Almost every modern computing system runs an operating system (OS). Whether you’re using a smartphone or driving an electric vehicle, the chances are that you’re interacting with an OS of some type. Furthermore, operating systems change how we interact with machines by enabling us to click on fields and icons instead of manually inputting commands. The introduction of the graphical user interface (GUI) made computers accessible to the general public and forever changed the course of history. Moreover, the blockchain operating system is the latest evolution of the OS. It allows users to benefit from the security of a blockchain while removing intermediaries from our online activities. But how does a blockchain operating system work?
In this article, we’re going to explore blockchain operating systems. Also, we’ll discuss how they benefit users and how they compare to traditional operating systems. Additionally, we’ll explore some of the top blockchain operating system projects available in 2022.
What are the Benefits of Blockchain?
Before we dive into operating systems, let’s take a moment to consider the benefits of blockchains. Blockchains provide a tamper-proof record of transactions. Also, because public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are decentralized, they have no single point of authority. Most computing networks rely on centralized, siloed servers. However, blockchains use a distributed network of computers called nodes to create unparalleled security.
Furthermore, these nodes have a financial incentive to act honestly. Anyone who attempts to cheat or defraud a blockchain network risks financial loss. As such, blockchains allow peer-to-peer (P2P) networks to support transactions and data transfer without intermediaries. Additionally, the distributed nature of blockchains marks them resilient to natural disasters and hacks.
Moreover, blockchains and smart contracts facilitate community governance. Instead of decision-making laying in the hands of a small group of powerful individuals, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) allow users to decide the future of a blockchain protocol. As a result, it creates an equitable environment for all kinds of web applications and creates the base layer of the Web3 landscape.
What is an Operating System?
An operating system (OS) is the essential software that runs on a computer and manages processes, software, hardware, and memory. Also, an OS facilitates communication between computers and humans without the human needing to speak the same language as the computer. Further, at any given time, multiple programs can run simultaneously on your computer. Each program needs to access things such as memory and the central processing unit (CPU) of your computer.
This is where an OS comes into play. An OS allows each program to access parts of the computer they need to function. Most computers have a pre-installed OS, such as Windows, macOS, or Linux. However, some machines can be used in conjunction with multiple operating systems. That said, one thing that each OS has in common is that they feature a graphical user interface (GUI). Moreover, the GUI is what creates the display on our monitors and allows users to click on menus and icons.
Additionally, operating systems serve as the gatekeeper for a computer’s resources. They allocate resources according to the required programs and prevent scheduling conflicts and interference between programs. Also, operating systems run indefinitely until a machine is switched off. On the other hand, most other programs terminate upon the completion of specific tasks. Below, we take a close look at some of the most prominent operating systems for personal computers.
Microsoft Windows is perhaps the most well-known operating system, with around 90% of all PCs running some of its versions. Further, it was the first OS to feature an IBM-compatible graphical user interface (GUI). Following the release of the first version in 1985, Windows enabled DOS users to navigate a “virtual desktop” using a mouse for the first time. This was a game-changer for PC users who had previously typed commands and directory paths to navigate systems.
Apple – macOS
Created by Apple in 1984 for use in Macintosh PCs, macOS, also known as “Mac OS” and “Mac OSX”, is an operating system. Many consider the macOS GUI instrumental in shaping modern computer interfaces. In the 1980s, Apple allowed Microsoft to use elements of macOS for use in Windows. Since 1992, Apple’s OS has not been used for any computers other than those made by Apple. Furthermore, Apple’s OS has helped to lower the barrier to entry for PCs by making them intuitive and easy to navigate.
Linux is an open-source operating system used for multiple applications. The first version was launched in 1991. Since then, Linux has gone on to power all kinds of devices, from electrical appliances to phones and cars. Also, Linux powers stock exchanges worldwide and is the OS of choice for every supercomputer. Plus, it powers the vast majority of the internet, despite being one of the least common choices for PCs. Additionally, Linux is responsible for powering the Android OS.
Operating Systems for Mobile Devices
Now that we’re familiar with some of the most popular operating systems for desktop and laptop computers, let’s look at operating systems for mobile devices. Devices such as mobile phones and tablets require an operating system just like personal computers do. However, these operating systems differ from those found on PCs.
Generally speaking, most mobile operating systems are less feature-heavy than their desktop and laptop counterparts. This is because most mobile devices can’t run the same software as PCs. Nonetheless, mobile devices allow us to do many of the things we can do on a laptop or desktop, such as watching movies, sending messages, reading emails, and browsing the internet. Below, we look at the two most popular operating systems for mobile devices.
If you’re struggling to keep up when discussing Web3 topics, save our “Crypto Terminology” article for later reading to expand your Web3 vocabulary!
