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Top 5 Public Blockchain in the Cryptocurrency World

Uncovering the top 5 public blockchain in the cryptocurrency world is a complex affair. Let’s take a look at the leading public blockchains.

Blockchain is often seen as a revolutionary technology just as the internet was two decades ago. Granted, the technology is still in the early stages and a tremendous amount of work still needs to be done to foster awareness of this ground-breaking technology.

As it stands, there are over 2,000 cryptocurrencies in the open market that uses blockchain technology for a wide variety of applications and use cases.

Before delving into the top 5 blockchains in the cryptocurrency market, it is important to first understand the different types of cryptocurrency.
Top 5 Public Blockchain, public blockchain, 5 Public Blockchain, Cryptocurrency World, crypto

Cryptocurrency Categories

The cryptocurrency market can be divided into three major categories:
  1. Cryptocurrency Coins: These are coins that are used as a transfer of value or a medium of exchange. The main purpose of a cryptocurrency coin is to function as digital cash. This category of coins possesses its own native blockchain. Examples of cryptocurrency coins include Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
  2. Protocol Coins: Coins that are native to a protocol blockchain that possesses additional functionalities for the development of decentralized applications (dApps) and the use of smart contract technology. As with cryptocurrency coins, protocol coins have their own native blockchain.
  3. Tokens: Tokens are digital assets that are built on top of another blockchain protocol. Tokens do not possess their own blockchain.
Over 90% of cryptocurrencies in the market are classified as tokens since they leverage on existing blockchain platforms to issue their own coins.

When talking about the different blockchains available in the cryptocurrency world, protocol coins are the most referenced category of cryptocurrency.

It must be clarified that although blockchain represents the underlying technology and cryptocurrencies are the manifestation of value, we shall reference protocol coins as synonymous with protocol platforms since a public blockchain platform always possess their own native coins to function.

Therefore, when protocol coins are discussed, the protocol underlying these protocol coins are native and synonymous to the coins themselves.

Top 5 Public Blockchain

Blockchains are initially conceived as a decentralized and public ledger that is open to everyone.

Although private blockchain solutions currently exist in the market, we shall stick to the original vision of blockchains as a public platform and will omit ‘permissioned’ blockchains in the list.

We shall look at the top five blockchain solutions that function as a protocol. Blockchain protocols can be viewed as the underlying infrastructure on which applications are built and stand to profit from any growth in the ecosystem.
Top 5 Public Blockchain, public blockchain, 5 Public Blockchain, Cryptocurrency World, crypto

#1 Bitcoin Top 5 Public Blockchain, public blockchain, 5 Public Blockchain, Cryptocurrency World, crypto

Bitcoin is regarded as the ‘founding father’ of decentralized cryptocurrencies, with its creation back in late 2008 spearheading the development of a vibrant ecosystem of coins and tokens that we see today.

It is, therefore, no surprise that Bitcoin is a mainstay at the top 5 public blockchain list.

Although Bitcoin functions as a medium of exchange rather than a blockchain protocol, the underlying technology that powers almost all the cryptocurrencies we see today mirrors Bitcoin’s blockchain.

The creation of Bitcoin kickstarted the entire cryptocurrency industry and its blockchain represents the holy grail for all other blockchains.

The Bitcoin blockchain is extremely secure due to its distributed nature; there is no single point of entry and the cryptographic functions within its blockchain mechanics ensure that transactions are recorded and stored in an extremely secure manner.

Bitcoin’s blockchain uses a Proof-of-Work (POW) mechanism to establish consensus across its distributed network.

POW requires the use of tremendous energy consumption and sophisticated computer hardware to secure Bitcoin transactions all over the crypto world.

Bitcoin’s POW consensus mechanism is considered to be the crowning jewel for the field of distributed computing since it allows a distributed and decentralized network to agree to a single truth that is accepted by everyone, something which hasn’t been accomplished in the field of computer science and cryptography before the advent of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s supply is fixed at 21 million and is considered a deflationary currency since there can be no more Bitcoin minted after reaching the 21 million cap.

It takes an average of 10 minutes for a single block of transactions to be secured on the blockchain, amounting to over 2,000 transactions within a single block.

Therefore, the Bitcoin blockchain possesses the capabilities of executing 4-7 transactions per second.

#2 Ethereum Top 5 Public Blockchain, public blockchain, 5 Public Blockchain, Cryptocurrency World, crypto

Ethereum ranks second in the top 5 public blockchain list.

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain platform that enables the creation of Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be created without any downtime, fraud, control, or interference from any third party.

Smart contracts are a revolutionary feature of blockchain that facilitates the creation of pre-programmed contracts that are automated and self-executed.

Ethereum represents the first decentralized blockchain that enabled smart contract functionality, which has tremendous applications and use cases in the real world.

