How to Create Cardano Smart Contracts? | Coindoo
Cardano smart contracts 

A Step Beyond Ethereum! How to Create Cardano Smart Contracts? 

Editorial Team Avatar
Jun 9, 2023
8 min reading time

With Cardano being in the spotlight for quite some time, especially with the launch of the Alonzo Hard Fork, the development team has enabled the creation of smart contracts that can now be developed and deployed on the mainnet. 

So, with all the changes and achievements, we are left with a question: how to write Cardano smart contracts? 

With such a beneficial update, in today’s article, we discuss the Cardano smart contracts: what it is, what it does, and most importantly, how to write your own Cardano self-executing contract. To begin with, let us discuss the basic definition of smart contracts

What is a smart contract? 

What is a smart contract? 

A smart or self-executing contract is a digital transaction protocol that verifies, manages, and processes an operation within the Cardano blockchain. The data is embedded in a computerized software code and stored on the blockchain.  

How does a smart contract work? 

Launched in 2021, after a long time, the Cardano smart contract binds the seller and the buyer without needing a third party to conduct the exchange. Yet, you must understand that a smart contract does not imply legal language, terms, or agreements but contains hundreds of lines of code, creating a complex algorithm based on simple functions, such as “If-Then-When,” as seen in software programming.  

If I send 10000 BTC, then you will send the price equivalent in ADA when both parties meet the conditions. Straightforward, right?  

If you wish to learn more about smart contracts, their capabilities, the types of self-executing arrangements, or how to create a smart contract without programming skills, this in-depth guide article is for you. 

What makes Cardano smart contracts better than Ethereum? 

Before discussing whether the Cardanos smart contract is better than Ethereum smart contract, it is best to apprehend the main differentiator between them. So, let us get started. 

First, you must understand that Cardano and Ethereum both provide similar functionalities, the use, and creation of smart contracts, dApps, and so on, yet they differ as operating systems and general and compensatory policies.  

Cardano and Ethereum are now using a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, even though this was not the case two years ago. Until late 2022, Ethereum used the Proof-of-Work, performing multiple trials and errors to validate the transactions, thus resulting in a never-ending scalability dilemma, high gas fees, and slower loading time. But as the Ethereum network grew and more miners joined it, this resulted in higher energy consumption, thus having a direct impact on the environment. As a result, Ethereum transitioned from PoW (Proof of Work) to PoS (Proof of Stake), reducing the blockchain’s energy consumption by 99.84%.  

Yes, we can all agree that it is an improvement. Still, while Ethereum made the changes, Cardano was the first blockchain that introduced an academic and peer-reviewed consensus mechanism that is more secure, thus, highly scalable in the future. 

We can say that Cardano is still in its first years of development, but what is striking is the fact that Cardano focused from the beginning on the aspects that drew Ethereum back:  

  • The PoS consensus algorithm, Ouroboros, was designed to be more energy-efficient and resilient to attacks. 
  • The blockchain was built on a rigorous foundation of peer-reviewed research and formal methods to ensure its correctness and quality. 

Cardanos’ self-executing contract platform claims to be more secure, sustainable, and scalable than its rival, thanks to its layered architecture. Still, we have to offer Ethereum credit for being the first network to allow the use of smart contracts. 

But to answer the public on what makes Cardano smart contracts better than Ethereum, we could say that both have similarities; there is no option better than the other, and it all depends on the context of use. Indeed, Cardano addresses and attempts to solve the scalability dilemma, but if you want to learn more about ADA vs. ETH cryptocurrency comparison, check our in-depth article and conclude. 

What programming languages use Cardano smart contract? 

The Cardano smart contracts are developed using one of four languages, depending on the specs: 

1. Aiken 

Aiken is a new programming language for developing smart contracts on the Cardano blockchain. The language is used for on-chain validator scripts only: a language & toolchain favoring developer experience, and you need to write your off-chain codes for generating exchanges in other languages, such as Rust, Haskell, JavaScript, and others. 

2. Marlowe 

The programming language is a domain-specific or DSL that surrounds the world of financial contracts, enabling users to create blockchain applications. 

3. Opshin 

Opshin is a programming language for generic self-executing contracts based on the Cardano blockchain. Its syntax is 100% valid Python code.  

