Programming Blockchain: Basics of Developing and Coding for Distributed Ledger Technology

It used to be that you could learn to read and write and you'd be literate but in this new age of information that's not enough.

If you want to be considered literate today, you need to know how to code. It could be basic HTML and CSS, or something as arcane as an assembler, but the fact of the matter is that coding is no longer something “tech people do”, rather it is a basic skill that everyone should know.

That being said, the most two most interesting developments in the digital space are AI and Distributed Ledger Technology. Distributed Ledger technology is based on decentralization to ensure security and with this, the more everyone knows the better it is for the collective. Whatever your skill level though, you would first need to learn a programming language – but the information is scarce for anyone who's not an engineer already.

The simple task of picking the right language can be daunting to many who have not had any experience with it. Here we'll look at the various programming languages that are most used int he blockchain space.

C++: The Grandaddy Of Them All

This language is both old, and very useful even to this day. While many programming languages have fallen out of favor with upstarts taking their place, very few have been able to do the same to C++. In 2009 it was used to create the cryptocurrency revolution. Yes, Bitcoin was written in C++.

That said, you need to be an advanced programmer to use C++, it is not as forgiving as some easier programming languages such as Python. It also has one slight problem, and that is that C++ is not exactly smart-contract ready. That's not to say that it can't be used for the job – it can. It just needs some modifications.

This is why blockchain specific languages have started popping up, but do not take anything away from this one. It's still one of, if not the most, powerful programming languages out there.

C#: Microsoft's Open Source Implementation Of C

Microsoft's brainchild was created at the end f the 90s, and it is great for enterprise level applications. This makes it a shoo-in for large scale blockchain implementations.

It is a feature packed programming language with a great community (and Microsoft) support and added to that its portability and it being open-source means that it is quite the popular language in the crypto world.

JavaScript: The One Everyone Has At Least Heard Of

There's a saying coined by Jeff Atwood in 2007. It says that any app that can be written in JS will be written in JS. It's not surprising. JavaScript is perhaps the most recognizable programming language on earth.

It powers everything from IoT devices to clients and servers and is even used in machine learning. While it might not have been popular in the blockchain space for years, the ICO outbreak of two years ago changed all that.

It has fantastic community support, and there are more places to learn JavaScript than any other language. It's best suited for entering the blockchain race rather than moving forward, but there isn't a better language to learn as a beginner.

Python: The Little Language That Can

Python is a testament to what can be achieved by keeping things simple. Just because Python is easy to use and very beginner friendly, it does not mean that it is not a superbly created language that has a variety of uses. In fact, it is as popular in the crypto space like it in general internet culture.

IBM's Hyperledger has implemented it in Sawtooth and Ethereum has created their own version of Python called Pythereium. It also has a vast number of libraries and framework so you would be able to start with whatever you could possibly imagine.

Solidity: Created For Blockchain Specifically

When a new technology comes out, there is rarely a reason to create an entirely new programming language just to be able to take full advantage of the technology. However, Solidity is just that. It was created specifically to write smart contracts on the Ethereum network. It is an object orientated language that is Turing complete. It has a syntax that is parts JavaScript, parts C++ and even a little bit of Python.

The key thing to remember that Solidity has set the current standard for Ethereum smart contracts, a standard called ERC20. ERC20 is a staple in the smart contract space and to make better smart contracts you need to know this language.

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