Cointelegraph is following the development of an entirely new blockchain from inception to mainnet and beyond through its series, Inside the Blockchain Developer’s Mind, written by Andrew Levine of Koinos Group.

We recently released the third and final version of the Koinos testnet, which is why I want to talk about something few projects like to talk about: Building blockchains is development hell. In this article, I’ll explain why and how other developers can avoid getting stuck in it.

At first blush, building a blockchain doesn’t sound so hard. A blockchain is just a combination of well-established cryptographic primitives, which, when properly implemented, allow for the construction of a ledger containing a verifiable history of transactions by a network. The more decentralized the network, the more trustworthy the history.

Blockchain “frameworks”

In an effort to make building new blockchains easier, other teams have released blockchain “frameworks” that, in theory, should eliminate the need for developers to worry about building the blockchain itself so that they can focus on whatever unique features they want to build into the blockchain. Cosmos, EOSIO and Polkadot’s Substrate are examples of such blockchain frameworks.

When our team stopped working on Steem (the world’s first fee-less blockchain), our original intention was to leverage an existing blockchain framework to build a blockchain designed to be as accessible as possible. We had spent four years refining Steem’s fee-less design and figured that, by porting that solution into an existing…

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