The speed and security of a blockchain are dependent on the underlying programming language and virtual machines that have been used. Two of the most popular programming languages are Solidity, used to build decentralized applications for the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), and Rust for dApps on Solana.
Nowadays, Solidity is an independent open-source tool developed on GitHub. Even though it is not the only language that can be utilized to write code for Ethereum, Solidity’s syntax has been designed to target the EVM. Let’s go over the characteristics of both Solidity and Rust
Common Characteristics of Solidity and Rust
- Rust and Solidity share some characteristics, namely their multi-chain compatibility and Turing completeness.
- Solidity, for example, can support other EVM-compatible layer-one blockchains like Polkadot and Avalanche.
- As we saw with Rust, it wasn’t built for a specific blockchain, so it can be used for a variety of blockchains like Near or Solana.
- Turing completeness, on the other hand, refers to a programming language that can carry out any computation.
Differences between Solidity and Rust
As we saw earlier, one of the differences between the two languages is that Solidity is a high-level object-oriented programming language, while Rust is multiparadigm and low-level.
Because of its higher level of abstraction, Solidity is easier to learn. Rust, in contrast, has more speed and efficiency even if it doesn’t have the same level of abstraction.
Solidity is object-oriented, meaning is centered around data or objects rather than logic and functions.
Rust is multiparadigm, meaning it can use different paradigms, which can help the programmer better complete the task at hand.
Advantages of Rust vs Solidity
The two main advantages of using Rust as opposed to Solidity for web3 include memory safety and speed.
With Rust, you can create decentralized applications (dapps) that are high-performance and don’t have excessive memory usage. Rust eliminates memory-related bugs during compile time without the need for a garbage collector owing to principles like ownership and borrowing.
This also allows programs to be scaled efficiently.
Disadvantages of Rust vs. Solidity
The principal disadvantages of using Rust instead of Solidity are that its compiler is slower and that it is more difficult to learn as a programming language.
This is due to its use of the low-level virtual machine (LLVM) to generate code. Program compilation can take several minutes for large programs. This is due in part because Rust being focused on performance at runtime and not compile time.
Rust is also harder to learn because of the ownership and borrowing system that was mentioned earlier. It is also more difficult to copy and paste code when compared with other languages.
Advantages of Solidity vs. Rust
The main advantages of using Solidity for dapps over Rust are that it is more convenient to learn and that there is more tool available for developers.
Solidity also had several development environments like Remix and Hardhat, and platforms with open-source libraries like OpenZeppelin to build dapps easily.
Disadvantages of using Solidity vs. Rust
The features that make Solidity difficult are static analysis and integer overflows.
An integer overflow was a problem, especially with earlier versions of Solidity. It occurs when a numeric value exceeds the range that can be represented with a certain number of digits.
Static code analysis is the procedure of analyzing and debugging code without having to execute it. The issue is that because of the Turing completeness of Solidity, there are many results possible for the code during debugging.
Which One to Choose Then?
Both programming languages have their advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one may come down to the ecosystem you are building with.