A Solidity Definition

If you’re keeping an eye on Blockchain, you may have run across mentions of “solidity” as part of discussions of the Ethereum blockchain, and in particular alongside discussion of smart contracts. Any solidity definition is going to lead you straight into the topic of smart contracts and this post is no exception.

The smart contract concept was always part of Ethereum, but Solidity as a programming language in which to create those contracts dates back to 2014, when it was proposed by British software developer Gavin Wood. Work on realizing the proposal was carried out by Wood along with contributors including Christian Reitwiessner, Alex Beregszaszi, Liana Husikyan and Yoichi Hirai.

Solidity is now one of several options, including Serpent, Viper and Mutan, for programming on the Ethereum blockchain, which functions as a sort of ‘global computer.’ As a computer, Ethereum runs low-level instructions on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). All of these languages compile to bytecode that is native to the EVM.

While Solidity was originally conceived as a programming tool for the Ethereum blockchain, it runs in other blockchain environments as well, including:

By design, Solidity bears a strong resemblance to ECMAScript (the latest version of JavaScript) and, by extension, languages derived from C. The language uses strong typing and supports object oriented programming, including class inheritance.

Solidity enables you to write applications that are written to the Ethereum blockchain. These applications implement self-enforcing contractual agreements (that is, “smart” contracts). In a smart contract, funds and assets are automatically controlled and distributed based on parties to the agreement meeting specific conditions.

The primary benefit of such smart contracts is that business transactions can be carried out without a third-party mediation of the terms. If a payment must be made before a digital asset is released to a party to the agreement, for example, the contract itself can verify that cryptocurrency has been transferred to the contract and then automatically release the asset. Smart contracts can also be used to control minting of new creator coins within sidechains according to demand and price stability, meaning that prices can’t be manipulated by the creator supported by the creator coin once the contract controls are in place.


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