Smart contract projects are some of the most popular and talked about technologies being built in the crypto industry. We’ve compiled our favorite smart contract projects that we have seen so far in 2020. Learn about what we consider to be the most innovative smart contract projects that are aiming to dominate the blockchain tech space this year.

Ethereum is the project that first introduced smart contracts to a more wide-spread crypto community. It is one of the most successful projects utilizing smart contract technology and is likely to continue being the most well-known project.

Dreamed up by Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, this open-source blockchain-based platform has one of the largest networks of developers available, and due to this, it can keep up with the continually changing environment that is blockchain tech. The Ethereum network allows other projects to piggyback off of it, which enables the network to continue expanding over time. Impressively, it is also Turing complete due to the Ethereum Virtual Machine’s instruction set.

Because of the rich design concept and constantly growing developer base, this cryptocurrency (birthed in 2015) boasts one of the most massive and passionate communities in the crypto world. Programmers, traders, and decentralization proponents have all found themselves using and programming the Ethereum network. With so many crypto enthusiasts backing it, the project was certain to become one of the most groundbreaking in crypto history. At this rate, it’s sure to keep taking the world by storm, but we can only wait and see what the Ethereum network will do to advance smart contract technology.

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Like many crypto projects, Cardano is fully open source. While the project is continuously being developed, it has been fully launched to the public and is in working order. Cardano’s ADA is a well-known token that you can easily buy, sell or trade on various cryptocurrency exchanges.

Those in charge of the Cardano project have one main goal. As per their website, that is to “deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed.”

Using the esteemed Proof-of-Stake algorithm Ouroboros, Cardano functions in a way that is approved by and created by engineers from all over the world. With both a settlement and a control layer — the level of detail that has gone into this coin rivals many. Plus, Cardano keeps your privacy in mind — an important detail for many crypto enthusiasts.

To learn more about Ouroboros click here. Not interested in a detailed algorithm? Their website also has more information in layman’s terms.

Stellar, unlike many coins, was created by developers for developers. That means that it’s capable of handling extremely complex smart contracts, and it sticks to a more straightforward approach.

It is maintained by the Stellar Development Foundation, but that does not mean you can’t get involved. Stellar encourages you to dive in and do what you can, using the network they created.

Great for ICOs and other simple smart contracts, Stellar offers a clean, easy-to-use alternative for developers that want to build something with incredible efficiency. Its network is fast, it provides a high standard of security, and their team has many resources available.

If you are a developer and you would like to start a project that utilizes Stellar, you can visit their website for details.

Waves is an open blockchain project, strongly focusing on dApps and using Web 3.0 technology. To keep this smart contract project simple, Waves offers many online courses, workshops, and other methods of support for developers that may want to work with Waves.

Like many smart contract projects, Waves uses Proof-of-Stake. They also use a language that is designed to make development quicker and easier. This language, called Ride, is inspired by Scala and meant solely for programmers with an interest in decentralization.

If you are not a programmer, you may be more interested in the lower-cost fees when moving Waves token. Because of the algorithm, this coin is incredibly cost-efficient, and those that participate in the project take pride in that. Unlike some cryptocurrencies, you will not pay high network fees, and the programmers behind Waves will make sure that this continues.

Love crypto? Love useful, reliable data? Meet Aeternity: the cryptocurrency marrying blockchain tech to data. Using a hybrid of Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake model, Aeternity offers a method for powering Turing-complete smart contracts that are capable of being executed off-chain. For those that love privacy, this is a giant stride in the right direction.

From incredible security that removes single point of failure breaches to low-cost transactions, Aeternity offers everything that many crypto fans love. Plus, the team has aspired to make sure that the coin is easy to access on mobile devices, a feature that many coins lack.

If you are a developer, you may be less interested in the cost and more interested in what you can do with the Aeternity blockchain. It’s important to know that Aeternity has offered a resource to help those that build on the chain. This resource is called the Incubator Foundation. If you‘re rearing to start working, learn more about æpps and how you can use them. The Aeternity website can get you started, as well as their workshops and conferences.

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Security and flexibility are two of the most essential components of Qtum. By leveraging UTXO and more than one virtual machine (Ethereum’s EVM and the new x86 VM), the platform can offer high-end security. Qtum also uses Proof-of-Stake and a Decentralized Governance Protocol. When these two concepts are combined, a flexible coin is born. Unlike many cryptocurrencies, Qtum would not need to go through a hard fork for larger block sizes.

The Qtum team has worked strenuously to assure that smart contracts can be executed safely, making the platform perfect for businesses and their enterprise clients. Developers can find any documentation they may need on the Qtum website. They also offer a bounty program, so if you have an interest in finding bugs, give it a try!

Do you like the idea of smart contracts, but you prefer Bitcoin to Ethereum? RSK could be a viable option for you. Unlike digital assets that are closely related to ETH, RSK is linked 1:1 to Bitcoin. While it may have a bit more of a learning curve than some other cryptocurrencies, you can get started by installing a node.

Amazingly enough, you can even port Ethereum projects to RSK. If you would like to give it a try, check out their resources here. It is this level of flexibility that makes RSK a digital asset that people are getting excited about.

Smart Contract Technology Development in 2020

ShapeShift looks forward to seeing what these projects will continue to offer in 2020 and beyond. Let’s see what the decade brings to smart contract technology and keep an eye on the masterminds behind some of these incredibly innovative projects.

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