The blockchain industry is seeing a proliferating and blasting demand in recent years. With the pandemic, the world’s attention has shifted majorly towards digital. This has forced businesses to look for effective and secure approaches to transfer their existing conventional business processes to the digital world! In such chaos, blockchain technology has emerged as a highly productive, secure, and transparent transitioning these processes.
Among that, smart contracts have been one of the most gifted outcomes of blockchain technology featuring vast functionalities. This has eventually given rise to an increasing demand for the best programming languages to build smart contracts.
In this article, we will see five programming languages that can be used to create smart contracts. But before we dive into this, let’s first understand what a smart contract is.
What are Smart Contracts?
A smart contract is an application stored securely on a blockchain network. They are self-executed when predetermined conditional functions are validated. Smart contracts are commonly used to automate the execution of an agreement.
They enable the omission of any intermediary involvement or loss of time and allow all participants to be immediately certain of the outcome.
Unlike other applications or programs that are stored on a single server, a smart contract is a decentralized application or dApp and exists on a distributed ledger across thousands of computers across the globe. All in all, their main function is to execute business logic as a response to events or conditions.
The execution of a smart contract is generally a result of an exchange of money, exposing/unlocking information or content protected via digital rights management, delivery of services, or other different types of data manipulation.
Read more about Smart Contracts here.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Smart Contract Language
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a smart contract language:
- Compatibility: Make sure that the language you choose is compatible with the other languages used in the project.
- Experience: Choose a language in which you are good and have proper experience in it so that you can develop and maintain the smart contract easily.
- Security: Smart contracts are used to store sensitive data. Make sure that the language you choose is secure.
- Documentation: Make sure that the chosen languages have good documentation and guide. This will help you if you need to troubleshoot problems or get help in development.
- Maintainability: Smart contracts are for the long term and should be maintained over time. Choosing a language that is easy to maintain is always a good option.
- Future-proofing: Choosing a language that is future-proof ensures that the language will continue to be supported and new features will add over time.
Let us now look at some of the top languages for writing smart contracts one by one.
Top 5 Smart Contract Programming Languages
Here are some of the popular smart contract programming languages for blockchain.
One of the first programming languages to write smart contracts to enter the industry is Solidity. Solidity is an object-oriented, and high-level programming language that is personalized exclusively for building smart contracts.
Solidity is also a good choice for Solana and Polkadot. Having been referred to as one of the top programming languages to build smart contracts, is the support for inheritance alongside libraries as well as complex user-defined types.
The next one from the top programming languages which is used to write smart contracts is Vyper. Just like Solidity, Vyper is also a programming language tailor-made for developing smart contracts and has a high influence from the Python language. It is tailored for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The efficiency catered by Vyper deeply originates from its three fundamental design principles and goals for smart contract development.
- Auditability: Ensures that code is humanly readable to prioritize developers with limited experience with coding, and also that difficulty is created when writing malicious code.
- Security: Vyper proves to be an effective solution when it comes to developing smart contracts with better security.
- Simplicity: Makes sure the language and especially its compiler is made simple and easy to understand for beginner developers.
Yul is another popular one in the list of programming languages to build smart contracts. Yul is an intermediate language that can be compiled to bytecode to accommodate the needs of diverse backends.
Most importantly, Yul backs planned support for EVM 1.0, Ewasm, and EVM 1.5. It is designed to serve as a common denominator for all three platforms.
Yul’s goals are designed to emphasize the readability of applications. It aims at generating readable code even if it is generated by a compiler via Solidity or other similar high-level programming languages to build smart contracts.
It is simple and flexible and comes without any built-in types, operations or functions in its pure form, giving developers a fresh canvas to start building smart contracts more simply and flexibly!
4. Digital Asset Modelling Language (DAML)
DAML aka Digital Asset Modelling Language is an open-source language and is majorly used to write distributed/decentralized applications or dApps that are precise, fast, and concise.
DAML is an easy, safe, efficient, and functional language of contracts, ledgers, and privacy! DAML is largely envisioned to build secure digital assets like distributed ledgers, smart contracts, and more in an efficient manner. It offers a high-level, real-time, and clear-cut specification of business logic.
Surprisingly, DAML is getting ahead of the curve and meeting all needs of dApps at a time when these are not easy to create and traditional languages aren’t helping! The endless complexities of synchronization and cryptography are nothing that can stop DAML!
This is the only traditional language that has bagged a position in this list of top smart contract programming languages and Solidity, that’s 1 on the list, has its similarities with the same.
Lastly, JS is fast, easy to understand, and can create highly scalable applications.