Writing smart contracts for decentralized applications is a complex task that can benefit from a vastly more simplified development environment.
Just as writing software applications for iOS is far easier than building for Android, DeFi-focused blockchain Radix promises to radically simplify the experience for smart contract developers through its Scrypto programming language.
Ask any mobile app developer, and they’ll tell you that creating an application for Apple devices means far fewer headaches than developing Android. There are a number of reasons why this is so, but the main one is that iOS development is made easier with its dev-friendly Swift programming language.
Swift is a relatively modern programming language that vastly simplifies the coding experience. The code is relatively straightforward to learn, and it’s easier to read due to its clean syntax. Developers generally have to write much less of that code too. On the other hand, Android apps must be written in Java or Kotin, both of which are much older. Due to their age, both Java and Kotin are more difficult to learn, and the code itself is much more complex. Indeed, some studies show that it typically takes around 30% to 40% longer to write an Android application than its iOS-based counterpart.
There are other elements that cause problems for Android app developers too. One of the main ones is that Android is an open-source platform, which means there is a lack of standardization, with more devices, components, and fragmentation that developers must account for. For instance, there are multiple different versions of the Android operating system on the market, and most devices rarely receive an update. As a result, app maintenance also becomes much more difficult.
Android devices come in a much more varied array of shapes and sizes, which means interface design must often be done on a case-by-case basis to ensure compatibility and functionality across the full ecosystem of devices. That’s in contrast to Apple’s closed ecosystem, which only has a small selection of standard devices and operating systems.
The process of writing smart contracts is similarly complicated with Ethereum. Developers are required to learn Solidity, a relatively new programming language that’s beset with problems, and then use it to create individual smart contracts for each and every function of their dApp. This inevitably translates to a huge string of code, and it’s not only time-consuming to write it but also a big security risk as it creates a very large attack surface. With so much code, it’s all too easy for vulnerabilities to slip through the net.
On the other hand, Radix has created an entirely new, asset-oriented smart contract programming language called Scrypto that allows developers to automate much of the effort in creating smart contracts.
Scrypto Keeps It Simple
Radix, on the other hand, has created an entirely new, asset-oriented smart contract programming language called Scrypto that allows developers to automate much of the effort involved in creating smart contracts.
Radix’s development environment is known as Radix Engine, and one of its key characteristics is that it offers a “Blueprint Catalog” where developers can find hundreds of “components,” which are pre-written smart contract functions. These components cover everything from assets such as cryptocurrency tokens and NFTs to higher-level primitives such as swapping systems, liquidity pools, data oracles, and more.
Radix has designed its development experience in such a way that it’s possible to create complex DeFi applications simply by putting together various components written in Scrypto that can be reused again and again. It’s a sensible idea because, in DeFi, many dApps share much the same functionality, with actions such as swaps, trades, liquidity pools, and more all being fairly standard capabilities.
Developers are incentivized to create these components and upload them to the Blueprint Catalog because they receive rewards in Radix’s native XRD token each time they’re reused by someone else. So there’s never going to be any shortage of components that provide the functionality dApp developers require.
Using a component is a simple process, as the only thing the developer has to do is download it from the Blueprint Catalog and then instantiate it from its template using an API. This will generate its own unique identity on Radix’s blockchain, making it available to all other users.
The components can, of course, also be customized to meet the specific requirements of each developer. A component that defines a token, for example, can be altered to mint a brand-new cryptocurrency with its own name, symbol, and maximum supply.
This all translates to a lot less code. Whereas with Solidity and Ethereum, each dApp function must be written as a smart contract, Radix developers can simply download and instantiate a component to do it for them. Because APIs are used for instantiation, there’s no need to write code for that either. More or less, the entire process of dApp development is automated.
Radix offers a number of time-saving advantages for dApp developers, and for that, it deserves to be labeled as the iOS of DeFi.
The simplicity of building apps for iOS is all due to the ease of using Swift, which provides clean syntax that makes it easier to read and write. It has plenty of other functions too. For instance, Swift’s code is less error-prone because of its inline support for manipulating text strings and data. Additionally, classes aren’t divided into two parts – the implementation and the interface. As a result, the number of files required is halved, which makes Swift-based apps much easier to handle and write.
Radix’s Scrypto provides many similar time-saving advantages. Because it’s based on Rust, it should be familiar to any developer who has experience with that common programming language. The code is cleaner than Solidity, and, most important of all – there’s a lot less of it thanks to its reliance on using components as opposed to a jumble of smart contracts.
Scrypto smart contracts will likely get simpler over time too. As its community of developers grows, we’ll see yet more components added to its Blueprint Library, resulting in a continuously growing list of pre-written dApp functions that can easily be bolted together.
Just as most developers start out writing their first mobile apps for iOS because it’s much easier to do, Radix is likely to emerge as the platform of choice for DeFi developers when they see how much time and energy they can save.