How to Create a Smart Contract: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need
Blockchain 10 Apr 235 min readAs a business owner in an evolving digital market, you may want to know how to create a smart contract. But how can they benefit you? Read on and learn more.5 min read
Imagine a customer who thinks they deserve a refund for a service they paid for or an online transaction that wasn’t processed properly. To get a chargeback or a refund, they have to undergo a tedious process. What if we could have a reliable and secure system to save us from all the trouble? This is when learning how to create a smart contract come into play.
Smart contracts are digital agreements between two or more parties, written in code and stored on a blockchain network. They can be used to automate transactions, enforce terms of agreement and guarantee trust between different stakeholders involved in the contract.
The smart contract market value is projected to reach more than $800 million by 2030, so it is easy to see why businesses are investing in innovations, including smart contracts and NFT marketplaces.
Scouring the internet for phrases like 'how to create a blockchain smart contract'? Close the other tabs, as in this article, you'll learn how to create a smart contract step by step. So let’s dive right into it!
Why Should You Create a Smart Contract?
There can be several reasons why you may need to create a smart contract, such as:
- Automating transactions and ensuring that payments are made on time. This helps reduce costs and friction in business processes.
- Enforcing terms of an agreement between parties, making sure that all conditions in the contract are met before any transaction is finalized.
- Providing trust between different stakeholders involved in the contract by providing transparency into all related activities.
You can save time and money by learning how to write smart contracts. If you know how to create them and automate business processes, contract management is much more efficient than traditional methods.
Additionally, writing smart contracts and using them in your business ensures that transactions are immutable, meaning they cannot be modified without permission from all parties involved. That makes them highly secure and reliable.
How to Make a Smart Contract – 5 Essential Steps
Creating a smart contract involves selecting a blockchain and a development tool, working on the code, testing the contract, and deploying it on a blockchain network. But as you study how to make a smart contract, you'll learn that each step is crucial in its own right, so let’s have a look at each of them in detail.
Step 1: Select the Blockchain
The first part of making a smart contract is selecting the blockchain. This will determine which programming language you’ll be using, as well as the features and capabilities of your contract.
Popular choices include Ethereum, Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, EOS, and Cardano. Each platform has pros and cons. For example, Ethereum offers more flexibility than Bitcoin but has higher transaction costs.
Meanwhile, Hyperledger Fabric is a permissioned blockchain, meaning only certain parties can access and use the network.
So when choosing a blockchain, consider the following factors:
- Transaction costs
- Security features
- Development tools available
Step 2: Choose a Development Tool
After selecting a blockchain, you will need to learn what development tools are used for this particular blockchain.
There are also toolkits built for particular Blockchain smart contract development, such as Hardhat and Truffle. They provide helpful features for debugging and testing, which can be used to ensure that your contract works properly before deploying it.
Programming languages vary greatly between different blockchains. Along with selecting a development tool, you should also choose the right wallet to deploy your contract from. It would be great to familiarize yourself with the blockchain testnet, a simulated environment that allows users to practice developing, deploying, debugging, and using smart contracts before going live.
Step 3: Develop a Smart Contract
This is where all the effort pays off. As the most important part of the process, writing the code for your smart contract is where you will define the business processes, set up the rules, and create functions that allow users to interact with it.
Developing a smart contract requires knowledge of programming languages based on the selected blockchain, an understanding of blockchain concepts like consensus mechanisms and cryptography, and experience in developing applications on top of blockchains.
There are standards and presets for common use cases such as NFT smart contracts or token smart contracts. However, developers should also be familiar with fundamental software development and architecture principles to efficiently create complex smart contracts.
Take note – it is important to understand the limitations of the platform you are using and be aware of any security risks associated with your code before deploying it onto a public network.
Step 4: Testing
This is where you can eliminate the risks of launching a smart contract. Before deploying it onto a public network, you should test the code on the blockchain testnet to ensure it is working as expected and can’t be easily exploited by hackers.
Once your smart contract is deployed, it is irreversible or difficult to change. So, testing your contract beforehand can help you avoid costly mistakes that cannot be undone.
To escape those pitfalls, pay attention to blockchain standards and use common libraries for contract development. Doing these two things can help you identify any issues with your contract before launching it.
For example, Openzeppelin provides a library of smart contracts thoroughly tested and audited for reference. When dealing with Ethereum, you should use Ethereum testnet development environments such as Goerli or Sepolia to test your contracts.
Step 5: Deploy Smart Contract to the Mainnet
For the final stage, take the necessary steps to deploy your smart contract onto the main network. To have your contracts live, you must deploy them on a blockchain network. The network depends on your initial blockchain choice, and you likely will need to pay the gas fees for the contract deployment.
