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Programming Languages for Blockchain: With blockchain technology seeing massive investment and expected to grow over 17X to reach $176 billion by 2026, demand for skilled blockchain developers is skyrocketing.
But with new blockchain platforms and languages emerging constantly in this dynamic landscape, which programming languages should developers prioritize learning for blockchain development in 2023?
As a lead blockchain engineer who has built platforms on Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, and Celo, I’m going to share my recommendations for the top 5 blockchain programming languages based on adoption, project activity, and long-term viability.
By mastering these languages, you’ll be ready to capitalize on the wealth of opportunities in blockchain and distribute ledger technology (DLT).
Let’s examine the key languages for building the next generation of transformative decentralized applications and blockchain platforms.
No list of blockchain languages is complete without Solidity, the king of smart contract development. Some key reasons why Solidity is so foundational include:
- The native language for writing Ethereum smart contracts
- By far the most popular language for blockchain dApps
- An order of magnitude more blockchain devs know Solidity than any other language
- Huge ecosystem of tools, libraries, and learning resources
- Battle-tested with billions in crypto assets secured by Solidity contracts
With Ethereum dominating as the #1 general purpose blockchain, Solidity skills will continue to be in immense demand. I’d rank it as the top blockchain language to learn in 2023.
- Already immensely popular and accessible languages
- Allows full stack blockchain dev using similar languages on frontend and contracts
- Easy integration with hybrid blockchain development stacks
- Strong type safety makes TypeScript valuable for sizable dApps
Despite not seeing as much press, Python plays a major role in blockchain development including:
- Leading language for analyzing blockchain data sets
- Great for backend services supporting blockchain apps
- Interacting with node APIs and SDKs
- Prototyping blockchain concepts and simulations
- Python blockchain libraries like web3.py and Vyper
Given Python’s popularity for data engineering and DevOps, blockchain projects often leverage Python. It’s a great language for blockchain data processing.
The newer systems programming language Go is rapidly gaining adoption in blockchain. Use cases include:
- Building custom blockchain clients/protocols from scratch
- High performance blockchain compute requirements
- Shared codebases across Ethereum clients like Geth and Pantheon
- Backend services for dApps with high concurrency needs
- Companies like Consensys, IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon using Go for blockchain
For high performance blockchain infrastructure and services, Go shows a lot of promise as an emerging option.
The ultra fast and safe systems programming language Rust has seen surging blockchain usage for:
- High security and memory safety requirements in blockchain
- Multiple new Rust-native blockchain projects like Solana, Polkadot, Dfinity
- Parity’s support for building custom blockchains
- Performance advantages over Go in benchmarks
- Improved concurrency support through Rust’s ownership model
I expect Rust’s blockchain footprint to continue expanding rapidly thanks to its unique capabilities.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Language
Beyond the raw language, it’s crucial to evaluate:
- Relevant libraries and tools
- Available learning resources and community
- Job demand and openings requiring the language
- Performance, security and reliability characteristics
- How amenable the language is to blockchain architecture
Knowing multiple languages expands the types of blockchain projects you can contribute to and roles you can fill.
One Final Tip
While these languages form a strong starting point for blockchain development, expect new challengers to continuously emerge in this fast moving domain.
Keep abreast of new languages like DAML, Vyper, and AssemblyScript built specifically for blockchain use cases.
Monitor blockchain platform priorities and tech investments for leading indicators of which languages will gain adoption.
With blockchain development accelerating exponentially, the language landscape will continue rapidly evolving.
So whether for the irresistible complexity, the potential to transform high value industries, or the promise of working with groundbreaking new algorithms and data structures, blockchain development offers an incredibly rewarding path.
If that excites you, seize this opportunity and begin learning one of these high-demand blockchain programming languages today!