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Rafael Peña-Azar, M.Sc.Eng.
Rafael Peña-Azar, M.Sc.Eng.

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Forging the Future of Blockchain Development (with Ruby)

It's been a while since I wrote the last article here on DEV (Empowering Ruby in the World of Machine Learning). These have been difficult times, in which unfortunately I haven't been able to invest even a little amount of time in what I like so much. This time, keeping the essence of this series in which I want to emphasize the power of Ruby outside of Rails, I come with a very popular topic outside the Ruby world, but with the idea of ​​integrating it in such a way that we learn how we can combine the best of both worlds and take advantage of it. We all know that Rails is too good, but sometimes we know little about what we can do with Ruby outside of Rails. And, following that essence, I wrote about Ruby+Blockchain. Enjoy!

Introduction: Ruby on Blockchain.

Blockchain technology, the revolutionary force behind decentralized applications and cryptocurrencies, has been predominantly associated with languages like Solidity and JavaScript. Yet, the often overlooked Ruby language emerges as a powerful and elegant solution for blockchain development. This comprehensive article aims to dissect why Ruby stands as the optimal choice for building robust, scalable, and secure blockchain applications. From its expressive syntax to deep integration with web frameworks and an array of libraries, we will explore how Ruby not only facilitates blockchain development but also revolutionizes it.

1. Expressive Syntax and Developer Efficiency:

Ruby's syntax, lauded for its readability and elegance, significantly contributes to developer efficiency. In the domain of blockchain development, where complex smart contracts and algorithms reign, having a language that simplifies expressing intricate ideas is a game-changer.

   # Smart contract in Ruby
   class SimpleTokenContract
     def initialize
       @balances = {}

     def transfer(sender, receiver, amount)
       @balances[sender] -= amount
       @balances[receiver] += amount
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2. Robust Ecosystem of Gems and Libraries:

The Ruby community boasts an extensive ecosystem of gems and libraries that offer a plethora of tools for blockchain developers. Gems such as bitcoin-ruby and ethereum provide streamlined methods for interacting with Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, offering a seamless entry point into blockchain development.

These are easy examples to know how to introduce yourself (and use) gems regarding Blockchain development.

  • bitcoin-ruby Gem: The bitcoin-ruby Gem is a standout in the Ruby toolkit, offering comprehensive functionalities for Bitcoin blockchain integration. It simplifies tasks such as generating Bitcoin addresses, creating transactions, and managing wallet functionalities.
   require 'bitcoin'

   # Create a Bitcoin address
   key = Bitcoin::Key.generate
   address = key.addr
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  • ethereum Gem: For Ethereum blockchain integration, the ethereum Gem is a go-to choice. It provides methods to interact with Ethereum smart contracts, execute transactions, and retrieve blockchain data efficiently.
   require 'ethereum'

   # Interact with an Ethereum contract
   contract = Ethereum::Contract.create(file: 'path/to/contract.sol')
   result =[:param])
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  • web3-rb Gem: The web3-rb Gem serves as a powerful tool for Ethereum-based development. It offers functionalities to connect with Ethereum nodes, handle transactions, and interact with smart contracts.
   require 'web3'

   # Connect to an Ethereum node
   web3 = 'http://localhost:8545')
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  • ripple-client Gem: Those working with Ripple blockchain find the ripple-client Gem invaluable. It facilitates interactions with the Ripple network, enabling users to send payments and manage accounts seamlessly.
   require 'ripple'

   # Send a payment via Ripple
   client =
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  • stellar-sdk Gem: The stellar-sdk Gem simplifies Stellar blockchain integration. It allows for the creation of transactions, managing accounts, and accessing the Stellar network's functionalities.
   require 'stellar-sdk'

   # Create a transaction in Stellar
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These Gems, among many others, empower developers in the blockchain space, offering an extensive array of functionalities to build, manage, and interact with various blockchain networks. Leveraging these Gems, developers can streamline their workflow, expedite development, and create robust blockchain applications efficiently.

