice. Just contact us for a thorough blockchain consultation that will save you costs and headaches in equal proportions.

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