As blockchain continues to evolve, smart contracts built to expand the concept of a simple decentralized database into a fully usable decentralized application seem to be popping up everywhere.
We’ve talked about the Ethereum “killers” and how nearly every third-generation blockchain now includes the ability to run decentralized software powered by smart contracts, but is there really a difference between the smart contract chains?
There are advantages, certainly, and disadvantages to the various platforms, but will it make a difference for real-world use cases when selecting one chain over another to build a dApp?
The truth is that blockchain dApp technology is still at an infant stage, and there has been very slow progress when it comes to figuring out where this technology can be used to solve real-world problems. Striking out today to build a blockchain dApp is fraught with challenges, and the downfalls are ever-present from financial risks as well as developing with new and untested technology.
On the other hand, the opportunity of long-term reward is there if you manage to solve a problem in a unique way or become the “Google of blockchain” in the process.
Let’s take a look at some examples where smart contract platforms are actually being used right now to support products and services that rely exclusively on this technology.1. Sub-Tokens & ICOs
The vast majority of blockchain ICOs which happened over the past 24 months were released as sub-tokens using the ERC-20 standard on the Ethereum network. Hands-down, Ethereum is currently the king of sub-tokens and no other chain comes close. Part of that is due to Ethereum’s first-mover advantage since no other smart contract was actually functioning at a production-worthy level in 2017 to support the explosive growth of this new industry.
The ERC-20 standard is simply a standardized smart contract on the Ethereum network which allows an individua...