Which Programming Languages Are Used For Blockchain?

We cannot deny the great impact of Blockchain Technology. This disruptive technology has already managed to take the world by storm and has experienced a boom like no other in recent times. Blockchain development is also more effective to modernize business processes. Due to its future, many IT companies began to put blockchain app development as one of their main services nowadays. So, which techniques do they use, and especially, which programming language is used for Blockchain? Let’s discuss it with us now!

Types of Blockchain Programming

  • Blockchain Architecture Programming

Before a blockchain can be released, important features that comprise its architecture and protocols must be settled. This must be written in code. For example, before the bitcoin blockchain was released back in 2009, the rules and regulations governing that situation were coded in C++. This kind of coding is generally done using languages like c and java which work closer to the machine.

  • Building a smart contract, or decentralized app (DApp)

In a normal centralized application, the backend code is running on centralized servers, whereas, a Dapp has its backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. Like an app, a DApp can have its frontend code written in any language and user interfaces that can make calls to the backend.

TOP 5 Blockchain Programming Languages

  1. Solidity

Solidity was created for blockchain development and is considered one of the fastest blockchain programming languages. It is mostly used by Ethereum developers to create smart contracts. It is similar to JavaScript and gives users the ability to create quality decentralized applications.

Blockchain developers prefer to use Solidity for the Ethereum blockchain network because it allows the developers to make use of the Ethereum digital transaction ledger by creating smart contracts between businesses.

To streamline the development process, Solidity uses preconditions, post-conditions, and invariants. This also makes the process of generating a contract much simpler for users.

Pros

  • Easy to learn
  • High level of popularity with Ethereum
  • Statically typed

Cons

  • Still a new language, needs time to get used to
  • Its community is small and has less support
  • Not universal and is mostly used in the Ethereum ecosystem

Major Cryptocurrencies that use Solidity

  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Tron

2. Rust

Rust is a low-level statically-typed programming language that is fast and memory-efficient — in an industry where scalability is not negotiable, Rust, as a language, finds a home. Rust is a relatively new programming language with enormous power while retaining simplicity, memory efficiency, reliability, and complexity combined.

By default, Rust assumes best design and development practices and also gives you a chance to alter them if you choose to. Rust has no garbage collector, which means there would be no surprise incident (caused by the language) during the runtime.

All of these factors make Rust a great choice for programming blockchain. It’s not surprising that one of the fastest blockchains, Solana, is built with Rust at its core.

Pros

  • High performance while ensuring memory safety
  • Support for concurrent programming
  • The growing number of Rust packages at crates.io repository
  • A vibrant community driving the development of the language
  • Backwards compatibility and stability ensured

Cons

  • Take time to get used to it because it’s a new language
  • Limited libraries compared to Python and Javascript
  • Verbose: state every program construct explicitly

3. Javascript

Initially, developers found it difficult to use JavaScript for blockchain development. However, with the creation of Node.js, developers can now build creative and quality blockchain apps using JavaScript.

A big advantage of using JavaScript is that you don’t need to worry about integration when using it for blockchain development. This allows you to fully concentrate your efforts as a developer on the application logic.

JavaScript is also becoming more popular with blockchain development because it can handle asynchronous code. This capability is crucial to blockchain because of the possibility of millions of transactions running at the same time. JavaScript asynchronous nature allows a program to perform multiple actions at the same time, thus improving application performance and enhancing software responsiveness.

Pros

  • Asynchronous programming language
  • Object-oriented
  • Supports functional programming
  • Prototype-based

Cons

  • Reduces performance when handling heavy computing tasks
  • The asynchronous programming model makes it difficult to maintain code

Use of JavaScript in Blockchain

  • Ethereum.js
  • Web3.js
  • NEO
  • Raiden Network (high-speed infrastructure built on top of Ethereum)

3. C++

C++ is one of the most popular programming languages on the globe and it has become a major language in the blockchain industry. In addition to its usefulness as a language in blockchain development, it also has the same principles as blockchain. Such principles include polymorphism, data hiding, abstraction, and encapsulation to prevent alteration of data.

The first-ever implementation of blockchain, Bitcoin, was initially written in C++. It is a good programming language for blockchain because of its advanced multithreading capabilities and primitive control over memory. The object-oriented features of this language give developers the opportunity to bind data and the methods intended to handle them together. This is similar to how blockchain uses cryptographic chains to bind blocks together.

Pros

  • High speed
  • Independent and has multiple platforms
  • Statically typed

Cons

  • Complex and can be difficult to debug
  • Code redundancy
  • Does not support garbage collection

Major Cryptocurrencies that use C++

  • Bitcoin
  • Ethereum
  • Litecoin
  • Dogecoin
  • Stellar
  • Ripple

4. Haskell

Haskell is a powerful and well-designed functional programming language designed to work with complex data. Its emphasis on “purity” makes it easier to create rock-solid applications which stay maintainable and error-free even as they grow in scale.

Pros

  • Good and accurate performance
  • Type inference included
  • Advance type safety compared to most mainstream languages
  • Highly expressive and concise syntax
  • Actively developed and improved

Cons

  • Complicated interface
  • Cryptic programs, sometimes complex to understand
  • Not suitable to make time-critical applications
  • Take much time to learn
  • Lacks widespread implementation

REFERENCES

Article: All You Need to Know about Blockchain Programming by Ankur Goyal

Article: Top 5 smart contract programming languages for blockchain by Eze Sunday

Article: Haskell Programming

Blog: Programming Languages Used for Blockchain Development by Daniel Yankiver

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