Blockchain development, a booming field, is making its way into every industry and business. BitcoinWorldwide estimated that as of December 2017, there were over 300 million cryptocurrency users globally. That equates to 3.9% of the global population owning cryptocurrency.
There is an increasing number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts worldwide and companies launching their cryptocurrencies. It’s no surprise that blockchain programming has become one of the most lucrative technology careers. If you are eager to learn blockchain programming languages and develop your decentralized applications (DApps), this guide is for you!
We will take you through what exactly blockchain development is and some popular programming languages used in blockchain development.
In this guide:
What is blockchain development?
Blockchain development is a process of creating blockchain applications. It involves the development of different types of applications on top of the blockchain platform that users can use to store and securely transfer data without any third-party involvement.
The technology behind blockchain was first discussed in 1991. But it was developed in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the Bitcoin whitepaper — A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Since then, cryptocurrencies have evolved tremendously — with over 20,000 cryptocurrencies currently available on the market today!
Top 11 blockchain programming languages
Blockchain technology is growing exponentially, attracting developers who want to become part of the revolution. This field consists of many languages, each with its own features and advantages. But which one should you learn? The answer depends on your goals as a programmer and what kind of project you’re working on.
Here are some programming languages commonly used in blockchain development:
Solidity is a programming language that has been created specifically for the creation of Ethereum smart contracts. It’s a domain-specific language, or DSL, meaning that it’s a language that has been created specifically for a specific purpose. In this case, the creation of smart contracts.
It is a domain-specific language that uses object-oriented and high-level programming concepts to develop smart contracts. Developers consider solidity the most used and stable blockchain programming language today. Solidity was influenced by C++ and Python, and is designed to target the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Solidity focuses on developing decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain. In 2015, Gavin Wood, Christian Reitwiessner, Liana Husikyan, and Yoichi Hirai released the first version of Solidity. They were working on the Ethereum platform at the time.
It has become the most popular programming language in the Ethereum community and blockchain industry. Solidity is also one of the first blockchain programming languages that one must learn to develop dApps.
Rust is a general-purpose programming language that then-Mozilla developer Gradon Hoare first developed in 2006. Developers widely consider Rust for building immutable, innovative, and secure solutions.
Rust language emphasizes memory security, type safety, and concurrency. Its syntax is similar to C++ but with added functionalities like pattern matching and concurrency. Because of these features, tech companies such as Discord and Dropbox have adopted Rust.
Equally important, Rust enables developers to create quick and effective frameworks by giving them better memory options and concurrency capabilities than other languages such as C++ or C#.
Python is a general-purpose, high-level programming language. It has clear syntax and code readability, as well as an abundance of libraries and tools that support the development of complex applications.
Python’s syntax is straightforward enough that inexperienced programmers won’t be put off by reading code written by experts. It doesn’t include any reserved terms that would make it hard for experienced programmers to pick out what they’re trying to accomplish.
Guido van Rossum created Python. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, notably using significant whitespace. Python is a dynamic, object-oriented language that has been around since 1991. It is open source and easy to learn, yet it is also efficient for prototyping.
In fact, Python is so popular that it has become an asset in the Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) arena — it is one of the most preferred languages for developing DApps.
Python supports OOP (Object Oriented Programming), and its library is huge!
Its libraries and frameworks, like jQuery, Angular, and Node, are the engines that drive modern web development.
Golang is a compiled and statically typed programming language that developers worldwide prefer because of its prominent features. For instance, Go is easy to use and developer-friendly, so novices and experts can use it.
The powerful features include: smooth web application building, run-time efficiency, garbage collection, and organized typing — Syntaxes are organized.
In Go, methods called Goroutines provide the ability to run several programs simultaneously. Go programming language was released for public use in 2012. It is a robust, multipurpose language that supports parallel processing, which makes it an ideal choice for big companies looking for blockchain solutions.
You can find examples of Go-based blockchain solutions in the market, such as:
- Go-Ethereum: Ethereum client is written in Golang, which EthDev uses on GitHub
- Hyperledger Fabric: Blockchain framework built on top of Apache Corda platform
James Gosling and his team at Sun Microsystems developed the Java programming language in 1992. It was designed to be a platform-independent and object-oriented programming language.
Java is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. You can use it to develop Android, web, and server-side applications. Java is also a general-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented computer programming language. Additionally, it is a compiled language and runs on a JVM (Java Virtual Machine) on the client side.
It is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. According to GitHub, Java has over 9 million developers worldwide. Additionally, Java is the best in the blockchain space for its use in smart contracts. For example, the NEM blockchain network was built with Java.
Many features make Java helpful in developing the blockchain:
- Java has native concurrency (can handle multiple tasks at once)and multithreading support, making it better equipped than other languages for taking asynchronous actions.
