Introduction To Blockchain Programming Languages: Vyper

Vyper is a popular alternative to Solidity, with various benefits but also some significant drawbacks.

Will Vyper ultimately challenge Solidity as the leading EVM language?

Solidity is the most popular smart contract programming language, and the default option for Ethereum and EVM platforms. However, there are alternatives, including Vyper: A Python-based language created by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in 2017.

Here are some of the key properties, pros, and cons of Vyper as a blockchain language.

Secure, Straightforward, Pythonic

Vyper's great strength is that it is based on Python, a tremendously popular and easy-to-use language employed by millions of developers. This immediately makes it more accessible than Solidity, and far more so than other, more complex languages like Rust. Developers can write code without quite such a learning curve. Additionally, Vyper code is very human-readable, which makes it easier to check, audit, and maintain.

Vyper intentionally avoids the complexity that can lead to coding errors and vulnerabilities in Solidity, which reduces the scope for hacks. There is a focus on security, and it is designed to prevent attackers from carrying out certain common smart contract exploits.

Another key benefit is that Vyper can be more gas efficient, due to design choices in the language. Given the issues with network congestion on Ethereum L1, this should be uppermost in developers' minds, and a considerable amount of effort is expended in optimizing smart contracts for gas use.

Overall, then, Vyper's simplicity, readability, security, and efficiency, have made it a popular alternative to Solidity for Ethereum and EVM chains, though it still remains very much in second place.

Vyper's Limitations

Vyper has plenty of strengths, but there is a flip side to its safety and convenience. By removing certain functionality, Vyper avoids critical problems, but it also makes it a less powerful language. It's not "Turing complete", and some of the more advanced features found in Solidity are missing.

As a developer, this may be frustrating, and might tip the balance back in favor of using a more feature-rich (if more risky) language.

Additionally, Vyper isn't as popular as Solidity and hasn't been around as long, so there are fewer resources and less support for developers. It might be quicker to learn, but if you run into problems, there will be fewer developers with the experience to help you out.

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