Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD) is the second-largest digital asset with a market capitalization of over $240 billion. It has generated a return of 650% in the past 12 months, comfortably topping Bitcoins performance at roughly 240%. However, the popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is creating stiff competition for Ethereum. This pushes several Ethereum competitors into the spotlight, which offer greater utility and minimize the drawbacks associated with Ethereum.
Several analysts believe Ethereum has the most compelling bull case in the crypto industry, with multiple growth catalysts on the horizon. Perhaps the biggest one is its transition from its proof-of-work model to a proof-of-stake model called Ethereum 2.0.
Ethereum is not a perfect platform by any means. Its critics have been panned for its high energy requirements, high transaction costs, scalability issues and slow transaction speeds. Therefore, an array of altcoins hit the market to address those issues and offer more significant long-term utility to their users. With that being said, let’s look at three of the best Ethereum competitors in the market today.
Best Ethereum Competitors: Cardano (ADA-USD)
Cardano is one of the hottest altcoins in the market today. The ADA token has grown an incredible 840% in the past 12-months. The “Green Coin” was developed by its founder Charles Hoskinson in 2017 as an energy-efficient alternate to Ethereum. Its developers laid down a lengthy roadmap for its future progress, culminating in 2025. However, there are plenty of reasons to be bullish over Cardano at this time, as it transitions into an even more robust platform.
Cardano operates a proof-of-stake system. Validators with an equity stake in the platform facilitate the transactional process. This saves a massive amount of energy costs to the usual proof-of-work model. Additionally, it can handle up to 257 transactions in a second and is targeting a million in the future.
A core feature of Cardano is its smart contract functionality, which enables developers to build apps that interact with various decentralized exchanges.
With the full release of its smart contract update planned later in the year, it stands to gain massively by the conclusion of 2021.
Polkadot is often referred to as the “platform of platforms.” Some call it the “Ethereum killer”, as it was designed to overcome the drawbacks of the platform and become a more efficient ecosystem. Though it’s a tall order to call it the Ethereum killer, it has done exceedingly well to cement its place in the crypto-world. The DOT token is the ninth most valuable cryptocurrency, with over $12.5 billion.
Polkadot’s ecosystem includes a relay chain, which essentially provides the whole network with security. It then uses side chains called parachains to increase the capacity of the network. Polkadot effectively streamlines the crypto-mining processes and allows for the creation of decentralized apps and smart contracts.
It has become extremely popular as a linking crypto blockchain and a DeFi platform.
Best Ethereum Competitors: Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Stellar Lumens is one of the most talked-about DeFi projects in the crypto industry. It is also a bridge currency, giving liquidity to trusted entities on the network. The platform boasts a market cap of over $6 billion, growing over 200% in the past 12 months.
The ultimate goal of the platform is to work alongside the traditional banking system. It is already working with the Ukrainian government to help them develop a national digital currency.
The Stellar Development Fund (SDF) continues to invest heavily in various projects to expand the growth of the Stellar Blockchain. For example, it invested a whopping $750,000 in a Nigerian fintech company called Cowrie in building platform cross-border payments for the domestic population.
XLM has an incredible growth runway ahead with its unique application in the DeFi realm.
On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Muslim Farooque is a keen investor and an optimist at heart. A life-long gamer and tech enthusiast, he has a particular affinity for analyzing technology stocks. Muslim holds a bachelor’s of science degree in applied accounting from Oxford Brookes University.