Comparing 10 Different Blockchain Development Platforms

Blockchain technology is still relatively new, but it’s experiencing astronomical growth. Global spending on these solutions reached $4.5 billion in 2020 and could grow to $19 billion by 2024. This rapid growth leaves developers with a sea of options, which, while beneficial, can make it difficult to find the right platform.

Here’s a look at ten different blockchain development platforms to help you find the best solution for your needs.

1. Ethereum

Ethereum, one of the oldest and most popular blockchain platforms, is home to thousands of decentralized applications (dApps). Its older, established status means plenty of support documents and applications are available across multiple use cases. Ethereum is also entirely decentralized and boasts full smart contract support.

Ethereum’s impressive popularity and size come at a cost, though. You may experience slow speeds and high processing costs on the platform. Its multifunctionality may also leave it more open to bugs and security vulnerabilities than other blockchain platforms.

2. IBM Blockchain

IBM Blockchain is a newer but similarly capable platform. Despite being a private solution, IBM Blockchain uses an open-source code base and enables third-party clouds and on-premise use to avoid vendor lock-in. It also has a user-friendly interface and extensive customization options, giving it versatility for developers in different industries.

IBM Blockchain supports multiple languages like Java and Go for writing smart contracts, opening it further to a broad range of users. However, it does come with higher costs than some other platforms, which may hinder its accessibility.

3. ConsenSys Quorum

ConsenSys Quorum is a fully managed ledger service based on Ethereum. Unlike the rest of the Ethereum network, Quorum uses proof-of-authority instead of proof-of-work, letting it run faster and process more transactions at once. It also features enhanced security features, including support for GDPR and similar regulations.

As a fully managed service, Quorum simplifies many of the steps involved in blockchain development, making it more accessible. The base version of Quorum is free, but you’ll have to pay to use its complete services and features.

4. Hydrogen Molecule

Hydrogen Molecule is a finance-specific blockchain development platform. Molecule enables crypto payments and security tokenization, as well as document hashing, on-chain authorization, and data tracking. These features let companies capitalize on the blockchain to provide faster, more secure finance solutions.

Molecule’s on-chain identity is interoperable with any Ethereum-based protocol, making it easy to scale and work with other blockchain solutions. The platform also provides an easy-to-use interface to make developing blockchain apps a smoother and easier process. Even companies with minimal experience can take advantage of this technology.

5. Hyperledger Fabric

Linux’s Hyperledger Fabric is an open-source blockchain development platform focused on supporting complex, cross-industry applications. Fabric uses a modular architecture to make complicated systems and components plug-and-play, so it’s easier to create large, complex blockchain solutions. It also features a vast library of these plug-and-play components since it’s a collaborative project, speeding development.

Hyperledger Fabric also enables need-to-know data sharing and transaction isolation to help improve security. Despite all these benefits, some users may not find it ideal because of its dependency on Linux and comparatively complicated onboarding.

6. Ripple

Ripple is another finance-focused blockchain platform that’s a popular solution. It’s used by hundreds of financial institutions thanks to its transparency, fast response time, and low transaction costs. Ripple has a native cryptocurrency that developers can use, but the apps you build on the platform don’t have to use it.

Cross-border payments are the leading use case for Ripple, and the platform’s fast, low-fee transactions provide the ideal space for these exchanges. However, Ripple doesn’t support smart contracts, which some developers may need.

7. Stellar

The financial services sector was the first to explore blockchain, so it’s no surprise that many platforms focus on finance. Stellar is another such solution, but it stands out because it has no owner, making it completely decentralized. Developers and contributors have complete control over the network, helping build affordable, scalable, and versatile solutions.

Stellar’s consensus protocol operates differently than proof-of-work systems like Bitcoin and Ethereum, giving it more speed. It also boasts several security features. Unfortunately, it’s not as robust as other options and not as user-friendly.

8. EOSIO

EOSIO is another fast, scalable blockchain development platform. The solution offers sub-second block latency rates, making it far more agile than other blockchains. It also enables smart contracts, hosts dApps, and provides decentralized storage to allow more scalability for enterprise-level applications.

Extensive learning courses and resources make it easier for developers to build apps on the EOSIO platform. It’s highly configurable, so it’s also easier to adjust operations to meet any specific regulatory requirements you may face.

9. Corda

Corda is a blockchain, but not in the traditional sense. It uses peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology, but it doesn’t batch multiple transactions into a block. It processes all exchanges in real-time, enabling higher performance for your dApps.

Developers can use any JVM-compatible language to build solutions on the platform, and its modular APIs offer impressive scalability. R3 also provides end-to-end support for Corda, further improving its accessibility. However, as remarkable as that is, some blockchain alternatives can perform many of the same functions faster and with lower costs.

10. Elements

Blockstream’s Elements is unique in that it can run as a sidechain, not just a standalone blockchain. That way, if you already have blockchain applications, you can integrate them with Elements projects with minimal disruption. Elements also move away from the proof-of-work model to provide lower latencies, like others on this list.

Elements builds on Bitcoin’s code but includes new features like confidential transactions and allowing assets to transact across multiple blockchains. However, it’s a less widely used platform, and you may not find the same support as you would with alternatives.

Find the Right Blockchain Platform for You

There’s a blockchain development platform that can work for you, regardless of your specific needs and goals. You can make the most informed decision about what to use once you know what’s out there and build the ideal blockchain solution. All it takes is a little research.