3. Web Development Synergy:

Obviously we need to talk a little about Ruby on Rails, the prominent web development framework, that seamlessly integrates with blockchain development. This harmony allows developers to build user-friendly interfaces for decentralized applications, enhancing the overall user experience.

   # Smart contract interaction in a Rails controller
   def show
     @contract = Ethereum::Contract.create(file: 'path/to/contract.sol')
     @result =[:param])
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4. Developer-Friendly Environment and Supportive Community:

The Ruby community fosters a welcoming environment for developers venturing into blockchain. Abundant tutorials, forums, and open-source projects create an enabling atmosphere, nurturing both newcomers and experienced developers alike.

5. Flexibility and Dynamic Typing:

Ruby's dynamic typing facilitates flexible development, crucial in adapting to the ever-evolving blockchain landscape. This adaptability empowers developers to respond quickly to changes in blockchain specifications and requirements.

6. Testing and Test-Driven Development (TDD):

Ruby's culture of Test-Driven Development (TDD) aligns seamlessly with the rigorous testing demands of blockchain applications. Testing frameworks like RSpec and Minitest enable developers to create robust and secure blockchain solutions.

Ruby's Internals Strengths in Blockchain Development

Ruby's internal design intricacies align remarkably well with the demands of blockchain development. While often not immediately apparent, Ruby's core features and mechanisms significantly contribute to the creation of efficient and robust blockchain applications.

1. Object-Oriented Nature:

Ruby's object-oriented paradigm perfectly fits the architecture of blockchain systems. The encapsulation of blockchain components as objects enhances readability, maintainability, and re-usability within smart contracts and decentralized applications.

   class SmartContract
     def initialize
       @storage = {}

     def store_data(key, value)
       @storage[key] = value

     def retrieve_data(key)
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2. Memory Management and Garbage Collection:

Ruby's garbage collection mechanisms and efficient memory management are pivotal in blockchain applications. Optimal memory utilization ensures seamless performance in managing large volumes of transactional data within the blockchain network.

3. Dynamic Dispatch and Flexibility:

Ruby's dynamic dispatch capability aligns seamlessly with the dynamic nature of blockchain transactions. It accommodates flexible execution paths, adapting to changes in transaction types and state updates within the blockchain.

4. Concurrency and Parallelism Support:

Blockchain networks often handle multiple transactions concurrently. Ruby's support for concurrency via features like fibers and threads equips it to manage the parallel processing demands of blockchain networks effectively.

   require 'concurrent'

   # Create concurrent tasks for blockchain processing
   task1 = Concurrent::Future.execute { process_transaction(transaction1) }
   task2 = Concurrent::Future.execute { process_transaction(transaction2) }
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5. Flexibility in Protocol Implementations:

Ruby's flexibility in protocol implementations allows developers to seamlessly integrate with diverse blockchain protocols. This adaptability empowers developers to craft blockchain applications tailored to specific network requirements.

These internal strengths of Ruby might not be immediately visible but play a critical role in the efficiency, scalability, and adaptability of blockchain applications developed in Ruby. By leveraging Ruby's internal mechanisms, developers can create robust and efficient blockchain solutions tailored to diverse use cases.

Conclusion: Ruby's potential for Blockchain projects.

In the fast-evolving realm of blockchain development, Ruby stands tall, blending elegance and power to create decentralized, transparent, and secure applications. From its expressive syntax to its robust ecosystem and deeper internal strengths, Ruby emerges as a language that not only simplifies but also elevates blockchain development.

By embracing Ruby for your next blockchain project, you tap into a language that not only enhances developer productivity but also harnesses the underlying strengths of its internal mechanisms. Ruby's object-oriented nature, memory management, dynamic dispatch, and support for concurrency make it a compelling choice for crafting secure, efficient, and scalable blockchain solutions.

Embark on your blockchain journey with Ruby, where elegance meets innovation, and witness the seamless fusion of sophistication and functionality in the blockchain realm.

Top comments (2)

cymaniatico profile image

Interesting. Thanks for sharing your article.

pimp_my_ruby profile image
Pimp My Ruby

Very interesting, thanks for sharing!