IOST vs EOS was a hard-fought battle between two high-performance blockchains now we will compare IOST to another relatively fast blockchain, TRON, which has been gaining much ground in the DApps space mostly due to the marketing efforts and financial muscle of its founder who made his riches during the height of the crypto bull run of late 2017 and early 2018. Love him or hate him no one can deny that Justin Sun has been doing great financially and able to acquire several high-profile companies that all serve the purpose of making TRON the biggest public blockchain on the planet. Let’s see how IOST fare against this rising star.
According to TRON’s latest whitepaper, its blockchain can process 2,000 Transactions Per Second (TPS). This is half the speed of EOS and around 4 times slower than what the current IOST blockchain can do, which is around 8,000 TPS. While it may seem that TRON is much slower blockchain there has not been any significant incident of network congestion on the Tron network or perhaps there has not been any decentralized application that is big enough to test the very limits of TRON. Moreso can be said with IOST which has several times more capacity than IOST.
In terms of scalability, we believe that IOST has the upper hand as it continues to push the envelope of blockchain technology, at 8K TPS it is one of the fastest in the industry with the intent of being in the front and center of scalability innovation. One of the key differences between IOST and TRON is how these two blockchain projects acquire their technology. IOST seems to be keen on researching and developing its own technology and present them to its users. On the other hand, the TRON projects seem to be more leaning towards “borrowing” or “buying” technology from other blockchain projects.
Like EOS, TRON uses the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) consensus protocol. Hence it shares the same centralization challenges with EOS. While TRON and EOS may claim a more democratic way of consensus participation through a voting mechanism the chances of the committee members or what they call Super Representatives to change is slim. The majority of the top Super Representatives will most probably stay in their position of influence. Hence, the development direction or governance of the project might depend on only a few Super Representatives that may further their own agenda.
IOST is not at risk of the same problem. It uses Proof-of-Believability (PoB) which is a type of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus protocol that has been modified to include a randomizing mechanism to ensure that those participating in PoB will not remain the same. This will prevent a cartel-like environment where the resources of the network are controlled by a few influential and powerful participants. This will ensure that the IOST will be truly decentralized and at the same time remains highly scalable.
We have said in our previous article that security is tied directly to how decentralized a blockchain is and comparing the two we can say to a certain degree of confidence that IOST is more decentralized. IOST’s Proof-of-Believability and TRON’s Delegated Proof-of-Stake are both Proof-of-Stake types of consensus mechanism which allows participants to vote representatives or delegates to represent them in consensus activities. For TRON the Top 27 Super Representatives elected participates in consensus activities while IOST has 17 committee members.
While there are fewer elected committee members for consensus activities in IOST the members of this group are rotated frequently by virtue a randomizing mechanism called Servi. A Servi is a non-tradable token whose main function is to decrease or increase the possibility of being able to participate in block production or transaction verification. The Servi works by decreasing the possibility of committee members to participate in the next round of consensus activity if they just have participated in one, while at the same time increasing the possibility of others that have not participated, hence randomizing consensus participants.
Developers Tools and Support
Based on what we have seen so far we can say that both IOST and TRON are active in terms of supporting its developers. TRON, armed with its massive funding from its highly successful ICO has been aggressively pursuing Ethereum developers to migrate their dapps to the TRON platform. Conversely, IOST also courted several dapps developers into their platform even to the extent of creating teams and organizations whose primary function is to identify industries that can benefit most from blockchain technology and give them the necessary support required for their entire development lifecycle.
From the very beginning, the IOST team has planned to become one of the Big 4 public blockchains in the industry. Their strategy was to launch the most complete mainnet by not only developing a highly scalable and decentralized blockchain but also to have several blockchain developers launching their dapps on the platform by the mainnet launch. This strategy was moderately successful as it was able to launch some dapps that highlights its ultra-fast blockchain and has gained the attention of many industry players.
