A programming language is a formal language comprising a set of instructions that produce various kinds of output. They are used in computer programming to implement algorithms.
Most programming languages consist of instructions for computers. Thousands of different programming languages have been created, and more are being created every year.
Aside from functionality, programming languages are essential in ensuring that blockchain networks and crypto infrastructure are secure. They enable computers to understand instructions.
Programming languages are instrumental in ensuring blockchain networks run smoothly and transactions are executed with precision. Blockchain developers are highly in demand. Learning the top programming languages for blockchain development will definitely give you an edge over other developers, so that’s what this article is all about.
The type of blockchain development platforms and programming languages are evolving. While many traditional ones are proving to be undisputed leaders, many new entrants are bringing radical changes in the development environment.
Types of Blockchain Programming
- Blockchain Architecture Programming: Before a blockchain can be released, important features that comprise its architecture and protocols must be settle. 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.
Programming Languages to Consider for Developing Blockchain Applications
Solidity is one of the fastest-growing blockchain programming languages that was created for writing smart contracts that run on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). It was developed by Ethereum which is a blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system. Since Solidity is created keeping blockchain in mind, it is suited to solving many of the problems faced by blockchain developers. Solidity is developed similar to the ECMAScript syntax but it has features like variadic return types, static typing, etc. So it is a great language to learn if you want to focus specifically on blockchain development in depth.
The Solidity programming language was developed by Vitalik Buterin, the mastermind behind Ethereum, and serves blockchain development companies with a myriad of benefits, such as:
- Statically typed programming,
- Possibility of inheritance properties in smart contracts,
- Precise accuracy, etc.
Java is the official language of Android mobile app development and a preferred option for backend development is also considered a great programming language used for blockchain development.
Java provides stiff competition to C++ in popularity and usefulness. This is true in blockchain technology as well! Java has an abundant Application Programming Interface (API) that includes many Java classes, packages, interfaces, etc. This is useful for constructing applications without necessarily knowing their inside implementations. Also, the one property of Java that is particularly useful in Blockchain is its portability. Java programs can be ported onto different platforms because of its WORA(“write once, run anywhere”) functionality. These programs are not dependent on system-specific architecture as they use the universal JVM (Java Virtual Machine) for execution. This portability along with the other popular features of Java makes it perfect for blockchain.
The language is derived from C-syntax and is widely chosen for building sophisticated Smart contracts and DApps because of its following properties:
- Robust support for OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) methodology,
- Ease of memory cleaning,
- Availability of ample of libraries.
Some of the best examples of blockchain solutions developed using Java are NEM, IOTA, NEO, and Hyperledger Fabric.
Python has not only ruled the world of app development, IoT app development, and network servers’ development but is also proving to be an asset in the blockchain-as-a-service arena.
The language, created in 1991, is widely used for dApps and smart contracts development because of the ample of features it avails.
Python is fast becoming the most popular programming language in the world and if you are a new developer experience in Python, then it might be the best blockchain language for you. A problem with Python is that it is an interpreted language and that creates some problems for complex cryptographic operations in the blockchain. However, Python is an object-oriented language which helps in managing many of its performance-related overheads. Another benefit of Python is that developers can prototype their ideas quickly with any long-winded coding required. Python also has huge opensource support which makes it ideal for Blockchain. There are many Python libraries, plugins, and other resources available online for almost every problem you can encounter in blockchain development.
Some of those features and functionalities are:
- Easy to learn,
- Access to dynamic architecture,
- Perfect for both base and scripting approaches,
- Open-source support,
- Efficient for Prototyping, etc.
Steem, Hyperledger Fabric, and NEO are a few popular Python based blockchain projects that are prevailing the industry.
The language, in the form of frameworks like Node.js framework, offers developers ample of benefits like:
- Easier and earlier entry to market,
- Enhanced Scalability,
- No hassle of integration of respective resources, and more.
Released in 1995, PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is another programming language that every reputed mobile app development company recommend for creating blockchain solutions.
The language, though considered as a backend development tech stack in the form of best PHP frameworks, is often used to develop blockchain solutions of different complexity range. Something that is a ripple effect of its huge open-source community and object-oriented features.
Introduced back in 1985 by Bjarne Stroustrup, C++ is the best programming language for cryptocurrency development.
The language follows OOPs methodology and is highly used for developing cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar, and EOS.
Something that is a direct result of the following set of features and functionalities it offers:
- Efficient CPU management and memory control,
- Ease of running parallel/non-parallel threads,
- Option to move semantics for copying data effectively,
- Compile-time polymorphism for enhanced performance,
- Code isolation for different data structures, and more.
Created by Microsoft as a substitute for Java, the OOP language offers a huge number of features for enterprise-powered apps, cloud, and cross-platform development.
C# is syntactically similar to Java and C++ so it is ideal as a blockchain programming language. Open-source developers can easily create a highly portable code using C# that will run across all devices and multiple operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, etc. Also, since C# is an OOPs programming language, Blockchain developers can obtain maximum performance when developing their next blockchain. Projects written in C# include Stratis, a blockchain-as-a-service provider that allows businesses to easily create applications on blockchain platforms.
