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By Hamed Derakhshani
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When a new technology emerges and finds its early adopters, some people, and organizations quickly become household names. They find avid fans ready to yell at everyone about the greatness of their favorite person or project. Blockchain technology has followed the same trajectory, especially regarding the best blockchains for building a decentralized app.
All the arguments about the best blockchains, further obscured by the arguments about the best cryptocurrencies, need to be clarified for many beginner developers. That's why today, we will list the best blockchains for building a decentralized app (dApp).
So if you want to become a web3 developer and start building on a blockchain, stick around till the end. And who knows? Your project may have avid fans of its own someday.
Regarding the best blockchains for building a decentralized app (dApp), no list will be complete without Ethereum. From its launch (in 2015) till 2021, it was the only reasonable option for building dApps and creating smart contracts.
Now it has serious competition, but many competitors also use EVM or Ethereum Virtual Machine. You can say that Ethereum paved the way for what we see in the industry today. The native programming language for the Ethereum blockchain is Solidity, and the native coin for the network is called Ether (eth).
Ethereum was a proof-of-work blockchain like Bitcoin, but it has started using proof of stake as its consensus mechanism; this is part of the upgrade from Ethereum 1.0 to Ethereum 2.0, which will also bring sharding to this network in the near future.
  • Detailed documentations
  • Biggest community of builders
  • Big decentralized network of nodes (which means better security)
  • You can build on Ethereum and deploy on other EVM chains as well (with minor changes)
  • Gas fees can be high right now
  • With lots of users and no sharding yet, it's not very scalable unless you use a layer2 blockchain (transactions can be slow right now)
Binance was already one of the biggest crypto exchanges when it built its blockchain. First, they created the "Binance Chain" to handle large amounts of data quickly.
This blockchain was dApp compatible but mainly focused on Binance's needs (i.e., trading cryptocurrencies). So when they decided to attract more developers and companies to their ecosystem, a second blockchain was born. This one supported smart contracts. It was also EVM compatible.
Later, Binance rebranded the Binance Chain as the "Beacon Chain" or "BC" and renamed Binance Smart Chain to "BNB Smart Chain" or "BSC." Now, they run parallel with a third blockchain called the "Sidechain."
These three blockchains have different purposes and use different standards, but they work together to make the BNB Chain. Beacon Chain is the governance arm of the BNB Chain. Sidechain allows developers to create and run their blockchains, and Binance Smart Chain is where you'll build your dApps and smart contracts.
  • EVM compatible
  • Big community
  • Fast transactions
  • Low gas fees
  • Incentives and programs for developers (backed by Binance)
  • Binance Bridge allows users to move assets to and from BNB Chain easily
  • More centralized than some other blockchains
  • Most innovations happen on Ethereum and then arrive on BSC
Avalanche is another EVM-compatible blockchain with a unique proof of stake consensus mechanism. In a regular proof of work or proof of stake, when most nodes agree on something, it becomes the new state of the blockchain.
But in Avalanche, not all nodes are asked about every transaction. Instead, random nodes are asked about their opinion on a transaction, and when a certain number is reached, it becomes the new state of the blockchain. This method allows Avalanche to be extremely fast and low-cost.
Also, Avalanche is three blockchains working together. One is the Platform Chain, the other is the Contract Chain, and the last is the Exchange Chain. These three blockchains are secured and validated by all the Avalanche validators. There are also sovereign networks called subnets, which can have their own rules. Subnets make Avalanche entirely scalable.
  • EVM compatible
  • Blazing Fast
  • Low gas fees
  • Innovative new network with high potential
  • Can become truly decentralized
  • Higher security with a unique consensus mechanism (instead of 51%, an attack on Avalanche will need 88% to take control of the whole network)
  • Incentives for web3 builders
  • Eco friendly
  • Avalanche Bridge only supports asset transfer between Avalanche and Ethereum right now
  • There are no defined punishments for bad actors and malicious nodes (no slashing can be considered reasonable in some scenarios, but it increases the overall risk for network participants)
Polygon (formerly called Matic) started as a solution to Ethereum's scaling problem. Their main objective was lower gas fees and faster transactions, compared to Ethereum, without sacrificing security; Polygon does this using a sidechain or a layer two blockchain. However, Polygon is developing other solutions as well. So if you like Ethereum but hate its occasional high gas fees and slow transactions, Polygon can be your choice.
