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If you’re tired of Ethereum fees, there are many options available that let users accomplish similar transactions at lower rates.
Whether you’re a newcomer making your first transaction or an experienced veteran who can recall when Ethereum launched, there’s no denying that network fees are prohibitive. They have shot up to a highly unsustainable level, especially for the average user, prompting network participants to look for more efficient and cost-effective alternatives. With fees creeping from a few cents to sometimes breaching $100 per DEX transaction, the case for alternative smart contract platforms is evident. Here are five alternatives for anyone fed up with Ethereum’s high fee environment.
Formerly known as Matic, Polygon provides a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum applications, fixing the problems ETH’s currently facing with its congested blocks. With Polygon, transactions are first processed off-chain before being finalized on the Ethereum mainchain, making it easy to launch fast, cost-efficient, and interoperable blockchain apps. When interacting with Polygon applications, users can finalize transactions in seconds with negligible transaction fees, at a fraction of a cent to instantly interact. As more applications branch out to Polygon as a smart contract alternative, it will continue to grow until Ethereum can fundamentally address its layer-one scalability problems.
Radix is building the first dedicated layer one network for decentralized finance, positioning itself well as DeFi becomes more pervasive. With the launch of its Cerberus betanet, Radix will deploy a sharded blockchain infrastructure to create a high throughput, low latency network that places the needs of retail users at the forefront. Through sharding, applications can operate independently and with the base chain, allowing for extremely fast and cheap transactions; the opposite of what is currently available on Ethereum, in other words. Cross-sharding interoperability represents the holy grail of scaling, and with Radix, this promise is finally becoming a reality in a live environment. Radix Betanet is coming at the end of April, things are starting to heat up for Radix.
Avalanche has a lofty goal, merging the complex landscape of financial markets into a unified global network where interacting with the platform is as easy as sending an email. Sounds perfect, right? This is the infrastructure Avalanche is forming, and it’s a much cheaper defi alternative than Ethereum. Avalanche’s novel consensus mechanism can process thousands of transactions per second, putting it on par with some of the top centralized networks on the market. Using sub-networks, developers and users have full control over their assets and platforms, allowing for cheap and seamless integration.
While offering full customizability to developers, including the option to specify all platform features, including whether to become a permissioned or permissionless platform, and how to deploy smart contracts, Avalanche also offers its users near-zero transaction fees. Although Avalanche does not have as many up-and-running applications as some of its counterparts, it is a great option to look outside of Ethereum.
Stablecoins have become one of the most valuable creations of the blockchain industry, providing users all the benefits of distributed ledger technology without facing the high levels of volatility experienced by most speculative cryptocurrencies. xDai has created an interoperable USD stable blockchain with multi-chain staking possibilities to expand on stablecoin possibilities. xDai is already accessible with many different options, including DeFi dApps, NFT infrastructures, DAOs, and other blockchains. xDai allows for easy access to DeFi with stable cryptocurrencies, creating a unique and highly usable platform. With lightning-fast transactions across multiple blockchains and extremely low fees, xDai is a viable smart contract platform that’s just getting started.
Like Polygon and Avalanche, Cardano is looking to offer a more cost-effective DeFi and smart contract platform. Cardano’s ADA has seen a meteoric rise in 2021, becoming a top three cryptocurrency by total market cap. Cardano does not have many applications currently running on the network, but that hasn’t stopped investors from speculating as it prepares to launch more.
Like many of the other so-called ‘Ethereum killers,’ Cardano offers a fast and usable smart contract platform, but will developers and end-users actually utilize it? One thing is for sure, Cardano has generated a substantial following based on the premise of speedy and inexpensive transactions that are interoperable with other blockchains. When the network comes to fruition and starts hosting more live dApps, it will be interesting to see whether it has lived up to the hype as a low-cost, high throughput Ethereum alternative.
If you’re tired of Ethereum fees, there are many options available that let users accomplish similar transactions at lower rates. When Ethereum 2.0 goes live within the next year or two and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) verification is fully implemented, transactions will be much cheaper and faster, but until then, check out these highly accessible alternatives.