The blockchain technology like every other technology is evolving. The attention of the world was first drawn to the blockchain by Bitcoin and ever since then, more efforts have been put in to build a successful decentralized network. The first of such efforts would be Ethereum, however, solving the problem of scalability has proven to be one big task for Ethereum. Algorand and Cardano like some other blockchain are fixed on solving the issue of scalability while still tackling security and decentralization.
The blockchain faces four major scalability issues; response time, limitations, blocks size, and high fees. As the network evolved, these problems should be solved, however, since the Ethereum blockchain is still working on addressing all of these problems, Algorand and Cardano have decided to step up to the task. However, there is the question of which blockchain is better and which of them have actually addressed the issue of scalability.
A Brief Look at Algorand
The Algorand platform was launched in June 2019 out of the need to solve the problem of “blockchain trilemma.” The term was coined by Vitalik Butterin and it presupposes that a blockchain platform cannot have it all; decentralization, scalability and security. In other words, what Butterin means is that a blockchain platform would have to sacrifice one for the others. For instance, when building a decentralized platform, it may be unavoidable to cause a defect in its security and scalability. As a response to the blockchain trilemma, the Algorand platform was formed. The project was created to promote a decentralized digital economy built on open and permissionless access using its Pure Proof-of-Stake protocol. Algorand aims to scale custom blockchain projects using its transaction management system.
Algorand was founded by Silvio Micali, an MIT professor who was a recipient of the Turing Award, AKA the Nobel Prize of computing. Instead of building its philosophy around proof of work, the mining-based algorithm that bitcoin uses, Algorand blockchain utilizes democratic user participation. Algorand introduced an upgraded version of Proof-of-Stake which is Pure-Proof of stake.
A Brief Look at Cardano Blockchain
Cardano was launched on 29th September 2017 by Charles Hoskinson who was also Ethereum’s CEO and co-founder. Hoskinson established IOHK (Input Output Hong Kong) after leaving Ethereum and eventually developed Cardano. Although it takes after Ethereum with its smart contract functionality, Cardano promises to address the issue of scalability. Cardano does not utilise the Proof-of-Work algorithm as Bitcoin does. So, there are no miners on the Cardano blockchain to validate transactions because Cardano uses Ouroboros, a unique Proof-of-Stake algorithm.
Cardano was designed to address the issues of scalability, interoperability, sustainability and ease of development. Unlike most blockchain projects, Cardano is the first project to utilise Haskell and Plutus programming languages. These languages enable developers to contribute easily to the Cardano open-source code. To ensure the system code is secure and always audited, the Cardano blockchain utilises an academic peer review. The system also aims to be more scalable through the use of side chains.
On the part of Algorand, it employs other technologies with the Pure-Proof of Stake to deal with the issues of scalability. They include;
Pixel digital signature scheme:
To reduce bandwidth, Algorand is introducing a novel technology. It prevents malicious users from forging signatures on previous messages while giving the system the ability to amass multiple signatures of a single message and convert it into a compact signature of the same length.
Algorand created a supposed solution to the blockchain’s problem of storage. To deal with the storage of blocks, Algorand’s Vault system proposes by having users update and download a single piece of information as soon as they join the network, they can begin to participate in the creation and storage of blocks. By effectively onboarding new users, Algorand’s Vault technology will promote better scalability.
Since there is a gap between consensus and storage, users do not have to check for the validity of individual payment and balances for block verification before validating payments.
One of the main differentiators between the two blockchain projects is the fact that Cardano believes that cryptocurrency will be regulated one day and has made efforts to be at the forefront of regulatory processes. However, it also promises to retain its seclusion while being regulatory compliant. However, the Algorand blockchain is totally decentralized without a single point of control or central authority. The system randomly and uniquely selects a committee of users who are secretly selected to approve every block.
Algorand seeks to maintain security against attracts at both consensus and network levels.by utilising Partition Resilient Against Network Attacks Algorand is able to recover during a partition, allowing the state of the nodes realign and allowing the blockchain continue its activity. Algorand also employs consensus level security by preventing attacters from corrupting enough users and taking control of the block generation. However, Cardano Utilises the Ouroboros protocol and since it uses no bitcoin code, it is not not affected by the PoSv3 problem.2.
Developer Tools and Dapps
To create dapps, developers have to connect to the Algorand blockchain through an algod client which needs a valid algod REST endpoint IP address. It also requires an algod token from an Algorand node that is connected to the network the developer plans to interact with. However, when it comes to Cardano Dapps, they utilise Plutus, a Haskell-based smart contract programming language. It is a static, formally-verified and functional typed smart contract language.