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The Best Programming Language for Blockchain

Written By Ivan on Tech

Jan 20, 2020

Several emerging technologies are already shaping the world. In fact, we will see more as we start the 3rd decade of the 21st century. One of these disruptive technologies is blockchain. As you may already know, this technology brings decentralization to decision making. It allows users to carry out anonymous peer-to-peer transactions. Blockchain is also the foundation of the crypto revolution that has taken the world by a storm. Therefore, there is a growing need to learn the programming language for blockchain.

We will go through the best Language for blockchain coding:

  • C++

  • Solidity

  • Java

  • Simplicity

  • Javascript

  • Python

First of all, the government and private companies are funding several projects and deploying the blockchain technology. For example, blockchain for e-governance, smart contracts for e-commerce, etc. Venture capitalists and corporations are also forging collaboration with blockchain companies for many projects. For example, to develop gaming tokens, supply chain management systems, etc. In addition, to create new crypto technology and distributed ledgers for traditional banks. As a result, the enormity of projects in the blockchain space has led to a shortage of competent developers in this field. Indeed, blockchain is the new gold for developers.

No wonder, a developer recently asked a question during a tech forum; “which language should I learn for blockchain development?” This is also the same question on the lips of many developers. The right answer to this question will be provided in this article. Not only that, but you will also get to know the best online course for blockchain development. If you are ready, here we go!

Here are the Best Programming Language for Blockchain:

 

C++

Without C++, maybe the tech world would have been several miles behind its present achievement. Certainly, C++ has remained consistent as one of the most popular programming languages in the globe. Today, it has become a force to reckon with in the blockchain industry. In addition, the usefulness of C++ in blockchain development cannot be far-fetched from the fact that it has the same principles as the blockchain. Such principles include polymorphism, data hiding, abstraction and encapsulation to prevent careless alteration of data.

This object-oriented programming language is behind major technology in the blockchain industry today. The first-ever implementation of blockchain, Bitcoin, was initially written in C++. It is a good programming language for blockchain for definitive reasons like advanced multi-threading capabilities, primitive control over memory. Also, the object-oriented features of this language avail 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

  • It has high speed
  • It’s independent and has multiple platforms
  • Strongly static types
  • Similar to C programming language

Cons

  • It’s complex and sometimes difficult to debug
  • Code redundancy
  • Does not support garbage collection

Ease of Use

C++ can be compared to C when talking about its ease of use. It is more challenging than Java and C programming languages. However, the C++ for Blockchain developers’ course offered in our Academy will get you covered even if you are a beginner.

New Blockchain Developer Course on Ivan on Tech Academy

Specific Use of C++ in the Blockchain Industry

C++ has been used in vital and significant blockchain projects like Ripple (a centralised ultra-fast currency), Monero, Litecoin, Bitcoin (the most famous cryptocurrency), EOS (a blockchain network with its own cryptocurrency), Cpp-ethereum (implementation of ethereum in C++), Stellar (a payment network) and QTUM (which is also known as an hybrid between bitcoin and ethereum).

Solidity

Solidity is specifically developed for blockchain development. It is the fastest blockchain programming language in the world today. Many of the problems faced by blockchain developers have been solved by Solidity with a great deal of accuracy. It is extensively used by Ethereum developers and it can be used to develop smart contracts. It has principles similar to JavaScript and hones the ability to create qualitative, decentralized applications.

Blockchain developers generally prefer to use Solidity for the Ethereum blockchain network as it allows them to write high-level code which can be easily compiled into low-level machine code. Ethereum is the most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. In addition, the programming language allows the developers to make use of the Ethereum digital transaction ledger in 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
  • Has a high level of popularity with Ethereum
  • Statically typed

Cons

  • It’s still very new
  • Its community is quite small and therefore has little support
  • It is not universal as it is mostly used in the Ethereum ecosystem.

Ease of Use

Solidity is quite easy to use. It is easier to understand than JavaScript. An average JavaScript developer will find it easy to learn Solidity in few days by taking our new blockchain developer course.

Specific Use of Solidity in Blockchain Industry

As noted earlier in this section, Solidity is the most popular language used in developing Ethereum smart contracts. The language is available on several blockchain platforms like Ethereum Classic, Ethereum, Counterparty, and Tendermint. Some of its applications in blockchain include business contracts, crowdfunding, auctions, etc.

