A recent working paper by German bank Aareal and the Frankfurt School Blockchain Centre reviewed four major blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects with the aim of helping corporate decision makers choose the most suitable one for their business needs. The paper, titled How Should Companies Select a Specific Blockchain Framework?, looked at various functions and features of the competitors and analysed key points such as performance values, cost efficiency and security.
While each of the four – Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, and Quasar/Stellar – were deemed to hold advantages in certain scenarios, Ethereum edged ahead overall, even in a permissioned environment, due to its open source nature and global distribution enhancing its security aspects.
All Round Blockchain
The authors of the paper, Daniel Höfelmann and Philipp Sander, recognised that being permissionless and public made Ethereum “the all round blockchain” but voiced concerns over its possible transaction volumes and highlighted past setbacks to show that its “…complexity can overwhelm many Ethereum developers.”
It was suggested that Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda and Quasar/Stellar share similar strengths and weaknesses but Fabric’s association with the Linux Foundation provided added confidence that they could deliver on large or complex projects.
Evaluating Quasar/Stellar proved problematic as gaps were found by the researchers in terms of a shortage of data and documentation outside of a test environment.
Although not directly evaluated in the paper for any of the blockchains and DLTs under review, the authors clearly see that trust is the major asset for any proprietary vendor in a permissioned network because only the “…vendor can validate issues and problems and maintain and evolve the technology as a whole.”
As a result, without explicit trust in the provider by the participants, all permissioned DLT solutions face the “…loss of all significant attributes, which are especially attributed to the public blockchains.”