Block by Block: A Comparative Analysis of the Leading Distributed Ledgers

Hands weaving
August 30, 2018

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This report compares nine distributed ledger platforms on nearly 30 metrics related to the capabilities and the health of each platform. The analysis looks at a broad range of indicators — both direct and indirect — with the goal of synthesizing trends and patterns that define the market leaders.

We compare each of the systems on a variety of criteria. The criteria are grouped into three categories:

  1. Technical Structure & Feature Set
  2. Business Considerations
  3. Health Indicators

For each category, we examine a variety of largely objective metrics in hopes of being able to draw some meaningful comparisons that will provide you with firm ground for making an assessment of suitability for purpose.

The final section of this paper discusses in detail the conclusions reached in this report. The most significant conclusions being:

  • Ethereum is the clear leader in the public blockchain space, with broad support and a large number of resources and developers.
  • Corda and Fabric lead in the private blockchain space, with Fabric benefitting from the backing of Hyperledger and IBM.
  • NXT is a project of some concern, whose future seems in doubt.
  • Quorum, after a strong start, has slowed and appears to be going through some changes that bear watching.

This paper was produced by Mercy Corps’ Technology for Development team which cultivates the innovative application of leading-edge technology to make global humanitarian and development work more effective and efficient. This analysis seeks to enable users to harness the power of distributed ledger technologies for social good.