Next-Generation Blockchains: Polkadot, NEAR, and Cosmos

The evolution of the internet can be tracked in stages; first came the wide-area computer networks, then came the electronic mail system which was followed by the creation of Ethernet, and not long afterward, came the creation of the first browser. 

In the same way, it is possible to track the evolution of the internet, it is also possible to trace the development of Blockchain technology in terms of stages. These stages are marked by important developments and inventions. Experts have divided the evolution into three general parts, however, more major developments are to be expected. 

The evolution of Blockchain 

  • Bitcoin and digital currencies 

2009 marked the inception of both cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology. Satoshi Nakamoto outlined the Blockchain as we know it in the Bitcoin whitepaper. In the earliest stages, Blockchain set up the basic premise of a shared public ledger that supports a cryptocurrency network. 

 Blockchain may have begun with the Bitcoin network but has since gone to see use in a huge variety of other ways. 

  • Smart Contracts 

With time, developers came to believe that Blockchain could do more than just document transactions. The founders of the Ethereum company came up with an idea for Blockchain to benefit assets and agreements. 

And thus the idea of smart contracts was born; Smart Contracts are self-managing Blockchain-based contracts that are triggered by an event like the passing of a date or the achievement of a particular price goal. In response, the smart contract manages itself, making adjustments as needed and without the input of outside entities. 

  • Next-generation Blockchain 

Despite the persisting issues of transaction processing times and bottlenecking, new applications of Blockchain technology are being discovered and implemented all the time. In the following article, we are going to tackle three of the most revolutionary Blockchain protocols. 

  1. Polkadot Blockchain 

Polkadot is a network that allows arbitrary data –not just tokens– to be transferred across Blockchains. This essentially means that the protocol is a multi-chain application environment where a thing like cross-chain registries and cross-chain computations are possible. 

Polkadot can transfer this data across public, open, permissionless Blockchains and also across private, permissioned Blockchain. 

This makes it possible to build applications that get permissioned data from a private Blockchain and use it on a public Blockchain. For example, a school’s private, permissioned academic records chain could send proof to a degree-verification smart contract on a public chain. 

Polkadot unites a network of heterogeneous Blockchain called parachains and parathreads. These chains connect to and are secured by the Polkadot Relay Chain. They can also connect with external networks via bridges.  

  1. NEAR Blockchain 

The NEAR protocol is a cryptocurrency Blockchain with smart contract functionality. It is designed to be developer-friendly and facilitate and facilitate the creation of decentralized applications. NEAR is also interoperable with Ethereum. 

NEAR uses a sharding mechanism called Nightshade and a block generation mechanism called Doomslug to process over 100,000 transactions per second. Transaction fees on NEAR are so how that they require a special unit of measurement called ‘yocto’ to quantify. 

The NEAR Blockchain was developed by the NEAR collective, a group of over 50 talented developers located around the world. With the release of the NEAR main net in mid-October 2020, partial ownership of the NEAR Blockchain was given to NEAR token holders. 

The NEAR Foundation, a Swiss non-profit currently oversees the governance and development of the NEAR Blockchain. It consists of notable individuals in the cryptocurrency space including NEAR. 

As time goes on, full control of the Blockchain will be given to NEAR token holders. This will turn NEAR into a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). 

  1. Cosmos Blockchain 

Cosmos is a network made up of many independent Blockchains that utilize byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) consensus mechanisms, including Tendermint BFT. Each individual maintains control of its own governance but is interoperable with other Blockchains in the network. 

A blockchain that does not utilize BFT algorithms can be connected to the Cosmos network via” adaptor” Blockchains. Cosmos was not designed for a particular use case, but to be adaptable to suit many different use cases. 

Cosmos has two types of Blockchain; zones and hubs. Zones are regular Blockchains, while hubs are Blockchains that connect zones. The Cosmos Hub was the first Blockchain and hub to be concluded in the Cosmos ecosystem. It is a public, proof-of stable (PoS) Blockchain whose native asset is the atom (ATOM). 


It is difficult to say exactly where these developments will lead the technology and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. Supporters of Blockchain are likely to find this incredibly exciting; from their perspective, we are living in a moment with an epochal technology that is continuing to grow and unfold.