- It has few implementation dependencies, which means that you don’t need to worry about whether your code will run on different operating systems or hardware configurations.
Ruby is a language that was created in Japan by Yukihiro Matsumoto. It is based on the principle of simplicity and productivity. It offers developers a faster way to prototype their visions thanks to third-party APIs and plugins.
Ruby is a multi-paradigm language; it allows developers to choose from different programming styles based on their preferences. The most popular approach is object-oriented programming, which enables programmers to create objects they can be reused in other parts of their codebase.
The best thing about Ruby is its memory allocation capabilities; it allows developers to allocate memory as needed without worrying about running out of space or being unable to allocate enough resources for future projects.
Rholang is a programming language for writing smart contracts in the blockchain. It operates with a functional approach over an object-oriented one, making it an ideal choice for developers who want to write fast, reliable, and secure code. The RChain team developed Rholang in 2018 and has been in development ever since.
Rholang is best for building a high-level project like smart contracts. It works by assessing the whole app as a series of functions which are then solved sequentially. These functions run on the Rchain world, a decentralized platform that runs on top of an internet protocol.
This blockchain programming language has many benefits.
- It’s reliable and secure because it uses formal verification to check for errors in your code before deployment.
- Rholang is user-friendly because you can write code faster than in other languages, since there aren’t many syntax rules to follow.
- Rholang uses state channels to process transactions between parties without having to expose sensitive information. This means that your data is safe and cannot be accessed by third parties or hackers.
- It’s designed for speed in blockchain development, so you don’t have to wait long for your code to be processed.
9. C# (C-Sharp)
C# (C-Sharp) is a multi-paradigm programming language and object-oriented programming Microsoft developed it in 2000 within .NET initiative as a substitute for C++ as the main language used in video games.
It’s the most popular programming language for developing enterprise-powered apps, cloud, and cross-platform development. The popularity of C# has risen over the decade due to its feature set for enterprise-powered apps and cloud computing.
The following are some of the reasons why you should learn C#:
- It is open source and can be used on any platform such as Windows or Linux operating system
- Easy to understand and learn because it uses similar syntaxes to Java
- Used for building DApps and smart contracts
In July 2021, C# was ranked fifth on the TIOBE index. The Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2021 found that 29.81% of developers working in the industry now use C#. Additionally, SlashData believes that there are 6.5 million C# developers.
The rich library class makes it easier for developers to build distributed systems, DApps, Smart Contracts, etc., which are key components of blockchain technology. C# simplifies the process of developing applications on the blockchain by providing support for memory loss.
C++ is a compiled language that aims to optimize high-performance applications such as Bitcoin mining software. It is an enhanced version of the original C programming language.
You can use C++ to develop applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and other platforms. It is also used to create secure blockchain solutions. C++ is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It’s used for everything from operating systems to video games.
Bjarne Stroustrup introduced C++ back in 1985, and it follows an object-oriented programming methodology called OOPs. This makes it much easier than other binary coding languages, which are more difficult to understand because they don’t have this structure built into them.
SQL is a programming language developed by IBM. It’s used in databases that query, store, and manipulate data. SQL has an estimated 7 million developers worldwide and is used in popular databases such as SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and DB2 to develop applications.
A project that uses SQL is Aergo, a blockchain solution created by Blocko. The Aergo chain features a SQL-based smart contract that allows enterprises to deploy enterprise-grade blockchain services with a single click.
Which language to choose?
Choosing a language that aligns with your goals for blockchain development is the first step toward building an effective solution. When choosing a language to learn, keep in mind that several languages are suited for different purposes.
If you want to build a DApp, consider choosing Solidity. Ethereum developers use Solidity primarily because it was built specifically for Ethereum-based smart contracts. It can be used on other platforms that support EVM bytecode like NEO or EOS do today.
There is no shortage of choice when it comes to choosing a programming language. Follow our explanations above, and you should be good to go.
We hope this guide has helped you decide on the best programming language for your blockchain development needs. Remember, the key to finding a good fit is knowing what you want from your project and selecting a language to help you achieve it.
Frequently asked questions
Is blockchain coded in Python?
Yes, Python is one of the blockchain languages that developers use to build blockchains.
Is Python good for blockchain?
Python is one of the most used programming languages for blockchain development. It is a high-level programming language one can use to create software for web development, data analysis, machine learning, and scientific computing.
Is coding required for blockchain?
Yes, coding knowledge is essential for blockchain development. If you’re not experienced in any of the development languages, you need to learn them before starting this career as a blockchain developer.
Is C++ used in blockchain development?
C++ is so popular for blockchain because of its wide range of uses. You can use it in many applications and frameworks, including Ethereum virtual machine and Infura API.