Aleph Zero Blog

Rust: Why Does Aleph Zero Use It? Podcast Key Takeaways. 

Aug 3, 2023

The Aleph Zero blockchain’s programming language of choice is Rust—the subject of the sixth podcast episode. Hosted by Piotr Moczurad, the show features Michal Handzlik, who will introduce us to the nature of this programming language and why Aleph Zero champions it. 

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  • Rust was launched in 2015.
  • It is a highly flexible system programming language that is easy to work with. 
  • The computing industry created it to tackle the challenges facing 21st-century programmers. 
  • One of its advantages is that due to its novelty, it doesn’t need to incorporate backward compatibility, which hinders the development and adaptability of other languages. 
  • It features numerous type and memory security features, making it a great building tool for applications that need such a degree of protection, e.g., blockchain. 
  • Aleph Zero initially used Golang but, in the end, decided to opt for Rust which required rewriting the consensus protocol into the new language, but this offered greater community support from Substrate and reliability of the code. 
  • Aleph Zero used many components from Substrate while creating a unique consensus protocol coded in Rust, dubbed AlephBFT, to create our blockchain. 
  • Creating AlephBFT allowed Aleph Zero to possess subsecond finality. 
  • In Rust, if something compiles, “it works.”
  • Rust is a growing language for which there is great demand in a market in which many programmers don’t know it yet. 
  • Aleph Zero uses ink! as its smart contract programming language.
  • The team has also been heavily invested in giving back to the developer community to build solid foundations for Rust and ink! to gain in popularity as a viable and highly effective alternative to Solidity and EVM. 

What is Rust? Baby, don’t hurt me. 

Rust is a programming language less than a decade old, first released to the public in 2015. It is the programming language of choice for the Aleph Zero ecosystem. The qualities that have attracted the developers to it include its easiness of use and numerous security features that make it a great building tool for products such as blockchains. Rust is identified as a statically-typed programming language created to deliver impressive performance and safety. One of the advantages of Rust is that if something compiles it works, making the programmers work much more efficient in the long run.

Aleph Zero Was Initially Developed in Golang 

Before using Rust, Aleph Zero explored Golang as the language upon which to build the blockchain. However, the team decided to become a part of the Substrate ecosystem, a choice that allowed the developers to take advantage of the community support and building blocks provided by the ecosystem to develop blockchains. This came with the caveat that Rust must be adopted, a choice that, in hindsight, was absolutely revolutionary for the project. By combining the building blocks provided by Substrate with the team’s creative approach to Rust, they managed to create an incredibly fast consensus protocol known as AlephBFT to run the Aleph Zero network. This combination resulted in subsecond finality and a high degree of security. 

The Demand for Rust 

There is a great demand for Rust programmers due to the effective nature of the language. Unfortunately, the market demand is not met by the number of programmers that are high-level Rust users. In an attempt to close this gap, the Aleph Zero team has been actively involved in educational efforts to introduce a new host of programmers to both Rust and ink! (Aleph Zero’s smart contract language of choice). We believe that both of these languages are highly effective tools for creating a new cohort of Web3 products that will be a high-performing alternative to EVM and Solidity. 

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EP. 6 Smart Contracts, Tokenomics, and How Is the Ecosystem Funding Program Growing? The Rust Programming Language: Why Does Aleph Zero Use It?

Ever wanted to know what is Rust and why Aleph Zero uses it? Today is your lucky day as the host of today's episode, Piotr Moczurad, meets with blockchain developer Michal Handzlik to explore the programming language that is the backbone of the Aleph Zero ecosystem. We'll look at the properties of Rust and its place in the broader Substrate space.