I believe that ETH has shown severe limitations that will prevent it from ever achieving widespread dApp adoption after cryptokitties was released. A blockchain capable of true scaling should not be crippled by something so simple. I appreciate the argument that ETH is early in its development and already more capable than any other smart contract enabled blockchain, however to truly shine a blockchain should be incorporated with an entirely different stratosphere of professionalism to anything we've seen in the past before. A blockchain with incredibly large funding, a huge professional and academically backed team, and most importantly, foundational tech that will allow worldwide scaling to billions of users utilizing millions of dApps. Three projects come to mind as potential ones that have the sort of vision and funding required to meet these requirements: NEO, ADA and EOS.
I've immediately dismissed NEO since it will require $10,000 USD to launch a Smart Contract and because it is based within communist China. This will prevent it from replacing ETH as "the" go-to Smart Contract platform. I do understand the argument that high entry cost prevents scam ICOs, however Smart Contracts will be used for much more than just ICOs. I believe NEO will do fantastic in China and may even take the #2 spot for a while, but for very long term forward thinking, I don't think it will remain there. I also dismissed NEO since a majority of participants will be allowed to vote-in changes, and as far as I understand also potentially alter transactions. That is a heavy red flag for me. For these reasons I've narrowed my focus to just Cardano and EOS.
Now back to EOS vs ADA. Here is the issue with discussions I've encountered so far: If you go to either the EOS or Cardano reddit, or their own respective communities, both will present very convincing arguments of how they're in an "entirely different dimension" to the other project. It's incredibly hard to find a detailed, impartial discussion as to which will ultimately take the lead as the Smart Contract platform to replace ETH.
Here are my thoughts so far focusing on the benefits of each project -
EOS will raise some $1 billion in capital. No matter how far behind it may be from Cardano academically, that's an incredible amount of money to play with that could enable it to become something miraculous. No other project will probably raise these sorts of funds again for years to come. Dan Miller is also a very respected blockchain programmer with live examples of successful projects. Also, this will be a project that supports the spirit of open source and the blockchain movement. Its spirit and vision will always have decentralization away from government control in mind.
Cardano has published a lot of literature in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Papers that have been actually reviewed by cryptographers and scientists. It brings together a wealth of independent people that are all individually capable of great things, and puts them at work together on this large-scale project. Its founder has shown he can stick by the principle of "immutability" instead of "rule of the mob" by supporting Ethereum Classic and not supporting the Ethereum hard fork. Many people see this as a negative, I see it as a positive and respect the principle of immutability. I believe immutability is the whole reason we are here. If you respect the decision of 51% of people to reverse transactions, then why don't we stick with Republicans Vs Democrats and whatever they want to do with fiat? Since the winning party technically represents the majority. It's no different, and in my opinion has nothing to do with Satoshi Nakamoto's vision.
Now for the negatives -
Two things concern me with EOS: The project is too heavily reliant upon Dan Miller and his capabilities. A revolutionary new Smart Contract platform will need to survive on its own, and not on the reputation of one man. Also, it lacks the widespread academic research of Cardano supporting it.
As for Cardano, whilst it has widespread academic backing, its ICO raised less than a tenth of what EOS will. Even if this does end up being the better platform in theory, there is a real chance EOS could eclipse it through sheer funding alone, by hiring the best programmers in the world to rival whatever forward steps ADA may make. There is also a concern that ADA was created by a private company - Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK). How much influence they will have over the independent immutability of ADA I am unsure of. My biggest gripe with ADA: Its ICO wasn't widely advertised and was mostly available only to Japanese participants. This goes against the open nature of crypto whereby ICOs are usually widely advertised, especially here on BitCoinTalk before launching. It was the complete opposite of what EOS did, which was to launch the fairest and most open ICO in history.
As an overall, EOS has the reputation of Dan Miller, a huge amount of funding, and the spirit of blockchain at its core. ADA on the other hand has real academic peer-reviewed backing and an immensely large team of professional academics behind it. It doesn't depend upon one or two individuals to keep it together.
All in all, I am utterly confused as to which platform I should pay the most attention to in terms of investment, development, and promotion. I know the common answer is "both", but I'd really like to pick one and ride with it.
So, in your opinion which project will take the lead in the future to become the next #2 coin after BTC, potentially replacing ETH as the "go to" Smart Contract platform? And what are your reasons for thinking that?