As DeFi booms, Ethereum’s blockchain competitors are catching up

As DeFi booms, Ethereum’s blockchain competitors are catching up

Decentralized finance participants eye a “multichain” future as Ethereum’s DeFi-powering peers continue to attract users and projects.

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Ethereum is not the only blockchain platform seeing a significant increase in value as the decentralized finance space continues to move in tandem with the booming cryptocurrency ecosystem. The new year has continued to be good to the DeFi space, evident in the sheer amount of value that has been injected into various platforms.

The value staked in DeFi protocols briefly surpassed $27 billion on Jan. 20, according to DappRadar, driven in part by the increase in value of a large majority of cryptocurrency tokens. Nevertheless, the space has seen growing adoption and development in recent months.

Ethereum currently holds the mantle as the most popular smart contract blockchain application for developers and projects on which to build and launch apps and platforms. The DeFi space is intrinsically linked with Ethereum in its current state, with a large majority of the biggest DeFi projects and protocols running on its blockchain. Uniswap, the biggest automated market maker according to DeFi Pulse, runs on Ethereum, while the rest of the top 10 DeFi projects listed also operate on the blockchain network.

While the growth and success of DeFi platforms have put a strain on the Ethereum network’s ability to process transactions and have increased fees, these platforms have led to an enormous amount of value being locked in the Ethereum ecosystem. With that being said, a couple of Ethereum’s market competitors are enjoying resounding success in early 2021, suggesting that there are more participants pushing the pace in the DeFi space.

Polkadot, Chainlink and Near Protocol see big gains

Polkadot is seen as one of the most prominent rivals to Ethereum. It’s a new-generation blockchain that connects private and public blockchains and networks. The project was started by the Web3 Foundation and hopes to drive interoperability between blockchains to power a decentralized internet of the future.

Polkadot essentially operates a multichain protocol using what it calls “parachains,” which allow other blockchains to connect to its network as sidechains. The protocol also has the capacity to handle thousands of transactions per second, which has pitted it against Ethereum in the eyes of some commentators. Polkadot has seen immense growth in 2021, with its DOT token’s price nearly doubling since the start of the new year.

Near Protocol is another smart contract blockchain platform that has been growing in popularity since its launch in April 2020. Its native token, NEAR, recently saw a rise of more than 100% in value. The project operates on its own proof-of-stake protocol that uses sharding, which Ethereum is still working toward implementing this year.

Cardano, which runs on its own proof-of-stake blockchain, has also seen some growth. Its native token, Ada, moved past Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to become the six-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The platform has yet to roll out functional smart contract capability but is expected to do so this year, which will allow DeFi platforms to be built on the protocol.

Chainlink is also featured on this list for its role in the smart contract blockchain and DeFi space. Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that serves as an intermediary providing data to smart contracts on different blockchains. According to the project, Chainlink has become a major tool for the DeFi space, as it provides tamper-proof, high-quality price data to various DeFi protocols.

The network’s native token, LINK, moved into the top 10 biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization in January as Chainlink continues to enjoy the indirect effects of DeFi’s success.

The phrase “The Great Repricing” was thrown around in the DeFi space as the native tokens for popular platforms Synthetix and Aave also moved into the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market cap early in the new year. Synthetix Network Token (SNX) and AAVE have seen considerable growth in value and have a combined market cap of over $3.5 billion. SNX is the native token of Synthetix, a derivatives liquidity protocol, while Aave is a liquidity protocol that allows users to deposit and borrow various cryptocurrency assets. Both run on the Ethereum blockchain.

Plenty of room for rival chains

The DeFi space is clearly a burgeoning sector that has plenty of room for more than one blockchain to power the plethora of applications and offerings that have been developed over the past year. Dan Reecer, head of Polkadot growth at the Web3 Foundation, acknowledged that Ethereum is the incumbent leader in the DeFi space by total value locked.

However, that does not mean that users are not willing to try alternatives, according to Reecer: “The surge in DeFi platforms built on blockchains other than Ethereum is absolutely a clear sign that DeFi, crypto, and blockchain in general is becoming multi-chain.” He also stressed that a move to a multichain DeFi ecosystem will become a necessity in the future, considering how centralized, mainstream applications and networks currently operate:

“In comparison to traditional tech, all of our most used apps, the Instagrams and LinkedIns of the world, are using a wide variety of major database systems. These databases, along with the rest of the piping and protocols of the internet, all operate together seamlessly. For DeFi and crypto to flourish in all age groups at scale, we need to get to a multi-chain infrastructure all operating in tandem. Most importantly, the user should not know what underlying protocol or blockchain they are even using.”

