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An Overview of EOS Smart Contract Development

In the blockchain and development ecosystem there remains one large debate around which project can deliver the most efficient and subsequently effective development framework for smart contracts. Smart contracts, otherwise known as virtualized agreements between multiple parties, are the backbone of decentralized applications (dApps) essentially serving as the bridge that connects the static world to blockchain technology.

Those knowledgeable in the space are aware of the three main contenders for best smart contract framework: Ethereum (Ether), EOS (EOS), and TRON(TRX). Each framework maintains similar qualities that can be used to enforce an effective tool for developers to create smart contracts, however at their core, they possess unique and notable attributes that enable them to work differently from their counterparts.

While debatable which language is the “best” for smart contract development, the EOS framework has established a maneuverable framework, one that developers have taken interest in as shown on their GitHub activity.

For information about Etheruem’s native programming language, Solidity, please read through BTCManager’s overview here. 

Smart Contracts and Beginning to Separate EOS

Smart contract development is a complex process, but for good reason. Smart contracts establish virtual agreements between multiple parties, and if too simple, they could easily be attacked. Upon the first introduction of smart contract development, Ethereum demonstrated a framework for digital agreements that could act almost as a digitized “escrow” system for any type of transaction. Subsequently, there has been much debate within the crypto community regarding the best way to develop and instantiate these smart contracts. Smart contracts offer serious technological advancement, however, they are in some cases not efficiently deployed.

Each development atmosphere within smart contracts has given rise to new questions: how can we save space? How can we make the process less costly? How can we make our tech function faster?

These questions are actively assessed by “The Big 3 platofrms and each has come up with their own take on solving these potential problems.

EOS has stated that the main differentiations that separate them from the remainder of the smart contract development environment are their emphasis on scalability, flexibility, and usability. With these in mind, EOS can be placed in a separate container entirely due to the fact that TRON smart contract development is actually reliant on Ethereum.  EOS is even further differentiated from Ethereum and TRON in that, TRON smart contracts are programmed with the same language as Ethereum, Solidity, while EOS smart contracts are developed using C++.

EOS Development: Unique Technological Attributes

Developers would not flock to a technology, framework, or environment were it not for certain attributes that made it attractive to develop on in the first place. EOS needed an edge, otherwise, developers wouldn’t waste their time with the EOS framework in the first place.

So what were the reasons why an increasing number of developers has started experimenting with EOS technology?

Arguably, the reasoning for amassed volume on the development frontier for smart contracts in EOS is based on the following points:

  • Scalability: Smart contracts are built on a specific blockchain. This means that the contracts will only function as well as the blockchain behind it does. Ethereum has faced scalability issues, which refers to the ability grow as more users begin to use it. Commentators saw this fatal flaw with the instantiation of CryptoKitties, and how it clogged the entire network. The proposed solution of scalability is offered with the EOS development framework.
  • Fees and Cost: One of the largest factors that immediately grabs people’s attention when it comes to EOS in comparison to other systems is the elimination of fees. This is important to note as the developer’s utilizing other blockchains typically have a variety of fees incurred along the way.
  • Seamless Deployment: In development, processes are typically broken down into small pieces that rely on packaging, versioning, configuring, and finishing a function via deployment. With smart contracts on other blockchains, the topic of deployment can in some cases be an issue due to the fact that deployment for these contracts is tricky on other static blockchains. When deploying dApps or contracts on other blockchains, fees begin to seriously accumulate. Developers find EOS’s elimination of fees an attractive trait.

Capabilities

Upon developing with EOS, a developer would likely inquire about what they can actually do with the framework. The main EOS infrastructure was created to create traditional smart contracts. However, EOS has added a few notable capabilities to amend some of the issues with other projects. Within the architecture, qualities include but are not limited to:

  • Exchange contracts: Decentralized exchanges (DEX) can function on EOS smart contracts.
  • Token and Asset Issuance Contracts: Contracts built to issue subsequent subsidiaries or “tokens in a specific form. Functions can include start and end dates/times for sales of “tokens,” whitelisted participants, and much more.
  • Multisig Contracts: Multi-signature is a concept that enables multiple parties to confirm legitimacy and theoretically “sign” a transaction that is completed within a contract all at once.  

Infrastructure and Process

The process for beginning EOS smart contract development is slightly more complicated than it is for Ethereum primarily because there does not exist (at least as of January 15, 2018), an online IDE where users can immediately connect to a blockchain.

EOS smart contract development is launched following the setup of a node within a system or server. Once connected to a node, interactions with the EOS blockchain are possible, and smart contracts can be established. This includes account creation, wallet deployment, and much more, possible exclusively with the EOS devkit.

Additionally, EOS has its own internal module through a modified interaction tool via the command line through what is called “cleos” (Command Line EOS). It’s with cleos that the majority of wallet creation, token issuance, deployment, and testing will be instantiated.

At the core of the EOS development process is C++ and according to the EOS team, it is expected to be the “best language for developing high-performance and secure smart contracts.” Naturally, each prospective developer should attempt to their own due diligence in this regard.

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