Ethereum started the DApp revolution with its innovative blockchain technology and features. As DeFi gained traction, Ethereum naturally became the de facto platform of choice for its various tools and projects. But it continues to wear down due to DeFi’s unprecedented continuous growth and its own inability to scale up linearly. Ethereum’s plan to tackle the issue by shifting from Proof-of-Work to the much more scalable Proof-of-Stake has also been delayed. This created the opportunity for new blockchain platforms to support the ever-increasing demand.
A couple of projects showed so much potential in attracting DeFi apps and projects that experts naturally wondered who would be the “Ethereum Killer.” But as much as it sounds exciting, proving to be one by dislodging the juggernaut is a whole other ball game.
Rather than going into all the technical nitty-gritty of such projects, the article will focus on their general outlook. This will paint a much clearer picture of the present DeFi space. Let’s check the current status of a few projects worthy of earning the Ethereum Killer badge – two early and two current contenders.
EOS – The ‘Almost’ Ethereum Killer
The blockchain project was launched with high hopes directly challenging Ethereum on smart contracts and DApps front. But since then, the initial gas has faded, and the current status doesn’t inspire confidence. Many developers, including EOS tribes, one of the significant block EOS producers, have decided to leave the platform due to the alleged lack of proper decentralization. In November 2019, EOS lowered its once-famous bandwidth by several degrees because of network spam connected with the EIDOS tokens mining.
Defiprime data showcases that the EOS platform claims 22 projects out of the 214 DeFi listed there. But not all of them attract a significant number of users. Popular website DappRadar reports that only four major EOS-based DApps are drawing any sizable traffic.
- Equilibrium –Universal interoperable DeFi hub
- Vigor Protocol – P2P lending platform
- Chintai – Token leasing platform
- EOS Microloan – Platform offering microloan
However, tracking over the last 30 days of data reveals the following EOS DeFi apps gaining huge volume –
- Defibox – One-stop DeFi application platform
- Dmd.Finance – First EOS-based yield farming platform
- DeFis Network – An open financial network integrating multiple DeFi protocols
B2B FinTech is another exciting project with potential. It is a service provider for issuing, managing, and secondary trading of securities.
The DeFi world may have found a real Ethereum killer in Tron – at least seemed that way, thanks to the aggressive marketing skills of its founder and CEO, Justin Sun. He is pushing Tron to become the market leader riding in the present direction of DeFi.
However, it’s been clear for some time that the project is becoming an excellent example of marketing far outshining its technological achievements.
Tron’s primary achievement so far would be the release of over two billion highly liquid USDT stablecoin of TRC-20 standard in its network. Another widely welcomed move from users’ standpoint is free USDT transfer between most large and mid-sized exchanges – an action may not be in the business’s best interest.
DappRadar’s Tron-based project list indicates about three important DeFi projects –
- JUST – A financial ecosystem offering asset lending and management setup. The JUST token IEO was held by Poloneix in February this year.
- Zethyr Finance –. A lending platform offering TRX and other TRC-20 token-based coins for loans. It is the first DeFi on Tron.
- Oikos.cash – A synthetic asset platform like Ethereum-based Synthetix
A few new projects like Sun, Unifi Protocol, or SharkTron have generated substantial volume in the last 30 days.
The Kava Project
On the other hand, Kava is a recent DeFi project and has shown a lot of potentials. Built on Cosmos SDK, it is a cross-chain platform for DeFi. It uses the Tendermint Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism to bring linear scalability features to the project. Kava launched its mainnet on June 10, 2020.
Kava’s core functionality is similar to that of MakerDAO – releasing its USDX stablecoin by locking assets as collateral. However, it can add up various crypto coins from independent networks such as Binance through the Cosmos zone. In particular, Binance Coin (BNB) is a natural choice, since both Binance and Kava employ Cosmos SDK allowing easy integration. This multi-coin asset collateralization allows for interoperability. Additionally, Kava plans to use XRP, BTC, and ATOM as collateral assets. For network governance, it uses a token dubbed Kava.
Like Ethereum, Kava is stressing on composability. It aims to become a DeFi hub for Cosmos’s model of hubs and zones. Thanks to Kava’s architecture, developers can easily port Ethereum-based DeFi projects like Augur and Compound to the Cosmos blockchain.
Algorand is another blockchain 3.0 project making its presence felt in the DeFi space. It’s an asset issuance and management platform focused on developing enterprise-grade infrastructure and ecosystem.
It employs the Pure Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm to bring high scalability, speed, and security. Algorand has intelligently implemented most of its essential features such as ASA, smart contracts, Atomic swap on layer-1 – going further ahead in the race to become an Ethereum killer for DeFi. The periodic upgrade is Algorand’s forte, as evidenced by adding stateful smart contracts to its stateless version.
In 2020, both Tether and Circle launched their stablecoins (USDT and USDC) on the Algorand platform. IDEX has also added Algorand to develop its next-gen DEX services. Some of the other critical DeFi partnerships are as follows –
- Marshall Islands’ CBDC – Algorand is the infrastructure platform of choice to develop the country’s Central Bank Digital Currency
- IBMR.io – Using Algorand’s powerful tokenization system, it’s creating a microfinance system for South Asia’s urban working class.
- Meld – Offering stablecoin over Australia’s gold assets through tokenization.
- Republic – Offering digital securities on the platform.
The increasing presence of DeFi collaborations in its long list of partnership projects indicates Algorand’s growing popularity.
As much as it sounds exciting, being an Ethereum killer is difficult (but not impossible), primarily because Etherem had a significant head start. So, for now, the term implies challenging Ethereum on equal footing. Though earlier projects may have failed to live up to the hype (for now), several new projects with real potential have emerged. But one thing is confirmed – growing DeFi applications will eventually create such DeFi-centric blockchain 3.0 projects.