Bette Chen, co-founder and chief operating officer of decentralized finance “hub” Acala, told Cointelegraph that the DeFi space is still in its infancy, as an average of just 4,000 to 5,000 addresses are active every day.

Nevertheless, Chen believes that the emergence of new smart contract blockchains is a positive development for the DeFi space: “We don’t think in the frames of competition, we’re at the very early stage of a new disruptive technology, we think the multi-chain future that we are evolving into will collectively grow the DeFi space and help mass market adoption.” She went on to add that it will likely be “a hybrid of CeFi and DeFi offerings that help deliver the real values and user experiences to end users.”

Pavel Bains, co-founder and CEO of decentralized data hosting project Bluzelle, told Cointelegraph that Ethereum’s dominance might not necessarily be threatened, but its transition to Ethereum 2.0 is becoming increasingly important, as other protocols already offer the capabilities it’s working to incorporate:

“The best thing Ethereum can do right now is delivering advancement for Ethereum 2.0 every few months. Even if it’s just baby steps, developers will be less likely to switch platforms knowing that 2.0 is almost here. Right now I don’t think it’s threatened. But I do hope it is and it’s better for the whole ecosystem.”

As Reecer said, competition is always healthy for an industry, and he noted that the cryptocurrency space is no exception. He stressed that Ethereum’s percentage share of TVL, users and developers in the broader ecosystem will depend on the project’s ability to scale and keep pace with its peers, especially sharded, multichain ecosystems: “It’s likely not rational to expect there to be 10-20+ protocols that win out in the end. This decade should see chain mergers and acquisitions, some teams fizzling out, and a handful of FAANG-esque winners emerging for the long haul.”


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Decentralized finance participants eye a “multichain” future as Ethereum’s DeFi-powering peers continue to attract users and projects.

Blockchain could become a part of the US military’s strategic weaponry

Blockchain could become a part of the US military’s strategic weaponry

SIMBA Chain beat competitors such as Boeing by using blockchain to underpin a war games solution for the U.S. Department of Defense.

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One often hears blockchain in the same breath as security and supply chains. This week, a winning entry to a competition organized by the United States Department of Defense cast both these aspects in a new light.

To keep pace with the ever-more technologized battlelines of contemporary warfare, the DoD continues to explore ways to innovate the manufacturing process and supply chain for weaponry and infrastructure in use by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. 

The Advanced Manufacturing Olympics, held virtually this year on Oct. 20–23, sought to recruit traditional DoD contractors, technology developers, and academics to mobilize new technologies, particularly 3D printing, for the manufacture and delivery of critical parts in the military supply chain.

SIMBA Chain, a smart contract-as-a-service platform developed the University of Notre Dame and ITAMCO, was awarded first place and a prize of $100,000 for its entry in one of the technical challenges set during the DoD’s olympics.

For the challenge, the DoD devised a war game scenario, in which a fictional island was under siege. Participants were tasked with deploying additive manufacturing (the 3D printing of metals, plastic, and composite parts on demand) and creating a secure communications and delivery network for forward-deployed military units and front-line medical staff. SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig explained:

„We […] had six days to put together an entire war games solution to deliver critical parts to a battlefront, keep field hospitals operational and infrastructure like runways intact. What was different about our approach was how we met both the physical challenges of war fighters as well as the cyber threats that are playing a growing role in modern warfare.“

SIMBA beat other participants such as Boeing, which won third place, and Stratasys, second place, due to its use of blockchain to provide a secure network that established cyber-resilient communications between additive manufacturing labs across the supply chain. 

The DoD’s olympics is not, of course, an idle war games challenge that stops with the creation of a fictional island. The Air Force seeks to turn successful solutions into commercial realities, and SIMBA Chain is already working with several arms of the DoD, including the Air Force and Navy. The company states it has „high hopes that blockchain, and specifically SIMBA Chain, will soon be an integral part of the U.S. military’s strategic weaponry.“


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SIMBA Chain beat competitors such as Boeing by using blockchain to underpin a war games solution for the U.S. Department of Defense.