The language comes loaded with features of C, SQL, and .NET frameworks, and is highly favored for blockchain development because:
- It is an open-source.
- Its syntax is easy to understand and learn – thanks to its identicality with C++ and Java.
- It empowers developers to write portable code across devices.
- It is cost-effective to use because of the BizSpark program.
The programming language is majorly considered for building DApps, Smart Contracts, and infrastructure in the blockchain environment.
Go programming language also lands in the list of top blockchain coding languages with a blistering success.
It is the best language for creating hyper ledger fabric, which is a foundation for developing applications for blockchain. Since Go is statically-typed and a compiled programming language, it is perfect for blockchain coding. It also has other features that enhance performance such as generics, classes and inheritance, constructors, annotations, exceptions, etc. Go is also an uncomplicated language that can be learned easily. This is obvious by the fact that there are around 800,000+ developers on the Go language network.
Two of the best Go-based blockchain solutions prevalent in the market are Go-Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.
Created by Russell O’ Connor, Simplicity is a high-level blockchain coding language that hit the market in November 2017.
The Simplicity programming language is based on Ivy and works with a Haskell-like syntax which makes coding easier and effective. Besides, it is highly mathematical in nature and makes the code line human-readable. Because of which, it is highly used for developing Smart Contracts and blockchain solutions that work with both Bitcoin and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
It is one of the best programming languages to write smart contracts, both for professional programmers and open source developers. Simplicity is also focused on reducing the complex and low-level understanding of the Bitcoin Script. Since it hides the low-level logical components from Bitcoin developers, Simplicity increases the work capacity of developers which helps to create a much faster development period. Simplicity is also compatible with the Elements platform, which is an open-source, Blockchain platform with sidechain capabilities. So Blockchain developers building sidechains on Elements can also use the many functions and features of simplicity.
Developed by Yukihiro “Matz” in the mid-1990s, Ruby is yet another top blockchain development language to headstart your career with, as this high-level and general-purpose programming language empowers developers to prototype their vision effectively and effortlessly through open-source third-party APIs and plugins. The language also gives developers an opportunity to mix their features with that of other languages to build an enhanced platform.
It is highly considered by Asian developers for building blockchain-based software and platforms.
Rust enables open-source developers to create quick and effective blockchain frameworks. It also serves them with a highly-capable mechanism of managing mutable states, amazing code optimization, better memory options, and concurrency-based opportunities.
SQL (Structured Query Language) is also one of the top blockchain programming languages to consider in 2020.
The language was designed by IBM to make communication with databases like MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQl, and Oracle easier and efficient. It has more than 7M developers in the industry and is used for building secure and effective enterprise solutions in the blockchain domain. Clear evidence of which is Aergo.
Erlang is another top blockchain coding language you must consider for a brighter future ahead.
- Unparalleled backend facility,
- Higher scalability,
- Inherent fault tolerance, and more.
Something that makes it the right choice for building peer-to-peer networks in a blockchain environment.
Rholang is yet another impressive addition in the list of blockchain programming languages. The language, unlike C++ or Python, operates with a functional approach over Object-oriented. It also assesses the whole app as a series of functions that are then solved in a sequential manner.
Because of this, it is a favorite of developers when they wish to build a high-level project like smart contracts.
Rholang has a functional programming paradigm rather than an object-oriented one with it being the most popular blockchain development language in this category.
CX has also entered the list of top blockchain programming languages.
The language has the potential to work as a contractual digital intermediary and comes loaded with features like a simple error control process, and the opportunity to use propelled cuts, pointers, and arrays. It also assembles over Go and gives users an escape from executing discretionary codes, which has been a critical issue for present-day businesses.
What’s more, the language integrates with OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) efficiently and helps developers reap better benefits in terms of GPU’s capacity.
So, these were some of the programming languages that can be considered for entering the blockchain world and make the best of the flourishing opportunity. These languages, as already covered in this article, hold different potential and thus, can be used for building different forms of blockchain and cryptocurrency-based solutions. It implies that you must know which language is best for what type of blockchain development and eventually, polish your skills in the same.
Vyper is a new blockchain programming language that is derived from Python 3. So the Vyper syntax is also valid Python 3 syntax, even though Vyper does not have all of Python’s features. Vyper is created as an alternative to Solidity. It is usually used for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), just like Solidity is. However, Vyper has different control structures than Solidity and it also handles security issues differently. Vyper has also don away with much of the OOPS functionalities in Solidity along with other features like infinite loops, modifiers, recursive calling, etc. This helps in avoiding the security issues that arise because of these features.
As all popular programming languages are used in the blockchain industry, developers have to consider what type of development they would like to undertake as different languages are used for certain blockchain projects and applications.
Thus, blockchain technology is expected to have a massive impact on every sector and industry. In the coming days, as the world becomes more and more decentralized and blockchain adopted as mainstream, the future for you is definitely limitless.