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ETH 2.0 vs Elrond

Blockchains, just as traditional businesses, compete with each other to provide users with a more scalable platform with instant transactions, minimal fees, and advanced features. It seemed that many competitors of Ethereum left the platform far behind in terms of technology, but now everything has changed: updating the ETH 2.0 network is in full swing, and the developers have launched the Medalla testnet launchpad.

ETH 2.0 update

is designed to solve all the current Ethereum problems and transfer the blockchain to the PoS consensus mechanism. In this article, we will compare ETH 2.0 with Elrond and find out what advantages these blockchain platforms give to their users.

Mainnet

Unlike ETH 2.0, in Elrond mainnet launch has already taken place and at the moment 2 thousand validators serve the blockchain. ETH 2.0 has launched only the Medalla testnet, but the number of validators there already exceeds 20 thousand, which indicates the scale of the project.

The Ethereum team has prepared a detailed specification for developers to create a node. The Medalla testnet was already been joined by nodes using the code of five clients, including Prysmatic Labs’ Prysm, Chainsafe’s Lodestar, PegaSys’ Teku, Status’ Nimbus and Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse. This way, if a critical bug appears in the code of one of the clients, the network, in theory, will remain functional. However, in practise, 98% nodes use Prysm, so this failsafe doesn’t really work.

The updated ETH 2.0 network, after its development and testing will be completed, will use PoS and a sharding mechanism, just like Elrond, so the network is dynamically divided into separate chains (shards) that work in parallel, which solves scalability problems and increases network bandwidth. It is worth noting that both projects successfully passed the stress testing stage.

Elrond has a running mainnet, Ethereum is in the final stages of the last testnet, Medalla, before Phase 0, beacon chain. Phase 1, sharding and Phase 2 state execution (ewasm) are to follow.

The Elrond mainnet launched with 15,000 TPS capability, which can linearly scale when more shards are needed. The Elrond scalability concept has been proven in a public testnet with 50 shards that ran at 263,000 TPS.

Community

Here, there is a clear advantage for Ethereum: the platform is supported by a strong team that has earned the trust of a large community, and the Ethereum cryptocurrency, despite the shortcomings of the blockchain, is the second by capitalization after Bitcoin. The project has a better-developed ecosystem, and the Ethereum Foundation has extensive experience in developing blockchain solutions. For example, ETH 2.0 already has 3 block browser services, while Elrond has only one.

But there is one non-obvious aspect: it is always technically more difficult to transfer functionality from the old network to the new one. In addition, the multiclient approach of ETH 2.0 can slow down development, since compatibility between clients must be insured.

The Elrond community has seen fast growth in the last few months, when it more than tripled its Twitter audience and has recorded similar growth on all its channels. The Elrond marketing efforts have been focused outside of the blockchain world, explaining the sudden influx of new people. Elrond itself does not position itself as an Ethereum competitor, but rather as a technology to help solve some of the pressing issues of the internet, at scale.

Technical aspects

In recent days, transaction fees on the Ethereum network have been breaking all records and historical highs. In these conditions, it is becoming increasingly difficult for smart contract developers to maintain their applications. In turn, the Elrond network strives for low transaction costs as one of the fundamental factors of a large network. During mass stress tests, the Elrond network showed an unsurpassed result — 263 thousand transactions per second. This is 10 times more than the international payment system Visa, which is able to process up to 25 thousand transactions per second. Comparison with Ethereum is even more stunning: Ethereum is limited to 20 transactions per second, so Elrond is 10000 times faster. And this limitation won’t be solved until the ETH 2.0 Phase 1 — sharding — will be fully implemented. Till that, there will be a bottleneck in the network, which not only will slow transaction processing, but will also push the already high fees up.

The Everstake team used the Prysm client to connect to Medalla testnet, which uses a “validator + beacon node “ scheme similar to the Sentry (Cosmos) node architecture (forum), where the validator is not directly accessible from the shared network.

Elrond has low technical requirements for network nodes. At the end of each epoch, a third of all validators in each shard are randomly shuffled to a different shard (in a waiting state), which reduces the predictability for attacks and also prevents possible network failures during data synchronization from another shard.

Both blockchains use virtual machines for smart contracts. Elrond executes WebAssembly via Arwen VM, and uses the Rust language and Visual Studio Code extension to write contract code and have already implemented support for async smart contract calls on a sharded architecture. ETH 2.0 will also use WebAssembly (abbreviation — ewasm), which potentially provides an opportunity for cross-chain interaction between networks at the level of smart contracts.

Also, Elrond offers 30% royalties for smart contract authors, which is a great incentive for skilled developers that will ensure rapid growth of the smart-contract infrastructure.

Closing thoughts

Ethereum 2.0 is a project that’s been in development for a long time and it will be a while longer until we are able to see it live. At the moment. ETH 2.0 is preparing for Phase 0 — the official launch of the Beacon chain — which will happen either at the end of this year or in Q1 2021. Phase 1 is scheduled for the end of 2021, Phases 2 and 3 are even further down the line. So Ethereum 2.0 won’t be fully implemented in the next couple of years.

Elrond on the other hand is fully operational since July, with transfers & smart contracts enabled since day 1. So it is available right now and there is no need to wait a few years to use its advantages in full.

Comparing the two is like comparing a car that you can drive today to one that’s currently in the design phase. However, it is important to draw these parallels, especially for builders looking for information to help them with their long term strategy.

So we will continue this series of articles with a lot more focus on technical aspects such as accounts, smart contracts, APIs, developer tools, economics, and other relevant points that will help the developer community make informed decisions about their future projects.

The Everstake team works as a validator in both networks, so it is able to evaluate the development of each project and the prospects for the end-user.

Both projects are developing with incredible speed, so there may be inaccuracies. Subscribe to our blog and social networks, so as not to miss important news on updates to the crypto industry.

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