In this episode of the Koinos Group Podcast, I discuss the differences between Cardano, Polkadot, and Koinos with the CEO of gFam. As Adam rightly points out, there are similarities between these three protocols, because at the end of the day, what we are all trying to deliver are the best platforms we can for running smart contracts. But this is just like saying that Ford, GM, and Tesla all want to deliver cars. We all have different visions for what “best” means in this context, which is what we explore in this conversation.
While all three projects are trying to solve the same problems, they go about it in fundamentally different ways. Although it might be more accurate to say that Koinos goes about it in a fundamentally different way than the other two because the developers of Koinos come from a totally different background than those of Cardano and Polkadot, which were both created by founders of Ethereum.
Because of that history, Cardano and Polkadot are very much those founders’ visions for how Ethereum should have been. Koinos Group, on the other hand, came from a totally different “lineage” of blockchains based on the Graphene blockchain framework.
Graphene is a blockchain framework that enabled developers to build decentralized applications that were totally fee-less and super fast because they didn’t use a virtual machine and because they leveraged an experimental consensus algorithm that Theoretical co-invented alongside Dan Larimer who would later go on to create EOS. This combination of experimental features eventually enabled Theoretical and Dan to launch the Steem blockchain along with another founder of Koinos Group, Michael Vandeberg.
Steem (and now Hive) was a content-oriented blockchain that rewarded users for sharing content on the blockchain and thanks to its speed and fee-less design Steem quickly became the most used blockchain in the world! While Steem wasn’t really designed to be in other decentralized applications, developers quickly began to figure out ways of hacking it for use in their applications. Not only was Steem fast and fee-less, but it also had all of the basics of a content platform baked into the blockchain; things like posting, commenting, and voting. So any application that could make use of these specific features (which is a lot of applications!) could rapidly integrate a blockchain into their application.
Experience v. Academia
All of the Graphene based blockchain like Bitshares and Steem are still in operation including new forks of Steem like Hive. Unlike the academic founders of Cardano and Polkadot who spent that time in their ivory towers only to emerge with slight variations on the consensus algorithm Theoretical invented 7 years ago, we spent our time refining blockchains that countless developers and end-users were actually using and continue to use to this day.
Instead of emerging with only slight improvements on existing platforms, we’re releasing a fundamentally different architecture built on our own innovative solutions which not only take advantage of technological advances from both blockchain lineages but also from outside of the blockchain space entirely. Developments like microservice architectures, WASM, and RabbitMQ.
While these platforms are only now integrating proof of stake, we have already learned about the many pitfalls of that consensus method and are set to release the next generation of consensus algorithms that have the benefits of both proof of work and proof of stake, but without the downsides.
Thanks to our unrivaled experience building and improving fee-less blockchain designs, we’ll also be launching Koinos with an advanced fee-less system called “mana” that will enable developers to onboard users into their applications without forcing them to acquire any KOIN and without requiring the developer to part with any of their KOIN. This is how Koinos will reduce all barriers to entry and open blockchain adoption to the masses.
Cardano and Polkadot are taking fundamentally different approaches. They seem to think that the key to mass adoption is developing extremely complex systems that very few people are capable of understanding. Cardano touts how many peer reviewed papers they’ve published and their use of an esoteric programming language named “Haskell.” Polkadot touts their parachains which aren’t really a solution themselves, but a way for other people to build useful blockchains … but only blockchains that have fees.
Our entire focus is on building a decentralized platform that developers will love using to build applications that people will love using. For developers, that means ensuring that they can work in the languages they already know and love whether they’re working on smart contracts, microservices, or libraries, and that they can use these tools to launch free-to-use applications at very low cost. That’s why we were so excited to announce the open sourcing of Koinos Types which we believe is an important new technology for enabling full stack multi-language support in blockchain platforms.
These capabilities alone will enable developers to explore the business models that have created all the biggest companies on the internet like Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter but aren’t possible on either Cardano and Polkadot as a result of their fee-based design.
That is what we think distinguishes Koinos from Polkadot and Cardano. If you’d like to learn more about Koinos, go to koinos.io.