Java

This programming language is primarily used in web designing. It is a general-purpose programming language that is object-oriented, class-based and concurrent. The language has always been ranking among the top programming languages. In addition, it has been a favorite among developers because it can easily run on any computer that has the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed on it.

Furthermore, Java has been a very critical language for the survival of the world wide web. In blockchain programming, it is useful for building highly interactive web pages. You can use it to create simple and immutable blockchains. With this immutability, it is impossible for anyone to change the contents or information in a block.

Today, Java remains the only language that can give C++ a run for its might in the industry. In addition, they both make use of the object-oriented approach and have a vast community of third-party platforms and applications. Perhaps, the greatest reason why blockchain developers prefer to use Java is because of its high portability. Programs that are written in Java language are portable across almost all computational devices because they don’t rely on system-specific architecture. Instead, they use the universal Java Virtual Machine for execution. This is indeed one of the most important reasons why Java is good for blockchain programming.

Pros

  • Supports for object-oriented programming
  • Independent of the operational system
  • It is easier in development than languages like C++ and C
  • In addition, it has big libraries and community collection
  • Also, there is no problem with memory allocation

Cons

  • Every program written on it needs the Java Virtual Machine to run
  • It is slower than languages like C++

Ease of Use

In terms of difficulty level, Java is more difficult than languages like Javascript and Python. However, it easier than C++ and Golang.

Specific Use of Java in the Blockchain Industry

Java has earned a good name for itself with its use in popular blockchain projects. For instance, the famous peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platform called NEM is written in Java. Other popular blockchain projects using Java include IBM blockchain, Ethereum, Neo’s contract, BitcoinJ (i.e. bitcoin implementation in Java), and Hyperledger contracts.

Simplicity

This is yet another programming language built for blockchain. Rusell O’Connor built the language in 2017. This language hides several logical components from developers in order to boost their productivity. In fact, this is one of the reasons why it is gaining high momentum in the developer community today.

It’s one of the best programming languages to write smart contracts both by professionals and open source developers alike. Just like C++, Simplicity also has object-oriented features and it uses principles similar to blockchain to prevent alteration to data. In addition, it has the capability to organize programs into trees. As a result, reduces block space requirements and allows for small transaction sizes.

Pros

  • It’s specifically built for blockchain
  • It also has the ability to create efficient, safe and functional code of “smart contracts”

Ease of Use

Simplicity has a functionality that is superior to Bitcoin scripting. Its capabilities can be likened to that of Java or Python. It can also be easily learned just like the two programming languages too.

Specific Use of Simplicity in the Blockchain Industry

Simplicity can be used to create smart contracts. Beyond that, it also has the ability to change the smart contract code even after activation. Therefore, it has an advantage over a programming language like Solidity. The main problem of existing smart contracts built with Solidity is their immutability; so even when there is an error, you cannot change them. With this new architecture by Simplicity, contracts can be changed once consensus has been reached. 

JavaScript

If you know JavaScript very well, you will agree that it occupies a place of pride among the comity of programming languages. Initially, developers found it difficult to use JavaScript for blockchain development. However, with the inception of the innovative NodeJs, developers can now build creative and quality blockchain apps using JavaScript.

One advantage that puts JavaScript on top of other programming languages is that it is already installed on most uses of JavaScript in one way or the other. This means you don’t need to worry about integration when using this programming language for your blockchain development. Just concentrate on the application logic.

Recently, Github ranked JavaScript as the most popular programming language among developers stating that 95% of websites use JavaScript in some way. Likewise, the language is now gaining ground with blockchain development as it can handle asynchronous code. This capability is very crucial to blockchain because there is the possibility of initiating millions of transactions at the same time. Asynchronous (i.e. parallel programming) allows a program to perform multiple actions at the same time. This is not what a standard synchronous programming language can handle.

An additional benefit is that running multiple actions simultaneously can help in improving application performance and enhancing software responsiveness. Consequently, blockchain programs can handle a huge volume of actions without dragging or slowing down performance. In short, users can save time and enjoy a seamless experience using such programs.

Pros

  • Asynchronous programming language
  • It is object-oriented
  • Also, it supports functional programming
  • Prototype-based.

Ease of Use

JavaScript is quite easy to learn and work with. Learning the basics is enough to start blockchain programming. However, you need to continue learning as you work with the language. There are several courses online today that teach JavaScript. Even for blockchain programming, there are quality courses that teach and give you in-depth knowledge. An example is our JavaScript for Blockchain course.

