Yes, Blockchain just like all other technologies can be sub-categorized. In this case it is Consortium, Public and Private Blockchain. Though most of the core aspects of Blockchain remain the same, there is considerable difference that makes each type exclusive to each sector’s demands. You can read in-depth on the topic over at Public Blockchain vs. Private Blockchain
Now getting back to the groove, here we’ve listed and analyzed some of the major public Blockchain platforms globally. The listing is posted in a descending order that lays emphasis on the usage and popularity.
Emerging in late 2008 after the thesis posted by the mystery pseudonym Nakamoto on a US mailing list, a place where cryptographers share or exchange information. It was titled “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system”, outlined the protocol characteristics as
- Enabling transactions directly without the intervention of a trusted third party
- The transactions on these are non-reversible
- Considerable reduction in transaction and exchange cost
- Prevent double-spending
- Recorded on an immutable ledger
Major Blockchain concepts that make up Bitcoin include digital signature, hash, public-key cryptography, Proof of Work and P2P.
Ethereum is an open-source and DLT oriented distributed computing public protocol that embraces the implication of smart contracts functionality. This public chain protocol is best known in the Blockchain world for it decentralized virtual machine the Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM in short, which carries out Turning-complete scripts utilizing a global network of public nodes which sometimes are referred to as Gas. Gas is primarily used to prevent spam on the networks and allocate resources in proportion to the incentive. Major experts claim Ethereum as shared software that is used by everybody and yet it retains the quality to be tamperproof. Ethereum currently is used as a open protocol for Dapp (decentralized applications), smart contracts and other decentralized autonomous organizations, the cryptocurrency which is most common among ICOs is Ether (ETH).
Ripple Consensus Network
The Ripple Transaction Protocol (RTXP), issued in 2012, has been developed upon an open-source distributed consensus ledger, Internet protocol, and native currency termed as XRP (ripples). Ripple enables instant, safe and almost free global financial transactions of any scale without any charge back. The protocol is embraced being able to support tokens presenting cryptocurrency, fiat currency, commodity and any other value unit like mobile minutes, frequent flier miles etc. By the end of 2017, Ripple is expected to be the third-biggest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization, after the bitcoin and Ethereum.
Hyperledger or the Hyperledger project is an umbrella of open-source and related tools, started in December 2015 by the Linux foundations to support the collaborative development of blockchain-based distributed ledger. The objective of the project is to advance cross-industry collaboration by developing Blockchain and distributed ledgers, with a particular focus on improving the performance and reliability of these systems (as compared to comparable crypto currency designs) so that they are capable of supporting global business transactions by major technological, financial and supply chain companies.
Very much similar to Blockchain, Corda is a distributed ledger platform designed to record, manage and automate contract based legal agreements between two or more parties. Well known for its application in business deals. Targeted towards the world’s largest financial institutions, but potential for application exceeds beyond that. It offers a unique approach to privacy, security, and takes care of the scalability issues that DApps face.
As in Blockchain which embodies the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), the data are stored in all the nodes in the Blockchain making it highly secure. This means that an individual or any entity outside the block can never change the data for their own agenda. This makes it highly secure but at the same time raises the issue of the number of files and the space it takes up.
Smart contracts play a vital role in Blockchain, i.e. the contract would be transparent and accessible by everyone in the block. But the main difference with Corda is that the smart contract can be permission based. Only the two or more parties involved in the transaction would have access to the smart contract. Also with the consensus of the parties involved, a regulatory or a legal body can be given access and brought into the network as an observer to verify the contract.
Symbiont Distributed ledger
A public chain protocol initially brought to light during the late 2016 as a SDK for the Assembly, which is the permissioned and distributed ledger entity of Symbiont’s smart contracts system. The assembly is mostly taken into consideration as an initial distributed ledger that is primarily suitable for institutional finance. The reason being its high security, high performing Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) distributed ledger that processes a sustained and impressive 80,000 transaction per second in any local multi node network. This was one of the core intent of the protocol that is to eliminate the existing transaction speed crisis across Blockchain networks.