Looking at the most popular blockchains based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
There are a lot of EVM compatible blockchains coming out. Crypto exchanges are trying to release their own Ethereum-killer chains. And developers are rushing to build the next big DeFi platform on those chains. Just check out vfat.tools for a list of chains and their projects.
Ethereum Virual Machine (EVM) blockchains are basically copy/pastes of the Ethereum blockchain. These new EVM blockchains use most of the same code as Ethereum, but vary in their consensus method. They mostly use Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus protocols.
The most popular EVM blockchain spin-off is Binance Smart Chain (BSC) created by Binance. It became very popular because it was an alternative for people who wanted to use DeFi but didn’t want to pay the insane gas fees on Ethereum.
BSC uses a PoS consensus method with 21 validators. This allows it to operate with lower gas fees.
The other new EVM blockchains are pretty much running under same idea: Proof of Stake allows for lower gas fees and faster transactions, which attracts more users onto the chain.
Top EVM Chains as of Q2 2021
To get a list of the top EVM chains, I’m going to look at the chains offered on SushiSwap.
SushiSwap is a DeFi project that forked UniSwap — one of the original Ethereum DeFi projects. Unlike UniSwap, SushiSwap has expanded into other blockchains.
The chains that Sushi supports will give us a good idea of the most important chains in DeFi right now.
Sushi supports these chains:
Chains and their native (gas) tokens:
- Binance Smart Chain (BNB)
- Polygon chain (MATIC)
- Huobi ECO Chain (HT)
- Avalanche chain (AVAX)
- Fantom Opera chain (FTM)
- Harmony chain (ONE)
- xDai chain (STAKE)
For the upcoming Part 2 of this post, I’m going to omit OKExChain. Maybe I’ll include it in a second batch of EVM chains later on. Some of those chains are:
Adding EVM Chains to MetaMask
In order to interact with these chains and all their DeFi projects, we’ll need a way to interact with the chains from our browser.
I’m going to use MetaMask as my web wallet for all of these chains. The nice thing about EVM chains is that they are easily integrated by MetaMask.
Adding a chain
To add one of the EVM chains, pretty much all you do is Google “how to add X chain to metamask” and you will find a guide.
You’ll usually find guides on the official websites of these projects — you also might find a Medium article with the steps. Adding networks to MetaMask isn’t really a security issue. All you are doing is telling MetaMask what network it should query for chain information.
The guides will tell you this information:
Network Name: <network_name>
New RPC Url: <chain_rpc_url>
Block Explorer URL: <block_explorer_url>
If the guide asks you to input your seed phrase, private key, or passwords — it’s a scam. All you need to add are the five things above.
I’ll list the guides that I used below. But keep in mind that these URLs might be broken if you are viewing this post far into the future 😉.
- Binance Smart Chain (official site)
- Polygon chain (official site)
- Huobi ECO Chain (medium article)
- Avalanche chain (official site)
- Fantom Opera chain (official site)
- Harmony chain (official site)
- xDai chain (official site)
And if you really trust me, you can just copy and paste the details from my gist.
Example: Adding Fantom
To add Fantom, I searched “add fantom to metamask”.
The top hit was the official Fantom Foundation website with a guide.
Once you’ve added Fantom to your MetaMask, you can visit sites that interact with Fantom, like SushiSwap.
So I did that for all the chains and now I’m able to access all the chains from my MetaMask.
Again, if you trust that my information is correct, then you can just copy and paste all the chain information from my gist.
Next Post: EVM Chain Gas Tokens
All of these chains have gas tokens. These gas tokens will become more valuable if their chain gains popularity. On the philosophies of SushiSwap and UniSwap — I side a bit more with SushiSwap. I think that these EVM chains will last. I’m not really a Ethereum maximalist. I don’t think I could even afford to be 😅.
So in the next post I’m going to buy $100 worth of each gas token and I’ll set up a tracking system to see how well they perform against each other over time.