How is JavaScript Used in Blockchain?

When developing a blockchain it is essential to use tools that you are confident with. A large portion of developers use JavaScript as a programming language, which may seem unfair since JavaScript in blockchain networks is not well documented. But you can in fact use JavaScript when creating a blockchain.

To developers the idea of JavaScript for creating a blockchain is a game changer. Using programs like node.js or react.js means that the barrier for entry is lowered. This gives a greater chance to younger developers learning programming, as well as older, traditional developers, to get into the blockchain space.

By Alex Hickey

05 May 2022


Table of Contents

  • JavaScript for Blockchain - How it Works?
  • How to Build a Blockchain in JavaScript
  • Blockchain for JavaScript Developers
  • JavaScript Blockchain Projects
  • Why JavaScript in Blockchain?

JavaScript for Blockchain - How it Works?

Firstly, it is worth understanding that other blockchain systems use unique programming languages. Developers use solidity or rust to build applications for Ethereum or Solana, as examples. These complex and advanced languages make starting a career in blockchain significantly more challenging than necessary.

If you have a big idea, and you feel that blockchain can make that dream a reality, why should you need to use anything more than what you already know?

This is the central belief of the Lisk protocol. That everyone should have access to blockchain technology. This is why the Lisk development team have created a simple-to-use SDK for developing your own blockchain. It runs on node.js and allows you to code in the same way you would any other program using JavaScript.

How to Build a Blockchain in JavaScript

An SDK (Software Development Kit) offers a simple to use tool for developers. It is a program which creates a base to work off of, with similar principles to the main chain. Modules within the SDK can be changed to suit the needs of the specific chain.

The Lisk SDK uses node.js runtime and consists of three fundamental components.

  • Lisk Framework is the foundation which gives applications their basics.
  • Lisk elements is a collection of libraries used for application functionality.
  • The Lisk Commander is an entry point for developers to build blockchain applications.

All of these components come together and allow developers the opportunity to use JavaScript in blockchain development.

This modular approach to creating a blockchain gives greater liberty to programmers to create a more dynamic and unique chain than the mainnet. You can therefore manipulate a wide variety of modules within the SDK so as to explore all kinds of use cases. The decentralized base of the Lisk network simply acts as a central point to the whole system.

Blockchain for JavaScript Developers

Now that we understand that JavaScript for Blockchain is possible, what can be done with this information? As a JavaScript developer, the world of blockchain is now open to you. There is a simple option for creating the applications you want without having to learn a new programming language. There are many clear differences between apps built for web2 and blockchain applications.

Some of these reasons are:

  • Community run systems
  • Divergent monetary tools
  • Safer file storage
  • Enhanced communication methods

You might just want to create an online shop that foregoes third party channels for payments like PayPal. Simple and complex ideas can benefit from the power of blockchain technology. JavaScript developers can join this conversation too.

JavaScript Blockchain Projects

Now that we have looked at what blockchain can do for developers, we can take a look at some examples of projects that have opted into creating a blockchain with JavaScript.

Topas City

Using JavaScript, the Topas City team have developed a VR world powered by Lisk. With in-game assets, NFTs as items, and a data recording system based on blockchain technology, the game is in early development. It is possible that this could be the first of many games to come using JavaScript in blockchain to produce something so particular.

RGB, Your Place

Based on a popular community run art experiment on Reddit, Your Place, allows contributors to add pixels of color to an empty canvas. This happens consistently over a couple weeks until a final image emerges. The image is then minted as an NFT and put up for auction on the web.

Building communities on art and fun is a great way to develop and drive engagement. With this program, users can also gain some income too as anything earned from the auction is split among contributors.

Why JavaScript in Blockchain?

Since its conception in the mid-nineties, JavaScript has been a go-to tool of developer communities. It is known now and it is widely used. With blockchain gaining prominence in the modern age, we think it is time to embrace both worlds.

What percentage of developers code in JavaScript?

According to the website Statista, 64.96% of developers use JavaScript to code.

Do I need to know how to use any other language to build a blockchain application?

With the Lisk SDK, a knowledge of JavaScript or TypeScript is enough to create your own chain. Using node.js, you won’t need any new languages to build a blockchain application.