We are watching a lot of expansion in the blockchain world. It is starting to take on a vastly different look than it had even a year ago. We see this even on Hive where many recent changes and additions are altering how this chain will proceed going forward.
The present stage is where a lot of the foundation for the future is being built. We are witnessing infrastructure being developed that will spring many revolutionary applications and projects.
It is obvious that the initial decision to make Hive a specific purpose blockchain did not unfold as planned. Perhaps it was the market changed yet there is a race to provide general purpose services. In other words, a wide range of features such as Decentralized Finance (DeFi), NFTs, DAO, social media and gaming are going to be found on many different blockchains.
Therefore, we are seeing a jostling for position.
Operating System For The Future
While this is not quite literal, it is a good way to frame what is taking place.
In the world of mobile phones, for example, we basically have Android and IOS. These are the two standards that everyone defaulted to. When they were designed by the respective companies, there was a different approach in mind.
Apple, of course, built a self-contained ecosystem that they control. Google opted to make their software open-source and free to use. This, naturally, tied into their application store as well as feeding them data.
Blockchain is still evolving and there are few standards at this time. A lot of what is taking place is simply the decisions of developers to gravitate in the direction they want. Therefore, attraction is steering things.
Without a main company in charge, it is going to be interesting to see how things progress. For now, hype, marketing, and attention is what helped thrust a few chains into the limelight. The fact there was plenty of money floating around on some like Ethereum helped out a great deal.
Do they have what it takes, however, to excel going forward? While there are some advantages, we are seeing as many challenges.
Keep in mind that it is likely most chains will have a great deal of success. The reason is we need all the bandwidth we can get. In the conversion from a centralized world to one where trillions of transactions occur on decentralized system, we are going to need a lot more than a couple of chains handling all that traffic.
Technical Capabilities Do Matter
Thus far, much of what is offered at the base layer of Hive is overlooked. Nevertheless, we are seeing scaling and transaction fee challenges with some of the major chains.
For example, we know these problems plague both Bitcoin and Ethereum. For the former, it is not really a problem since that is taking on a unique position within the industry. Few are expecting the majority of innovation to occur on Bitcoin. The maximalists appear to believe it is the answer for everything but the technology simply is not there.
We now have Ethereum maximalists who take the same approach. They espouse the idea that everything is going to run on Ethereum, and nothing else. Ironic how they spent years attacking the Bitcoin maximalists only to embrace the same viewpoint.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to ignore all the other chains that developed in response to the drawbacks on Ethereum. Solana, Binance Smart Chain, and a host of other "Ethereum Killers" evolved to offer what Ethereum originally promised, with more efficiency and lower cost.
The challenge with these chains is they are highly centralized at this point. This might be okay to start with but will they decentralize over time? History is not kind to this idea. Those with power tend not to give it up.
Smart Contract Capabilities
There is little doubt the revolutionary impact that smart contracts are having on the world. Even in these early days, we can see the potential they carry to completely revamp many aspects of society.
We know there is debate about Layer 1 versus Layer 2. The scope of that discussion is outside this article. What is important about Hive is we are seeing the development of a few different smart contract platforms. The latest to be revealed is the road map put out by the @spknetwork.
The appeal is that developers can determine what they want to use. Having a blockchain that offers a number of different smart contract platforms does not tie them into one single area. We will see the ability for those coding to select what best serves their needs.
Another area that is vital is ease of use. This is the entire premise behind the Hive Application Framework (HAF). It is designed to make the development of applications on Hive more streamlined. Developers only need to focus upon what they are creating while the updating of the blockchain and assembling of data is handled for them by those who are knowledgeable there. It opens up the door to a wider range of developers. Basically, anyone who ever dealt with databases and web site design can build on Hive with this tool.
To learn more about this, read What Is HAF.
Essentially this is allowing developers to focus upon their front end work and leaving the back end stuff to others. That is a major step forward in establishing standards. People will gravitate to those areas where there is the least resistance as long as the tools they need are provided. Hive might be on its way to creating this environment.
Fast And Fee-Less
This is one of the most powerful advantages that Hive has. While much of the discussion is centers around scalability as well as transaction fees, Hive is moving beyond these challenges. The blockchain can already scale to levels far higher than it presently needs and there areno direct fees for any transaction on Hive.
We already know, for many transactions, there are fees on the front end. This is compounded if the backend also carries with it a large financial impact. Even the new chains that are reducing the cost a great deal will find it difficult to operate social media features and games. People simply are not going to pay to engage in those types of operations. Making a replacement for Web 2.0 that is more costly does not seem to work.
Powerful Back End
There are many vying to provide developers with a powerful back end upon which to tie into. It where the industry is at the moment. Will Ethereum and all its forks be the standard? Is there the possibility that DPoS steps up? Could Bitcoin end up proving the maximalists right? Can new designs becomes accepted and take over?
We do not know the answers to these questions. However, while there is a lot of jostling taking place, it is vital to remember nothing is settled at this time. Just because Ethereum looks like it will be the winner, that does not mean it will overcome all of the challenges in a timely manner. That is not to say, of course, that it will fail or the token is going to tank. In reality, that is highly unlikely.
What we do know is that development communities tend to adopt a few different standards. In the past this tended to be company driven yet we do have examples with the Internet in general. There were a number of protocols over the years that developers standardized to.
Will the same thing happen with blockchain? It only makes sense. We can keep creating new standards with every new chain that rolls out. However, at a certain point, we end up spinning our wheels. There is a time where we need to move forward and develop solutions that people can utilize. That will not happen if most of the focus is solely upon back end innovation.
There is a lot taking place with Hive that is not evident to most. We come to find out there is discussion about collaboration between Hive and Telos. Obviously there are no details at this time but it does show how Hive is starting to expand its wings. Couple that with the @spknetwork announcement of integration with Peerplays and we can see how things are spreading.
At this point, there is still a lot of development left to take place. All levels require attention. That said, we are going to see some standards forming. Will Hive be one that people gravitate towards, effectively becoming one of the operating systems for Web 3.0?
It is an interesting concept to think about.
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