Ethereum is the pioneer of programmable blockchains and the father of smart contracts and the functionality and ability that brings to the blockchain. However, there has been a lot of upgrading in the space in the interim, and even competitors that have cropped up with aspects that outdo Ethereum.
EOS is one such competitor that has come into the arena with the focus on scalability and has certainly outplayed Ethereum in this regard as it stands. Ethereum is still operating as proof-of-work in order to build on security, but its performance has suffered as a result. This was evident when CryptoKitties sunk the operation of the chain and it became bogged down.
However, Ethereum is going through a new upgrade which is seen as a major one, not only will it be changing its entire consensus algorithm, the blockchain is also looking at scaling and its performance with sharding. These needs for better scalability have been the driving force behind this latest upgrade to ETH 2.0.
As it stands, ETH can manage around 17 transactions per second. However, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has indicated that ETH 2.0 implementation will bring a vast improvement, ultimately achieving 100,000 transactions per second, or TPS, with the help of the sharding mechanism, which enables parallel execution by splitting the blockchain into pieces.
But, this level will only be reached much further down the line. The ETH 2.0 upgrade is due to start at the end of summer of this year, but only the final phase — which is around two years away — will implement sharding, bringing about the assured 100,000 TPS speed.
EOS on the other hand already offers the scalability that Ethereum is chasing, yet the project is not as big, or well known. However, it did make it onto the map in the 2017 ICO when it stated it could muster tps speeds of around 4,000.
This is a big leap on Ethereum’s current levels, however, once the ETH 2.0 upgrade is complete then Ethereum will have overtaken EOS in this facet as well. But, EOSIO’s is looking at scalability as one of the platform’s priorities, detailing various methods that can enhance vertical and horizontal scaling and parallel smart contract execution.
Dan Larimer, chief technology officer of the company behind EOS, Block.one, told Cointelegraph that EOS will continue to hold the edge over Ethereum in that metric:
“EOSIO will continue to be the faster option in ‘single shard’ applications, given that it’s entrenched in the architecture level, and Ethereum’s 2.0 release will account for more applications on its platform, but not bigger ones.
Scalability is one side
Scalability is of course a vital cog in the programmable blockchain space, but Ethereum’s low TPS currently, and its place as the second-largest cryptocurrency for some time now shines a light on the fact that there is more to it.
Ethereum offers better decentralisation than EOS with its mining algorithm and proof-of-work set up. Even with the move to staking the minimum stake set at 32 ETH means it is easy to reach this barrier and still join the network as a validator to compete for block rewards.
One of the biggest criticisms of EOS is its centralization — an integral part of the platform’s design. The delegated proof-of-stake consensus only ever allows a fixed number of 21 block producers, with token holders entitled to cast their votes for who gets to participate as one of the group.
A bright future
Regardless if Ethereum remains on top, or if EOS pushes the boat out in this regard, there seems to be a big drive in the blockchain space for these types of protocols currently. This is not only good for ETH and EOS, but also for the advancement of the technology and its implementation.