As one of the most transformative technologies of this century, Blockchain has proven its potential for business transformation. The technology has overcome the traditional challenges of computer-based systems and solutions to offer an irreversible, secure, and shareable ledger of transactions. Moreover, its location independence and permanency of records or transactions have made it a game changer in many industries where security and transparency are critical considerations, such as finance, healthcare, and land records.
While Blockchain is the technology underpinning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, its applications have grown across industries in the past few years. And as Blockchain goes mainstream, the requirement for skilled Developers has also risen. During 2017-2020, the demand for Blockchain Development rose by an astonishing 2000 percent!
With Blockchain Development a highly technical subject, general or newbie Developers need to learn more about Blockchain technology, the various terminologies, industry applications, and the languages to fire them up.
So what is the best way other than to register for a Blockchain for Beginners course that helps you stay competitive in the IT domain?
At the outset, let us begin by exploring Blockchain Development and how the top programming languages can best serve Developers in the Blockchain space.
What is Blockchain Development?
Companies deploying Blockchain need a prototype or a production-ready platform, Smart contracts creation, dApp frameworks, custom Blockchain solutions, P2P transfers, building the underlying technology for cryptocurrencies, and decentralized platforms for NFTS, tokens, etc. All this and more involves Blockchain Development.
Blockchain Development is thus the software development process for building shared, immutable, distributed ledger technology (DLT) for secure records of transactions and assets. It records physical (cryptocurrencies, land parcels) and nonphysical assets (copyright) for secure storage, tracking, and sharing. Developers design and develop custom frameworks and solutions, build the business logic to run Blockchain nodes, track the activities, provide scalability, plan Blockchain configurations, build APIs, design the user interface, and leverage accelerators to optimize Blockchain applications.
However, a Blockchain Developer does not need to do all of these. Just focus on any one or two development paths in the company. Products and solutions leveraging Blockchain technology require only those capabilities in Blockchain development that fit the business goals.
Additionally, the path of Blockchain development also depends upon the platform. For instance, developing on the Ethereum platform calls for smart contracts, decentralized applications, and deployment to local and test Ethereum networks.
Blockchain Development is of two types, core, and software. While Core Development involves designing the protocols and architecture, Software Development in Blockchain includes the design of Blockchain apps, NFTs, and so on.
Programming Languages for Blockchain Development
The Blockchain Development path depends upon the end goals (Blockchain app, cryptocurrency-based solution), the type of Development (Core or Software), and the platform used. For instance, Bitcoin is written in C++, and Ethereum is written in C++, Go, and Rust.
Core Development generally uses C and Java, whereas, in the Software Development of dApps, the backend code is within a decentralized P2P network, allowing the front end to be coded in any programming language.
Thus, Blockchain Development can work with various languages. Some of the most popular languages are listed below:
It is the hottest language for developing Smart Contracts and runs on the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Any Blockchain Developer must begin the Development path with Solidity. As a language, it offers many benefits to the Blockchain Developer. It is a high-level Developer-friendly language: statically typed, curly braces with variadic return variations.
Every Developer knows Python. Although the interpreted language format can be a limitation for Blockchain cryptographic operations, its ability to allow building a prototype without complex coding has made it a popular choice. The integrated open-source support with libraries and plugins, base, and dynamic architecture is why Python is widely used for Blockchain-as-a-service, Smart Contracts creation, and decentralized apps.
If you are a Blockchain Developer newbie, starting with Python is an excellent idea. It is safe, highly functional, and gives a competitive edge over other Developers. The prebuilt libraries and frameworks, like Django and Tensorflow, and the GUI programming support are other redeemable features.
Python is implemented in Blockchain platforms such as Ethereum and used for creating Smart Contracts on hyper ledger and NEO.
It allows developers to create Blockchain applications without considering the internal infrastructure because the APIs are in Java-centric packages and interfaces. Java has its roots in the C syntax, which makes it a great language for creating Smart Contracts and decentralized apps.
It makes it easier to build Blockchain applications. The portability feature of Java programs allows porting onto various platforms using its WORA(“write once, run anywhere”) functionality, making it a popular choice for Blockchain Development.
Instances of Blockchain Development using Java are the NEM P2P platform, Hyperledger contracts, and The IOTA cryptocurrency distributed ledger technology for IoT.
Ruby is the best language for Blockchain Development to headstart your career.
Ruby is a general-purpose programming language used by Blockchain developers to create quick prototypes. Its adaptability with multiple languages, and plugins, has made it a popular language for creating Blockchain apps, software, and platforms.
C++ is considered the best language for cryptocurrency development.
It supports OOPs methodology, has a run-time polymorphism for better performance, advanced multi-threading, and the capability to manage resource-intensive apps.
C++ is at the core of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ripple. B
Besides EOS, apps that scale out over Blockchain platforms also implement C++ for flexibility. Other projects like the Stratis Blockchain-as-a-Service provider also use C++.
A new entry in Blockchain programming, Rust is increasingly favored for building innovative solutions. Its open-source nature allows the speedy creation of frameworks with code optimization and concurrencies.
Rust has caught the imagination of Blockchain Developers because of the support of multi-platform, high-performance scenarios, with high-end security for use cases such as Blockchains, browsers, Operating Systems, and Cybersecurity products.
PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is favored for developing Blockchain solutions of various complexities. Its compatibility with different Blockchain solutions, object-oriented structure, and open-source nature has made it useful for Blockchain Development. Most importantly, PHP supports the implementation of a simple Blockchain data structure and proof-of-work.
As a high-end language, it is mostly in use by professional open-source and experienced Developers. Simplicity is used wherever the Developer wants to simplify the functionality and developing time. The high level of mathematics and the Haskell-type syntax makes the code line human-readable Used for Bitcoin-based platforms and Ethereum Virtual Machine and for developing Smart Contracts.
SQL is another Blockchain programming language to consider, especially for building secure enterprise solutions.
For instance, Aergo is a well-known Blockchain that works with SQL-driven Smart Contracts.
Go is a statically-typed compiled programming language, making it the best choice for Blockchain Development.
Examples of Go-based Blockchain solutions are Go-Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric.
As the use of Blockchain across industries gains traction, Blockchain Development has emerged as a competitive environment where only the Developers with good hands-on knowledge of the Blockchain ecosystem can thrive. Knowledge of the top programming languages only adds to the Developer’s arsenal and helps ace a Blockchain Development interview at a top institution or company.