4. Plutus  

Plutus is the Cardano smart contract platform that allows you to write complete applications interacting with the Cardano blockchain. 

5. Plu-ts 

This typescript-embedded programming language and library is designed for self-executing contract efficiency while staying as close to the Typescript syntax as possible. 

How to create Cardano smart contracts step-by-step 

To exemplify how to deploy a Cardano smart contract using Marlowe, here is a simple 8-step process: 

1. Pay 

The arrangement involves a payment or transaction for a specific token from one account to another. Alerts will be sent automatically if the value is negative or insufficient funds exist. However, a partial payment will be made with the available amount. 

2. Close 

“Close” means how the agreement will be conducted, and paying account holders with an overdue balance is the primary purpose. Before delving into additional types of contracts, it is necessary to define values, observations, and actions. 

3. Values, observations, and actions 

“Values” refers to numbers that vary, such as “the current slot number”, “the current amount on a specific account’s account,” and any previous selections, also known as volatile numbers. 

“Observations” are Boolean values acquired by value comparison and may be merged using standard Boolean operators.  

In distinction, “actions” emerge at certain moments throughout execution. As previously stated, actions can be: 

  • Funds deposit, 
  • Selecting one option from a variety, 
  • Points of some external value. 

4. Oracles 

Oracles are created for blockchain and will be accessible for users in Marlowe on Cardano. They are modeled as decisions made by a participant with a specialized Oracle role, “Kraken.” 

5. If 

A used conditional is built on the Boolean value of the observation and will remain the same if Obs cont1 and cont2 are executed. 

6. When 

In the contract, some cases spell out what happens when certain events occur, and the actions may or may not occur at a given time. 

7. Let 

A lease agreement allows a contract to name a value with an identifier. The expression value is evaluated and saved with the name id, and the contract is then extended as cont. 

8. Assert 

The property carries static analysis at every point in the smart contract and would fail if the execution results were in a false assertion. 

Use Cases of Cardano Smart Contracts 

Use Cases of Cardano Smart Contracts 

1. Gaming 

Smart contracts have disrupted the gaming industry, allowing users to join teams without a physical registration process. Cardano shaped the gaming industry making the business more transparent. 

2.dApp Development 

Cardano offers multiple categories of dApps like DeFi (Decentralized Finance), voting, identity management, and many more, powered by the Cardano self-programmable contracts. These dApps have a user-interactive interface with the Cardano blockchain and execute transactions without letting in any third party. 

3. Supply Chain  

As of 2019, New Balance, one of the essential sports footwear and apparel producers worldwide, has contracted Cardano to check the authenticity of its shoes. Buyers can verify footwear’s authenticity on the distributed ledger using consumer-level verification. 

FAQ Related to Cardano Smart Contracts: 

What are smart contracts, Cardano? 

A smart or self-executing contract is a digital transaction protocol that verifies, manages, and processes an operation within the Cardano blockchain. The data is embedded in a computerized software code and stored on the blockchain.  

How many smart contracts are on Cardano? 

As of February 2023, Cardano ranked second among the leading self-executing contract crypto projects by staking market cap with a valuation of $10.4 billion. 

Is Cardano better than Ethereum? 

Cardanos’ self-executing contract platform claims to be more secure, sustainable, and scalable than its rival, thanks to its layered architecture. Still, we have to offer Ethereum credit for being the first network to allow the use of smart contracts. 

What is Cardano smart contracts written in? 

The Cardano smart contracts are developed using one of four languages, depending on the specs: Aikin, Marlowe, Opshin, Plutus, and Plu-ts. 

Final Thoughts on Cardano smart contracts 

Still, dwelling upon whether to choose Cardano’s smart contracts or Ethereum? In that case, it is essential to analyze how smart contracts are done by examining the whole blockchain and its implications. 

Cardano smart contracts are value-related agreements that impact our economic environment, and the Cardano blockchain provides an effective platform for executing real-world contracts. These provide visibility to both parties while offering data safety. 

We hope our compelling article offers you the most vital details so you can start immediately, without doubts or incomplete information, and have a general view of how Cardano blockchain and smart contracts are changing the economic status. 

* The information in this article and the links provided are for general information purposes only and should not constitute any financial or investment advice. We advise you to do your own research or consult a professional before making financial decisions. Please acknowledge that we are not responsible for any loss caused by any information present on this website.
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