CZ Blames ‘Self-Perceived Competitors’ for New DDoS Attacks on Binance

CZ Blames ‘Self-Perceived Competitors’ for New DDoS Attacks on Binance

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirms DDoS attacks on Binance, blaming “self-perceived competitors” for the attack

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The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has faced a series of distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attacks on its Chinese domains earlier today.

Binance CEO and founder, Changpeng Zhao, or CZ, tweeted about the attacks on April 29. He explained that the DDoS attacks caused “some lag and interruption of network access.” Binance CEO reassured that there is no need to be concerned, noting that systems are stable and user funds are safe.

Binance co-founder Yi He reportedly alerted the issue earlier today 

In the tweet, CZ also suggested that the new DDoS attacks on Binance were triggered by “self-perceived competitors.” He wrote:

“Based on the attack pattern, it looks like work of our self-perceived competitors.”

CZ subsequently tweeted that Binance has white hackers that work on internal testing to maintain security of the platform. In response to a tweet noting that global tech giants like Google and Facebook hire such hackers to find loopholes in their security systems, CZ wrote:

“We of course do. We also have self-perceived “competitors” doing testing for us. Everyone is working on Binance.”

According to a report by crypto news agency, CoinNess, the DDoS attack was first flagged by Binance co-founder, Yi He, early in the day. Binance appears to have made no official statement on the matter as of press time.

Binance declined to provide more information about the attacks to Cointelegraph.

The news follows DDoS attacks on major crypto exchanges, OKEx and Bitfinex. As reported, both exchanges experienced multiple DDoS attacks in February, causing some major system outages. OKEx CEO, Jay Hao, subsequently blamed unnamed competitors for the attack. The platform reported that the DDoS attacks were “properly handled within a short period of time and no overseas client is impacted.”

As reported by Cointelegraph, the attacks on OKEx and Bitfinex in February could possibly be related.


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Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao confirms DDoS attacks on Binance, blaming “self-perceived competitors” for the attack

Ripple CEO: Bitcoin and XRP Aren’t Competitors — I’m Long BTC

Ripple CEO: Bitcoin and XRP Aren’t Competitors — I’m Long BTC

There is no competition between bitcoin and XRP, Ripple CEO said, adding that there will not be one single crypto to ‘’rule them all”

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Bitcoin (BTC), and XRP, the third biggest coin by market cap, are not competitors, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse claimed in a Fortune interview on June 20.

In the interview, Garlinghouse outlined the key difference of two major cryptocurrencies, arguing that bitcoin is a store of value or “digital gold,” while XRP is a “bridge currency” that enables an efficient solution for fiat-to-fiat transfers.

As such, Garlinghouse cited the difference between bitcoin and XRP in terms of transactions costs, claiming that Ripple can do a transaction for a tiny fraction of a cent while a bitcoin transactions costs roughly $2.30 on average.

However, such a difference “does not mean that bitcoin is gonna fail or something,” Ripple CEO noted, stating that he “[does] not view them as competitive.

Garlinghouse expressed confidence that there will not be one single cryptocurrency to “rule them all,” implying that each cryptocurrency should prove a certain use case.

Garlinghouse stated:

„I own bitcoin, I’m long bitcoin. I think Bitcoin is a store of value and people hold it.“

In the interview, CEO of Ripple also expressed his stance towards the current environment on crypto markets, pointing out that there is “a lot of bullshit in blockchain and crypto market,” and it is often hard for the industry to separate the signal from the “noise.”

In this regard, Garlinghouse spoke of the media overhype around Facebook’s recently officially unveiled cryptocurrency libra, which is expected for launch in the first half of 2020. Specifically, the Ripple exec cited a title of a recent article on CNBC “Facebook Launches Cryptocurrency,” arguing that Facebook has actually not launched any cryptocurrency so far, but just announced their intent to do so in a year from now. Previously, Garlinghouse considered that a cryptocurrency project by American banking giant JPMorgan Chase “misses the point.”

Recently, Ripple partnered with major money transaction service MoneyGram to develop cross-border payments, as well as foreign exchange settlements with digital currencies. As a part of the collaboration, MoneyGram is enabled to draw up to $50 million from Ripple in exchange for equity.


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There is no competition between bitcoin and XRP, Ripple CEO said, adding that there will not be one single crypto to ‘’rule them all”