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Everscale and Aptos: A Comparisonby@everscale
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Everscale and Aptos: A Comparison

by EverscaleDecember 6th, 2022
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Everscale — a fifth generation blockchain — is a fifth-generation blockchain. Aptos is a finality algorithm rather than a classic blockchain. The network receives messages and sorts them, sort them and change the state on all nodes. In a real-time environment, it’s impossible to predict the exact behavior of users. In a public chain, it is easy to build types of smart contracts that would affect many accounts and make parallel execution impossible. Parallel execution of transactions is possible only from real applications. But If someone wanted to spam the network, they would send transactions that affect accounts in it.

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Everscale — A Fifth-Generation Blockchain

The crypto industry has already been with us for a while, and innovations are inevitably moving to the corporate and government sectors.


With the increased demand for remittance payment systems and integrations with central banks and governments, blockchain technology is going far beyond DeFi and NFTs.


However, with all of the variety of multichain ecosystems, there is huge demand from the corporate world to have a decentralized, scalable solution capable of performing fifty or one hundred thousand transactions per second (estimated amount of transactions in an average country including massive peaks of usage) in a trustless way with low latency and high security.


Those are the capabilities of a fifth-generation blockchainwhich is what Everscale is. At the same time, the Aptos mainnet was launched recently, and we’d like to dive deeper into the technical details and consider the theoretical and practical performance of the network.

Aptos Is Not a Blockchain in the Classic Sense

To put it simply, Aptos is a product of an acceleration of a single (one-shard) blockchain. In fact, Aptos doesn’t have any blocks. Instead, there is a sequential processing of incoming messages that consistently changes the state on all nodes.


That’s how finality on Aptos can be described. Broadly speaking, Aptos is a finality algorithm rather than a classic blockchain.

How Does It Work?

The finality is divided into separate stages. The network receives messages and sorts them. After that, all validators receive the sorted messages and change the state on all nodes. In that way, Aptos is more of a hybrid blockchain than a classic one.


That’s because state changes are made not by the propagation of finalized blocks, but by paralleled deterministic finalization on local nodes.


There are no blocks in a classical sense. First, incoming messages are sorted out, and all validators come to a consensus in what order it should be applied. Afterward, state changes are being applied, and a consensus with the final state is confirmed in the end.


We can compare this with a CPU design. CPUs work in a pretty similar way — there are some commands that can be executed in parallel.


CPUs try to predict the upcoming commands, and if a small piece of code doesn’t require the result of a previous code, all these commands can be done in parallel.


In other words, compliers optimize software to achieve such parallel execution in CPUs’ computations, and there’s simply no need to put sticks in the wheels and create software that would affect the parallel execution of a CPU.


But there is a fundamental difference in a blockchain.


In a public chain, it is easy to build types of smart contracts that would affect many accounts and make parallel execution impossible.


This design is highly vulnerable for a public chain, as it’s all based on the assumption that nodes cannot alter their behavior during the finalization process and follow the correct algorithm at all finality stages.


In a real-time environment, it’s impossible to predict the exact behavior of users. The architecture and security of any decentralized system are built around the negative assumption that any nodes can be malicious but not more than 50% in total and how we can prevent an attack.


This is fundamentally important, especially because Aptos’s deterministic predictable approach is the key element in its design.


Parallel execution of transactions is possible only from real applications. But If someone wanted to spam the network, they would send transactions that affect many accounts in it. Theoretically, using a deep technical analysis, it’s possible to organize an attack and slow a chain or even halt it.

Transactions per Second and the Network’s Speed

Block-STM is the core concept of accelerating the blockchain — this approach calculates state changes by executing transactions in parallel with further resolving of write conflicts.


Media sources and articles say this approach accelerates Aptos up to 160,000 transactions per second.


However, according to the Aptos whitepaper, modeling and tests show only 8–16 times acceleration compared to sequential transaction processing, which is in reality 200–500 transactions per second (general transactions from real applications but not specialized small or artificial transactions) for any single chain as practice shows.


Even if we consider the maximum values (500 x 16 = 8,000 transactions per second), this is far from even one workchain performance on Everscale (up to 15,000 tps on each workchain) that’s achieved by multithreaded computations.

Scaling of a Blockchain

Everscale can be scaled infinitely by adding more validators and workchains. That’s why our architecture allows us to scale on demand when it requires more computations. This design can also be considered a dynamic sharding.


As for Aptos, it’s a single chain with parallel execution if transactions allow doing so. The design simply doesn’t provide for sharding. It’s not clear how it will be implemented with the current architecture.


Meanwhile, Everscale is capable of both data and computational sharding and it’s already in production in a real-time environment.

Decentralization

Speaking of the Aptos chain, all signatures collected are weighted without max factor restrictions, which leads to reducing decentralization (similar to EOS delegated Proof-of-Stake). That means validators get rewards for staking the maximum amount of tokens.


The most profitable way is to run a single validator with the maximum stake. This naturally leads to the centralization of the network.


Everscale has max factor restrictions. It’s simply not possible to validate with a maximum stake; if a participant wants to earn more rewards for validation, then more validators/nodes are required.

Concept of Development on the Aptos Blockchain

Aptos has its own programming language Move — inspired by Rust: Move, which is a new smart contract language for the crypto developers community. However, the most popular smart contract language with the big developers’ community is Solidity.


For us, it is a controversial decision. A lack of tools and the need to learn a new language is a huge barrier for developers who want to join the Aptos ecosystem.

Development on Everscale

Why do we need to create a new language and tools for formal verification when we already have a proven one?


You can write Everscale smart contracts using the following languages: C, C++, and Solidity, and get almost automated formal verification due to the framework developed by Everscale community members.

Summary

Aptos can be considered a greatly accelerated single chain, and it is several times faster than a normal non-sharded blockchain. However, any single-chain design eventually has its limits.


Regarding the acceleration of a single chain, Aptos developed a finality algorithm based on sequential and parallel processing, but the impossibility of scaling and the potential wide vector of attacks lead to the slowing of the network and an impasse in terms of substantial growth. A reasonable question arises:


“Is it a fifth generation blockchain or another attempt to build a better Ethereum?”



About the Everscale network

Everscale is one of the most technologically advanced blockchain networks, incorporating all of the blockchain innovations and concepts of recent years.


Its versatility gives it the potential to become a decentralized hub for lots of blockchains and resource-demanding applications such as GameFi, DeFi, supply chains, etc.


Due to its dynamic multithreading and sharding technology, there’s always more room to add new nodes and shards to handle any load — and that’s something that no other blockchain can offer yet.


Everscale has powerful developer tools, such as compilers for Solidity and C++, SDK and API, client libraries ported to more than 20 languages and platforms, and a range of decentralized browsers and wallets.


More About the Everscale network:

Website | Twitter | Whitepaper | Github | Telegram Ann | Telegram | Discord


Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash