Table of Contents
‘Move’ is a recently introduced programming language designed specifically for building smart contracts on the Libra blockchain.
Developed by Facebook to power the Diem blockchain, Move is a statically typed, safe, and resource-aware language that offers several features that set it apart from other blockchain programming languages.
This article will provide a comprehensive guide on Move, including its history, syntax, differences from existing languages, and its future prospects.
What is Move Programming Language?
Move is essentially described as a language of executable bytes that is used to build smart contracts and unique transactions.
It was developed in part as a result of well-known problems with other blockchain programming languages, like Solidity.
The Move serves as a safe and flexible alternative for addressing the issues of enforcing two distinct properties in the management of digital assets, such as scarcity and access control.
- Scarcity refers to the prevention of double-spending alongside imposing restrictions on the creation of assets.
- Asset control focuses on maintaining ownership information alongside relevant privileges regarding ownership of digital assets.
You must start with these two qualities when learning the move programming language. By including a type system for various resources in the system, Move guarantees the existence of these qualities. Moreover, Move makes sure that resources with access control privileges are automatically enclosed.
History of Move Programming Language
Facebook unveiled Move in 2019 as a part of its ambitions to release its cryptocurrency, Libra. Move’s main goal was to give programmers a risk-free and secure means to develop smart contracts on the Libra blockchain.
Move was developed because its designers felt that the programming language needed to be specifically created for blockchain applications.
A group of programmers led by Facebook’s head of blockchain David Marcus invented the open-source programming language known as Move. The development team aimed to produce a language that could mostly shield against the hackers and security holes that have afflicted other blockchain networks.
How is it Different From the Other Existing Languages?
Move is different from existing languages in several ways.
- Move does not have a default-type system enforced for digital assets such as Ether or Bitcoin.
- Another key difference is that Move is a statically typed language, meaning that variables have types that are determined at compile time. This makes it easier to identify errors in code and prevents many of the bugs that plague dynamically typed languages.
- You could find a single asset finding representation in the whole language. Any type of custom asset, such as ERC20 tokens, should be reviewed for safety properties outlined by the programmer developing the tokens.
- Move is free from the concerns of limits in defining custom data types of procedures.
Design Goals for the Move Language
Any custom asset can be declared in Move as a resource type, which automatically makes it safe and access-regulated.
Move features modules, which are code blocks containing resources, other types, and operations, much like Ethereum’s smart contracts do.
These two key elements together ensure a high level of data abstraction. Resources are visible to internal invocations of modules but opaque to external invocations.
A transaction script will be included with every Libra transaction. A module’s calls and procedure calls are made via transaction scripts.
It has a single main method and supports arbitrary code and transactions that can be customized. Several procedures can be called from a single script. Up to this point, Move has an appearance that is quite reminiscent of object-oriented programming languages.
One of the characteristics of the Move language that holds promise for the construction of libraries with greater access control and data abstraction is the module system. The advantages of highly functional components like a serializer or deserializer, bytecode interpreter, and bytecode verifier are also offered by the Move language.
To enforce safety in this language, three main components have to be investigated—types, resources, and memory.
In general, two approaches seemed to be common, either compile-time checking or runtime checking at the assembly level.
With Move, a new approach has evolved, which is a median between the above two approaches, i.e., typed bytecode which is at a higher level than assembly and a lower level than source language.
Even though Move enables on-chain verification of all the safety properties, this is not ideal for a highly utilized blockchain. Hence, off-chain static verification tools are also supported by Move, which will reduce the complexity of on-chain verification.
The Future of Move Language
Although Move is still in its early phases, it has already attracted a lot of interest from blockchain enthusiasts and developers. It is an appealing alternative for creating smart contracts thanks to its distinctive qualities, and the blockchain community will probably use it a lot.
There are some encouraging data points as Move/MoveVM sets off on the same path as Solidity/EVM. We think that FTX Ventures can assist in the development of the Move ecosystem, much like they did with Solana during its bootstrapping phase, given that they have invested in Sui and Aptos.
With the awards and hackathons noted above, Sui and Aptos are both strongly promoting their DevNets, and in the upcoming months, we should start to see a surge in developer participation.
Moreover, initiatives like Pontem have already created a fork of the Diem MoveVM that can be deployed to other contemporary chains like Polkadot, Cosmos, Avalanche, etc., and are working on a new EVM compatible with the MoveVM in order to help overcome the initial lack of developer resources and to aid in the gradual migration from other developers.
Move may assist in lessening the number of attacks and security breaches that have plagued other blockchain networks, which is one of its potential advantages. This might increase the acceptance and application of blockchain technology in the future.
Move could prove to be a programming language that can provide a safer, quicker, and easier way to write smart contracts.
This will form the basis of a strong and vibrant developer ecosystem looking to build the next generation of Web3 applications to onboard a billion users.
Move is an exciting new programming language that has been specifically designed for building smart contracts on the Libra blockchain.
Its unique features, including its static typing, resource awareness, and borrow checker, make it a promising option for blockchain developers.
While it is still in its early stages, the potential benefits of Move could help to make blockchain technology more widely used and accepted in the future.
The Move programming language still needs enhancements despite having already shown its value as a language for blockchain development.
The addition of additional features like parametric polymorphism, events, and collections may be one of the most noticeable advances.