  • Low cost
  • Fast transactions
  • Built by developers for developers (offers many valuable tools)
  • Big community of builders
  • A large number of active dApps and games
  • Many partnerships and acquisitions
  • Polygon Bridge works well with assets that sit on Ethereum
  • Its first chain is more centralized than Ethereum
  • With Ethereum 2.0, some of Polygons's solutions may become obsolete over time
Cardano is a unique project. It tries to solve real problems and create positive changes in a very systematic and academic way. Cardano is built to be scalable, sustainable, and interoperable with other blockchains.
Cardano has created a unique protocol called "Ouroboros" to make its blockchain scalable and truly decentralized. It uses proof of stake for sustainability and allows everyone to easily stake their "ADA" (Cardano's native cryptocurrency) by delegating power to a pool.
Finally, Cardano is building bridges between itself and other blockchains for interoperability. There are few bridges available right now, but more are under development.
Cardano is written in a programming language called Haskell, but you can build dApps and create smart contracts using many other languages on this blockchain.
  • Huge community
  • Many prestigious partnerships
  • Very academic and methodical
  • It has special programs for investing in innovative ideas to be built on Cardano
  • Many features are still under development
  • Not EVM compatible
  • ADA's price doesn't accurately reflect Cardano's strong fundamentals
Fantom is a network of blockchains with a focus on speed and scalability. It uses a consensus mechanism called "Lachesis," a unique proof of stake that makes the network ultra-fast and secure.
Most Blockchains offer incentives to regular users at their start, but Fantom tried a different approach and made a massive investment to get more developers building on its network. The result was many dApps and games that brought many users and die-hard fans to the Fantom ecosystem.
  • Great marketing and branding
  • Many incentives for developers
  • Vibrant community
  • EVM compatible
  • Very fast
  • More centralized than some other blockchains
Like many other blockchains that try to offer an alternative to Ethereum, Solana has built a fast and cheap network, but unlike many others, they didn't do it by copying Ethereum's code. That's why Solana isn't EVM-compatible.
They use proof of history, another version of proof of stake, to make transactions fast and the whole process of building blocks very efficient. Another innovation that helps with this efficiency is called "Sealevel" runtime, a fancy term for saying that validators or nodes can run multiple smart contracts simultaneously.
Solana uses the Rust programming language, which allows developers to create more complex smart contracts and dApps.
  • Extremely fast and cheap
  • Big community
  • Offers grants to innovative projects
  • More centralized than some other blockchains
  • Not EVM compatible
  • Has experienced downtimes on different occasions
Arbitrum is the biggest layer2, proof of stake blockchain, built on Ethereum. Unlike any other blockchain on this list, it doesn't have a native coin. (It probably will in the future.) So you pay gas fees using ETH. These fees are much lower on Arbitrum because of its high throughput compared to Ethereum.
We should also note that Arbitrum has two separate networks. The main network that most people use for DeFi (Decentralized Finance) and smart contracts is Arbitrum One. You can also build on Arbitrum Nova which is faster and cheaper.
The main difference is that Arbitrum One always puts transaction data on the Ethereum blockchain. However, Nova uses "the committee" to finalize transactions and falls back on Ethereum only if the committee fails. Without getting into more details, this makes Arbitrum Nova an ideal choice for building games or reward systems like Reddit.
  • EVM compatible but also supports other programming languages like Rust
  • One of the fastest-growing ecosystems (especially for DeFi)
  • Faster and cheaper than Ethereum without sacrificing security
  • Arbitrum's bridge takes a week to transfer your funds from other blockchains
  • It doesn't have its coin yet
There is no one best blockchain for building a dApp. So if you ask, "what is the best blockchain?" we have to answer with a big "it depends."
If you're a beginner looking to start with web3 and blockchain technology, you should go for one of the more famous names (anyone on our list will do). If you want to change blockchains easily in the future, consider EVM-compatible ones.
Other than that, for the more experienced developers, you should define your project clearly and list the features you need to build and maintain it. Only then can you choose the best blockchain for building your dApp.
Go to the Kenshi dashboard and connect your wallet to get started with Kenshi's tools for all EVM-compatible blockchains. Begin building with Kenshi today!