Ethereum was founded by Vitalik Buterin to expand the applications of blockchain technology.
“Bitcoin is great as a form of digital money, but its scripting language is too weak for any kind of serious advanced applications to be built on top.”

– Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, on the limitations of Bitcoin
Ethereum has its own native programming language called Solidity, helping developers to build and publish distributed applications on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ethereum is the second biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, but unlike Bitcoin, it allows other dApps to build on top of its blockchain.

Currently, Ethereum runs on a POW consensus mechanism. Down the road, however, Ethereum plans to transit to a newer consensus mechanism called Proof-of-Stake (POS).

POS attempts to acquire consensus in a randomized way, requiring participants (miners) to stake a certain amount of native coins to be able to mine transactions. POS tries to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of POW whilst maintaining the security and integrity of the blockchain.

Ethereum has the ability to process much more transactions as compared to Bitcoin, with the capacity to handle approximately 15 transactions per second.

#3 NEO Top 5 Public Blockchain, public blockchain, 5 Public Blockchain, Cryptocurrency World, crypto

NEO, formerly known as Antshares, is a blockchain platform designed for a scalable network of decentralized applications, with a particular focus in digitizing assets on the blockchain.

NEO is positioned as China’s first blockchain platform and is part of a much bigger strategy by the Chinese government in establishing itself as a blockchain industry leader.

Unlike Ethereum, NEO positions itself as a project that focuses on the smart economy by fostering the digitization of real-world assets that enables registration, depositary, transfer, trading, clearing, and settlement via a peer-to-peer network.

In other words, NEO is trying to build an organic ecosystem for a digital economy.
The native currency of the NEO blockchain is the non-divisible NEO token, which generates GAS tokens used to pay for transaction fees generated by applications on the network.

NEO uses a Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance (dBFT) consensus algorithm, where mining nodes are chosen by the NEO community and must adhere to a definite performance requirement and also simultaneously maintain a minimum amount of NEO coins.

An advantage of the dBFT system is that it consumes fewer resources as compared to other consensus mechanisms and can support a much higher number of transactions, measured at approximately 1,000 transactions per second.

However, it comes at the cost of centralization, where trust must be given to consensus nodes to act within the network’s best interest.

#4 QTUM Top 5 Public Blockchain, public blockchain, 5 Public Blockchain, Cryptocurrency World, crypto

QTUM is a hybrid platform that takes the best of both worlds, combining Bitcoin’s technological reliability with Ethereum’s revolutionary functionality of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps).

It is a protocol designed to simplify the use of smart contracts for enterprise operations. Although QTUM is built on Bitcoin’s underlying codes (and thus, represents a fork), the developing team has abstracted and added a few layers on top of that to allow for the integration of Ethereum’s smart contract functionality.

QTUM combines several aspects of two major cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin and Ethereum – to facilitate interoperability between the two and take advantage of their major benefits.
QTUM is the first blockchain protocol that successfully implemented the POS consensus mechanism. Since QTUM runs on a POS system, the supply of its native coins is not fixed and inflates at an annual rate of 1%.

QTUM blockchain has the capacity to support 60-70 transactions per second. It stands out from other blockchain protocols in that they are focused on real-world business applications of smart contracts.

#5 WAVES

WAVES is a decentralized blockchain platform that focuses on providing a simple interface for users to create their own custom tokens.

By leveraging on WAVES, users can easily launch Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crowdfund their projects without having to undergo a technical learning curve.

A unique proposition of the WAVES platform is the multiple integrations of fiat currencies in their native wallet, thereby allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies into fiat with ease.

On the technical front, WAVES is built on the modular Scorex platform, a system that is designed to address several major issues in cryptocurrencies, namely scalability, ease of use, and utilizing fiat gateways on the blockchain.
WAVES uses a variant POS consensus algorithm called Leased Proof-of-Stake (LPOS). LPOS allows holders of WAVE coins to participate in the mining process and secure the network whilst earning more coins by staking their coins.

The mining and staking me is a user-friendly and efficient procedure for holders. Additionally, WAVES also has its own decentralized exchange (DEX) where users can trade their newly created coin in a trading pair with any other WAVES coin.

Currently, WAVES possesses the capacity of supporting 100 transactions per second.

Summarizing the Top 5 Public Blockchains

The cryptocurrency space is a nascent industry that is constantly evolving. Blockchain adoption is fast gaining traction across not only the retail audiences but also at the governmental and corporate levels. It is only a matter of time before blockchain technology achieves mainstream adoption.

The top 5 public blockchain that everyone should be familiar with is based on the degree of usage and utility it has amongst the greater cryptocurrency community. Leading the pack is Bitcoin, and many other public blockchains have evolved over the years to cater to different utilities and usecases.
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