Over the span of just a handful of years, the blockchain has significantly grown. A technology that initially started with the purpose to back a distributed payment network has transformed into a distributed supercomputer where companies from all over the world make their way and develop their own revolutionary software applications. The blockchain has moved far ahead from the development stage and reached a place which is not only exciting and fun but shows a lot of potential. However, it is quite common to feel clueless when you initially step into this thriving market. So, we have created this article to act as your guide when you’re lost.
However, before you get started with the guide, there are a few key points that you should know:
Blockchain is a distributed ledger which consists of blocks where data is situated. Editing or altering the data is extremely difficult once it has made its way onto the portal. Each of these cells are bound together by making use of the cryptographic methods.
Ever since the inception of bitcoin, blockchain has been put to the forefront morphing it into a platform which has seen drastic adoption. Startups such as Ethereum show how much potential the public blockchain has and how it can be harnessed to establish decentralized software.
Likewise, if a company prefers a private blockchain network then they can opt for Hyperledger, established by Linux Foundation. The bottom-line is that if you are just entering the blockchain market then it is crucial for you to know about Bitcoin, Ethereum and Hyperledger which can easily be termed as the giants of the blockchain sector.
So now without further ado, let’s take a look at the tools for blockchain development.
Best blockchain tools
In the Go programming language Geth acts as a node for the Ethereum blockchain. By utilizing Geth a developer can perform the following actions:
- Make transactions of tokens
- Establish Smart Contracts and process it through the Ethereum virtual machine
- Discover the past activities on the block
- Mine ether tokens
You can go onto the website of Geth and install it. It works on Mac, Linux and Windows. Geth provides you with the option of two download processes. First is Binary and the second one is Scripted.
Once you successfully install Geth onto your computer, you can choose either between creating your own blockchain network or connecting to an existing blockchain network.
But if you don’t get any options then just assume that Geth has automatically connected you to the Ethereum main net. This is Geth’s default setting. You can also put specific commands into the Geth platform and get it to perform certain functions. One thing, however, which you should bear in mind is that on installing Geth, your PC will automatically start downloading the complete Ethereum blockchain which can take a lot of time to install on your device, it could even take up to a few days. So be sure to get an external hard drive to your PC.
Now before you begin using the Ethereum platform, you need a space to keep your ether tokens and process your smart contracts. Mist actually acts as an official wallet for Ethereum since it has been developed by the creators of Ethereum itself. Although it will make everything way more convenient for you if you use Mist, you should keep in mind that to use Mist you would have to download the entire Ethereum network which is more than 1 terabyte. Mist is supported by Linux, Windows and Mac. Once you have installed Mist on your system you will have to wait for a while until you get synced up to date with the Ethereum blockchain. Once that is done, you can either opt for using the test blockchain or the main blockchain. If you want to just checkout the Ethereum blockchain then we recommend you to start working on the test blockchain first.
Around this time, you will be asked to choose a password. And here one thing that you should keep in mind is that once you set a password, you won’t be able to change it which is why it is crucial to choose a strong password which you won’t forget.
Solidity is the primary language that you will be using in order to work on the Ethereum network. It is basically used to develop smart contracts on the Ethereum network. But, the solidity language needs to be converted in a form so that it can be easily comprehended by the Ethereum Virtual Machine. That is where Solc comes in. Solc is the short for solidity compiler.
Currently, in the market there are two pioneers of solidity compiler.
- Solc, which uses the C++ language to get coded.
Although they both are made from the similar source code, when used practically they both tend to show slightly different results. The command line interfaces are also different from each other. Another thing that we should mention here is that, solc is relatively faster than solc-js.
For creating smart contracts, we recommend you to use the Remix compiler as it is the best one out there for small contracts. For users contemplating learning solidity, Remix is the easiest way to do that.
The main screen of the platform is divided into two screens. The first screen on the left-hand side lets you write your code. Whereas, the second screen on your right-hand side lets you deploy your code on the blockchain and you are also able to use the functions that you have coded in the platform.
For a newbie entering the blockchain market, it can be quite challenging to start Ether scripting. But, with EtherScripter, you no longer have to worry as it provides you with a fun and colorful platform that is very quick to use and you can begin coding smart contracts with ease.
However, the EtherScripter can only be used with the Serpent programming language currently.