Ethereum remains the top choice of blockchain developers and thus most of the blockchain-based applications are launched in this platform despite its scalability challenges. Hence most newer blockchains try to target dapps from the Ethereum platform to migrate into theirs for better scalability and better support. ConsenSys, the main organization that has been providing the main financial support to Ethereum developers have publicly stated that they are scaling back financial support due to the prevailing dismal market conditions.
IOST and TRON both try to entice Ethereum projects to migrate their dapps on their platform which both offer a significant advantage in terms of scalability as well as giving them incentives to do so. IOST’s online IDE supports Solidity while TRON VM supports most Solidity-based dapps as it is a fork of Ethereum VM. These allow easy migration of Ethereum-base dapps into IOST or TRON. Technology-wise we believe that IOST is a better choice as they can offer more innovative solutions coming from their own research. TRON, on the other hand, has the tendency just to borrow or acquire technology and make it their own.
DApps (Decentralized Applications)
Among the 4 public blockchains we have discussed so far IOST is the youngest and it is no surprise that it has the fewest number of dapps launched on its platform. Hence TRON wins this hands down. According to DApp data aggregator site dapp.com the number of projects that have launched into the IOST platform in 2019 was around 38 while TRON has around 520 which is the second-highest number of dapps second only to Ethereum. Recently, TRON also acquired STEEMIT inc. the main company that provides development and financial support to the STEEM blockchain further increasing the number of dapps under its clout.
The IOST team has been hard at work partnering with various companies and startups to build on its chain. They have also incubated two high potential projects that may serve as the killer app for its platform Bermi and Berminal. However, it must be noted that the number of DApps is not the only measure of success, the dapps should be of high quality, relevant and timely. While it might be true that the number of DApps is the current measure of success in DApps platform, one highly successful dapps deployed in a particular platform may serve as an effective beacon for other block developers to follow.
IOST beats TRON in terms of speed, decentralization and the capacity to develop innovative technology that can push the performance of blockchain further. TRON, on the other hand, seems to be better in acquiring technology and talent through acquisitions as shown through its purchase of BitTorrent, DLive and Steemit Inc. TRON was able to do this because of its strong financial position that currently does not rely on outside funding. IOST seems to have the same level of financial capacity as it was able to conduct buy-back and burn initiatives in the past using earnings from IOST businesses but has not landed the same high profile acquisition.
We believe that the TRON acquisition strategy can serve as an effective playbook for IOST to emulate. The incubation of Bermi and Berminal is a great example of this. While IOST is still busy onboarding new projects and startups we believe that for continued success IOST, it needs to continue supporting the organizations that are already in its ecosystem and double its efforts and resources to ensure that those initiatives will be successful. It is of our opinion that equal importance and support should be given to new partnerships and the existing once.
The Bluehill initiative was a step in the right direction and was able to attract some very interesting projects. However, these projects have not generated the number of transactions and users we are hoping for into the IOST ecosystem. While It might be too early to pass judgment on these projects, in a highly competitive industry where there are many alternatives available accelerating this process would be of utmost importance. This is perhaps the reason why projects like TRON have been marketing aggressively to stay in the spotlight and stay relevant in the industry.
Furthermore, it seems that the current dapps platforms are only attracting users that are already using decentralized applications, hence there is some sort of cannibalization in the dapps industry, a phenomenon that occurs when users just move from one dapps platform to another. For the market to grow developers should introduce dapps that can attract new dapps users. Bermi is a good example of this and should be a good starting point for the mass adoption of IOST-based projects. IOST should leverage this opportunity and continue to push for its expansion.
We believe that IOST has what it takes to take on any distributed ledger technology in the market today. It just needs a little bit more push or perhaps some marketing hype to get the attention of developers and users. Among the 4 big public blockchains, it is perhaps the most under-appreciated in terms of its technology and what it can provide for its developers. IOST technology-wise can match and beat what TRON has to offer without “borrowing” or purchasing technology from others. This is IOST’s advantage over TRON, having highly technical founders, unlike TRON whose primary strength is marketing hype and business acquisition.