According to a Medium article by BitDegree, there are about 861 blockchains. Some are public blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin, EOS, etc. Others are “private” or enterprise-focused distributive ledger like Hyperledger, Corda, Quorum, etc. Of these hundreds of blockchains, DApp360 Inc. is exclusively betting its future and business model on just one, Cardano. Why is DApp360 Inc. (a startup) harnessing its cart to the Cardano horse, especially when most of Cardano deliverables are not production-ready? I, CEO/founder of DApp360 Inc., was responsible for this decision. In this article, I explore the reasoning, requirements, and evaluation process that I employed in selecting Cardano as DApp360 Inc. blockchain of choice.
First, a little bit of background information about me illuminates the level of expertise and my decision-making process. I entered the nascent blockchain space/sector in 2017. By then, I already had over 12 years of experience developing software using several different programming languages. Early, in 2017, when I entered the sector, the Cardano blockchain and its coin (ADA), did not have a main net yet. As a result, my early evaluation and research of blockchains began with Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest pioneers. My prior software development experience, coupled with intense blockchain studies aided and accelerated my acquisition of several blockchain certifications offered by IBM, and the University of Buffalo, respectively.
Evaluate the fundamentals
DApp360 Inc. was still in its ideation or conception stage when I started evaluating potential blockchain candidates. Without knowing which blockchain was the ideal one, I initially had to evaluate them based on the fundamentals concepts that constitute a blockchain. These fundamental concepts dictate if a software is a true blockchain or an imitator. To the degree a software implements the existence and survival of these concepts within its protocols, one can determine the strength of a blockchain. Some of the fundamental concepts that guided my first round evaluation of potential blockchain candidates included the following:
- Decentralization – Prevent any malicious actor (government, individuals, hackers, etc.) from possessing the ability to shut down the entire system or network from a single central point of failure or shutdown. The lack of a single point of failure or shutdown makes blockchain more resilient than traditional centralized distributive systems.
- Permanent Immutability – Ensure that the cost of modifying or altering any record on the blockchain exponentially and exorbitantly expensive in terms of financial or computing cost. Such blatantly high cost makes modification attempts irrational.
- Trustless Consensus – The philosophy that all participating parties are trustless, and yet they all must arrive at an overwhelming agreement via a trustful consensus algorithm.
- Autonomous Governance – The system must self-operated and self-sustain without any dependence on or any control by an external entity (government, association, group, etc.) or individual(s).
- Personal Anonymity – Personal identity is not a requirement to interact with the system. Hence, each user has the right to maintain solely and securely his/her anonymity and identity.
- Transparency – Openness allows anyone with access or permission to explore transactions and blocks on the ledger.
My list of potential candidates included or excluded a blockchain-based on how anemic or vigorous the respective blockchain implemented fundamental blockchain tenants.
Evaluate DApp360 Inc. business requirements
Deciding on a suitable blockchain for DApp360 Inc. to bet its survival meant I had to evaluate the company’s business needs and business model. As a company providing both blockchain consulting and decentralized application (DAPPs) development, I had to consider many complex questions. The complexities arose from the fact that the current nascent blockchain sector has too many uncertainties and unpredictability. For example, many uncertainties currently surround how government regulations will affect blockchain fundamental concepts of users’ anonymity. Despite the uncertainties, I still had to identify DApp360 Inc.’s business requirements. The process began with determining DApp360’s needs. In determining these requirements, here are few of the questions I had to consider and to research:
- What kind of company is DApp360?
- Do we need just a blockchain or an entire blockchain ecosystem?
- How long do we think the selected blockchain will survive into the future?
- What is the blockchain readiness to adapt to governmental regulations?
- Will the blockchain interoperate with other blockchains.
- What is the plan or strategy for governance, improvement, and sustainability?
- What is the blockchain strategy to capture market share and increase mass adoption?
- Is the blockchain advertised capabilities a marketing/branding hype or real?
- How ambiguous or accurate is the smart contract language for the blockchain?
- What are the visions, goals, and personalities of the blockchain leadership team?
There were just a few of the many questions I had to answer in assessing DApp360 business requirements. While researching these questions, I identify that DApp360 had primary and secondary business needs. The primary business needs were deal-breakers, and the secondary business needs were not. Some of the primary business needs include the following:
- Longevity – the selected blockchain had a tangible game plan on its long-term future (at least ten years) survival strategy.
- Regulations – selected blockchain must be highly adaptable and efficiently ready to accommodate changing government regulations without significant retooling.
- Market share and mass adoption – selected blockchain must have a wholesale approach to capturing global market share and increasing mass adoption.
- Developer tools – As a company developing decentralized applications, DApp360 Inc. needs a blockchain development ecosystem that possesses optimal developer tools.
- Ambiguity in smart contract language – We need a smart contract language that minimizes inaccuracies and eliminates ambiguous runtime errors.
- Provable capabilities and performance validation – selected blockchain should have peer review, academia, or some other objective methods to validate the blockchain’s capabilities and performance. No hype!
These primary requirements were paramount in my decision on which blockchains made the final list of potential candidates. Some of our secondary needs were interoperability, governance, true decentralization, blockchain leadership team, etc.
The Selection Process
During the evaluation process, I was fully aware that no blockchain would meet all of our business needs. For example, I might have to learn a new programming language instead of using the current once I already know. The goal was to pick the top two or three from our list of previously evaluated blockchains. Once I had narrowed the list based on our primary requirements, then I could compare the remaining three candidates based on our secondary requirements. Using this approach, I eliminated previously selected candidates from the list of potential blockchains. I eliminated Bitcoin because it is not a decentralized application platform. I eliminated Ehtereum because its smart contract language, Solidity, is too ambiguous. Litecoin, at the time, had no strategy to solve scaling problems resulting in potentially massive growth. I eliminated XRP, and EOS because of their anemic implementation of blockchain decentralization. I eliminated Hyperledger, Quorum, etc. because they are enterprise-focused. This selection process continued until the potential candidates were two or three blockchains.
In conclusion, I selected Cardano after careful and objective evaluation of many other blockchains. My selection process initially produced a list of potential candidates based on the fundamental tenants of blockchain. I further narrowed the potential candidates based on DApp360 Inc.’s primary and secondary needs. In the end, I selected Cardano because I firmly believe it will add significant value to DApp360 Inc.’s competitive advantages. Our team firmly believes Cardano will eventually provide the utility, the platform, and developer tools that DApp360 Inc. needs to be successful. Our team also believes many global companies will integrate with Cardano if these companies must thrive or if they must survive in the upcoming Web 3.0 and blockchain era.