TL;DR, Developer growth in Web3 is slow. With steep learning curves and billion-dollar hacks, it’s no wonder why. If the industry is ever to see developer adoption grow significantly, it will have to start offering radically better developer opportunities. Scrypto and the Radix Engine are what developers need and want.
The experience for developers in Web3 today sucks.
The pioneers paving the way for a Web3 future face an overwhelming array of challenges. Not surprisingly, less than 25,000 developers (out of the estimated 28 million worldwide) are actually working in crypto. To put it into perspective, that’s a mere 0.08% of developers.
This lack of participation is not due to a lack of opportunity, though. At its peak in 2021, DeFi had over $200 billion of value in the system - at that time, each full-time developer on average represented over $12m of assets in the space.
So if there is ample opportunity, why is developer growth lagging so dramatically?
The Developer Dilemma
One of the biggest obstacles hindering a thriving Web3 developer ecosystem is the steep learning curve of smart contract languages like Solidity. For those willing to take up the task and invest their time into learning how to work with smart contract languages, coming to actually build and deploy projects is no easier feat – with the development of production-grade applications (dApps) on networks like Ethereum often taking even the most advanced developers years to master.
But the challenges don’t stop there – building a dApp is just the tip of the iceberg. Because of how today’s smart contracts work, user funds held on decentralized networks, for the most part, are often vulnerable to hacks and exploits, with over $10 Billion in assets stolen in 2021 alone. While there might be some bad actors intentionally plaguing their code with backdoors fit for hacking, the majority of developers would do just about anything to avoid such tragedy, and as a result, spend up to 90% of their time on validations and testing instead of actually building intuitive, user-friendly features.
It’s no wonder why developers aren’t moving to Web3.
The problem with smart contract languages isn’t fresh news, but the solution isn’t about finding an easier programming language. It’s about creating a new programming paradigm.
Changing the Game For The Better
From the invention of the Unreal Engine – the catalyst of today’s $150 Billion gaming industry – to the steam locomotive, engines have long revolutionized industries and catalyzed exponential growth and innovation.
DeFi is no different, and it’s why Radix has created a virtual machine alternative to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the Radix Engine. Combined with an elegant programming language, Scrypto, which unlocks the power of the Engine in a way that is impossible on other smart contract platforms, Radix has created a radically different programming paradigm enabling a developer experience that is powerful, intuitive, and safe enough to unlock the wave of developer adoption and dApp innovation needed for the Web3 vision to become a reality.
Unlike most virtual machine environments in Web3, the Radix Engine makes assets a native function of the platform. This platform-level approach to assets means digital assets, such as tokens, behave like physical objects on Radix. The end result is a level of security and execution that is simply impossible on other platforms, drastically improving developer productivity and, ultimately, leading to better user experiences.
Programming on the Radix Engine is done with Scrypto, the Radix smart contract language. Scrypto is an asset-oriented programming language with native functions for creating and writing powerful logic around assets (such as tokens).
Due to the way that other smart contract languages like Solidity treat assets, huge amounts of smart contract code is devoted to attempting to ensure safety when interacting with assets, and exploits inevitably creep in due to the complexity. In contrast, Scrypto’s native tools for using Radix Engine’s native assets completely change the nature of interacting with assets, making it intuitive and safe by design, eliminating much of the complexity and unpredictability that makes DeFi so dangerous today.
Not only does this reduce hacks and exploits — a massive win for both dApp developers and their users – it drastically lowers the bar of difficulty to building rich, powerful dApps. With asset behavior built in, creating a dApp in Scrypto can take what would be thousands of lines of code in traditional smart contract languages down to a few hundred — making the learning curve for starting developers a little less cliff-edge.
For a detailed comparison of Solidity and other popular programming languages vs. Scrypto, see Comparing Virtual Machines: Message Only vs. Asset-Oriented.
By developing a more intuitive and efficient way to build smart contracts and manage assets on the Radix platform, Radix Engine and Scrypto provide an opportunity for developers to build secure and innovative products – radically improving the way Web3 and DeFi will be built forever.
Web3 Adoption Starts With Developers
Until now, the developer experience in Web3 has been overwhelmingly weak. If - and when - Web3 is going to thrive, developers will be the backbone. But, that can only happen if the base of developers grows significantly.
With Radix’s unique full stack for DeFi, millions of developers will have the power and confidence to build the innovative, revolutionary products needed to support a thriving global DeFi ecosystem.
At #RadFi2022, the team behind Radix unveiled a radically new chapter for Web3. In Q2 2023, Scrypto and the Radix Engine will go live on the Radix public network. Watch the RadFi Keynote to learn more about Radix’s revolutionary technology here.