Click here to learn programming language for Blockchain Development

Specific Use in JavaScript Blockchain Industry

The famous place where JavaScript is used in blockchain includes ethereum.js and web3.js. Both help in connecting the frontend of an application to smart contracts and the Ethereum network. Another popular application is the Hyperledger Fabric SDK which is a big framework that is used often in big corporations and companies. It can also be used with NEO, a vast blockchain that can handle thousands of transactions per second. Finally, it is used in the Raiden Network, a high-speed infrastructure that is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

Python

Python is yet another programming language that is known for its simplicity as it is very easy to learn. Today, it is being used by several data analysts and scientists. It has a huge community that is active and has released libraries like NumPy, Pandas and SciPy used for different technical applications in science, math and engineering. Python is excellent when it comes to handling numbers especially in data processing, cleaning, analysis and visualization. It is an excellent programming language for blockchain as it can be used for writing smart contracts among many other capabilities.

Pros

  • Probably, it is the easiest programming language to learn
  • It’s fast and vast
  • It has several premade libraries and frameworks e.g. Tensorflow or Django

Cons

  • It’s mostly used as a server language
  • The libraries are not documented properly

Ease of Use

It goes without saying that if Python is easy to learn for regular programming, it’s equally easy to learn for blockchain development.

Specific Use Python in the Blockchain Industry

You can use Python for great projects in the blockchain industry. For instance, the implementation of Ethereum (pyethereum), smart contracts for hyperledger and also creating contracts for NEO.

Choosing Your Best out of the Best        

Certainly, you have read about the 6 blockchain programming languages in this article. As a result, you are probably wondering which language is right for your blockchain project. The best way to answer this question is to understand what you want to build and the networks you want to work with.

Suffice to say that a programming language that is best for you may not be the best for another blockchain developer. For example, if you want to implement a new cryptocurrency, you can use Simplicity. Apart from that, you can also use Solidity to work with the established Ethereum blockchain. However, if you are willing to have greater control over your own blockchain, then a programming language like JavaScript, Python and C++ will be a good choice for you. That is to say, they allow you to build a system and customize it to suit your taste.

Blockchain Programming versus Regular Programming

Virtually all the programming languages used for regular programming can also be used for blockchain programming. However, as a developer, you have to determine which language suits you best. This is essential because each project has its own specifics and by implication, its own programming language.

Developers are using famous programming languages like Java and C++ to build custom blockchain programs. Also, crypto engineers have created programming languages like Solidity and Simplicity specifically for blockchain development. However, are these languages the best to work with for blockchain? You will get to know in a few minutes.

StackOverflow recently carried out a developer survey. The survey revealed the most popular programming languages. Solidity and Simplicity are not in the top ten most popular programming languages. That is to say, blockchain development is still a small fraction of the entire software development. In addition, there is less competition for developers who have skills in blockchain programming.

Similarly, StackOverflow also asked developers what they believe about blockchain technology. Most of the developers are highly optimistic about the expansive usefulness of blockchain. The chart below briefly summarized the developers’ response.

Developer Opinion about Blockchain according to StackOverflow Survey

Meanwhile, the good thing is that becoming a blockchain developer is now easy. In fact, joining our Academy with over 12.000 students is a great start to get you on the right footing.

Conclusion

Blockchain technology is truly a disruptive technology that’s causing a great revolution in the globe. It will continue to shape how assets and data are transferred in modern-day business deals and transactions. It will also have a huge impact on companies and corporations, particularly in the banking industry. Then, it will impact other industries like legal and pharmaceuticals. Governments across the world are also witnessing the ingenuity of blockchain technology and are already utilizing it in providing governance to citizens.

Certainly, as the private and public sectors keep moving towards this incredible technology, it will create great opportunities for the few developers that possess skills in blockchain programming. Therefore, there is no better time to learn the best programming languages for blockchain development like now.

Furthermore, you can expect to see more new languages for the blockchain market in the coming years. The market boom is real, the surge is self-evident. The only way to be part of this economic prosperity is to learn how to use programming languages for blockchain development. Luckily, you can learn this online at our Academy. You can take courses like bitcoin programming courseblockchain development for businessgame development using blockchain, etc. Another good thing is that these courses are self-paced.

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