Android is a Linux-based mobile operating system and the most widely used OS for smartphones and tablets globally. It uses a modified version of the Linux kernel and allows for high performance on modestly priced devices. Moreover, established in 2003, Android began making operating systems for cameras. However, the company shifted its focus to target a broader market. In 2005, Android was acquired by Google. Now, many Android devices come with a suite of pre-installed Google apps.
The OS made for Apple iPhone devices and formerly Apple’s iPad and iPod Touch, iOS is the second most popular mobile operating system. Furthermore, the system derives much of its functionality from “Mac OS X” and is the foundation of the watchOS, tvOS, and iPadOS operating systems. Moreover, developed in 2005 and launched in 2017, iOS revolutionized mobile technology by enabling users to interact with third-party applications using hand gestures.
What is a Blockchain Operating System?
So, now that we’ve covered traditional operating systems, let’s look at how a blockchain operating system works. Most people familiar with blockchain understand that it uses a distributed network of nodes to provide a secure, immutable ledger of transactions. While this naturally lends itself to financial applications, it has many other use cases. One such use case is the blockchain operating system.
Most operating systems gather transactions and commands from a computing device and execute them locally. However, a blockchain operating system enables any command or transaction to be recorded, authenticated, and executed on a blockchain via the cloud. Moreover, this requires blockchain protocols that facilitate the execution of user commands via a GUI. Nonetheless, it creates an immutable, anonymous record of events on-chain that cannot be altered or manipulated.
A blockchain operating system works much like a traditional operating system. However, it inherits the security of a blockchain. Most blockchain operating systems are mobile-specific, or what is known as a “mobile blockchain-enabled virtual operating system”. These operating systems allow mobile devices to conduct multiple operations from a single system. Also, they enable users to access websites from their smartphones with blockchain-grade security and anonymity as standard.
Moreover, blockchain operating systems aim to make it easy for developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) by providing tools and services that remove friction from the development process. These tools are designed specifically for interfacing with blockchains and address many of the common issues developers face when building dapps. If you’re interested in learning more about building dapps, learn how to make a Web3 website with Moralis Academy!
Nynja is a blockchain operating system provider creating a virtual operating system in Latin America in partnership with smartphone manufacturer Amgoo. The first iteration of this initiative will see users receiving a primary block of data upon activating their Nynja accounts. Also, Amgoo will pre-install the Nynja blockchain OS on approximately 150,000 smartphones each month, along with a crypto wallet. Furthermore, the device-agnostic Nynja OS features secure payments and communications layers. Plus, users can use voice, text, and video conferencing features along with a suite of project management and scheduling tools. Moreover, the Nynja OS will boast various developer tools and services for enterprises.
Additionally, users will be able to buy and sell digital content via the on-demand Nynja marketplace. This marketplace aims to become a one-stop-shop for professional services and goods where anyone can post a job, look for work or sell a verified product using the native Nynja cryptocurrency, NYNS.
Cartesi is a decentralized blockchain operating system project. It enables developers to create scalable, decentralized logic using standard programming environments. Also, Cartesi features a suite of developer tools and libraries that many developers will find familiar.
The project aims to facilitate the creation of sophisticated decentralized applications (dapps) using layer-2 technology. Cartesi uses “rollup” technology to reduce congestion on the Ethereum blockchain. Rollups allow for the bundling of multiple transactions into one single transaction. As such, it helps to reduce transaction fees and prevent bottlenecking. Also, the native CTSI token serves as the fuel of the Cartesi ecosystem. Moreover, it is essential to pay for goods and services built on Cartesi.
ConsenSys Codefi is an enterprise-grade blockchain operating system for finance and commerce and one of the leading blockchain OS projects on the market. Furthermore, it provides a modular suite of tools that make it easy for businesses to integrate Web3 and interact with blockchains. The project launched in 2014 and was created by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin.
Also, ConsenSys Codefi makes it easy for businesses to create decentralized networks and tokenize assets on the blockchain. What’s more, the project is used by big-name clients such as the Ethereum Foundation, Santander, MetaMask, Aave, and Societe Generale.
Blockchain Operating System Explained – Summary
Blockchain operating systems are one of the latest efforts to decentralize the internet. Web3 emphasizes the need for a community-governed internet that takes power out of the hands of tech companies and places it into the hands of users and creators. However, relying on traditional operating systems is counterintuitive to this vision, as it creates a single point of failure and relies on centralized servers.
Blockchain operating systems aim to address this by incorporating blockchain-grade security into devices. Rather than logging your activity on a centralized, siloed server, a blockchain OS provides a decentralized alternative that puts user security and privacy first. Though this technology may still be in its infancy, the advantages of decentralization at this level are becoming increasingly attractive for everyday people.
Take your first steps towards a life-changing career in Web3 today with Moralis Academy! Also, see our “How to Invest During a Crypto Bear Market” article to learn how to navigate market downturns!