Pay attention to the gas price and the amount of gas necessary to deploy your smart contract. Some tools can help you estimate both of these for each blockchain.
Once deployed, you can share its address with users so they can interact with it as agreed upon in the terms of your agreement. Make sure all users are aware of updates made to the code after deployment as well as any changes in pricing or other conditions associated with using your smart contract.
You can also track a contract's performance to make sure it is working as intended. This can be done using a blockchain explorer like Etherscan or EOS Block Explorer, depending on the blockchain you use. These tools allow users to view the transaction history of a specific address and analyze the data associated with it.
Doing so will help you monitor any issues and take action accordingly.
How Much Does It Cost to Create a Smart Contract?
Since there are many ways of creating a smart contract, the cost can be somewhat unpredictable. The project's complexity, the number of contracts needed, and any additional features or services required (like automated testing or security audits) all impact the investment required.
Creating a smart contract can range from under $1k to over $400k, depending on its scope and features. Note that many platforms also charge fees for contract deployment.
How Much Does It Cost to Deploy a Smart Contract?
This also heavily depends on the fees imposed by the blockchain platform used for deployment. Generally, Ethereum charges “gas,” the fee required for execution, while EOS requires its users to purchase RAM and CPU to cover the costs associated with deploying their smart contracts.
The cost of deploying a smart contract also varies depending on its features and size, as well as any additional services that are needed to deploy it successfully.
Ways to Create & Deploy Smart Contracts on Different Blockchains
Since every blockchain has advantages and disadvantages, it's only natural that they also have variations in how contracts can be created and deployed. As a result, smart contract deployment requires you to choose a blockchain that fits your needs and preferences well.
How to Create a Smart Contract On Ethereum
One of the most popular platforms for creating and deploying smart contracts is Ethereum. To learn how to create a smart contract using Ethereum, you need to first understand the basics of Solidity programming language, which is used for contract development.
Creating a smart contract on Ethereum involves writing the contract code in Solidity, testing it in a development environment, and deploying it to the Ethereum network. You would need to have an Ethereum wallet and ETH to deploy your smart contract. There are tools such as Remix IDE that can be helpful to start with smart contract development and deployment.
How to Create a Smart Contract on Solana
If you opt to learn how to make a Solana smart contract, you should first understand the Solana programming language, which is Rust.
With an intuitive software development kit (SDK), Solana Labs has provided a way for developers to build on top of their platform. The Solana Program Library includes a vast collection of on-chain programs that can help in your creation of smart contracts.
The key difference in using this platform is that it is newer and cheaper than Ethereum. However, its disadvantages include a lack of user-friendly resources, the mainnet working unstable, and difficulties debugging and testing contracts.
How to Create a Smart Contract on Cardano
To create a smart contract on Cardano, you must first learn the Plutus programming language (a functional programming language used for contract development) or use the Marlowe platform for contract development and deployment.
Marlowe is an easy-to-use domain-specific language (DSL) that also provides a visual interface for creating and deploying smart contracts on Cardano’s blockchain. It also allows developers to test their code in a sandbox environment before pushing it live onto the mainnet.
One notable feature of Cardano is that it’s environmentally friendly and the transactions are processed fast. The Cardano system is also open to review by its peers. However, Cardano still lacks product implementation, and the community interest is lower compared to Ethereum.
How to Create a Smart Contract on Polygon
Polygon uses the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) for smart contract development, meaning developers can create their contracts in Solidity, a popular programming language for Ethereum, and deploy them as-is on Polygon.
To create a smart contract on Polygon, you must first set up your development environment using the MetaMask browser extension and Hardhat/Truffle suite of tools. After that, you can write and deploy your contract just as you would with Ethereum; the difference would be the MATIC needed for gas price payment and a different node to connect to.
Once deployed, users can interact with the contract via web3 libraries like Web3.js or Ethers.js. Because of its reliance on the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which is a complex system, developers should be aware of the challenges that come with coding smart contracts on Polygon.
How to Create a Smart Contract On BSC
The Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is a blockchain allowing developers to use Solidity to create and deploy smart contracts. You can start creating a smart contract on BSC by setting up your development environment.
To do this, you should set up your wallet, such as MetaMask, to work with BSC Mainnet and Testnet networks. Use the Remix IDE or download Hardhat/Truffle Suite to develop and deploy smart contracts.
OpenZeppelin and other libraries working with EVM and providing standard implementations in Solidity can be helpful when creating the first smart contract on Binance Smart Chain. There are also BEPs: standards of Binance Smart Chain, which are similar to Ethereum EIPs.
For more complex contracts, developers will need to have a good understanding of Solidity and the BSC platform, so learning how to deploy a smart contract on Binance smart chain can be a bit time-consuming.
There can be many factors to consider before launching contracts – but don’t worry! We have amazing options that can help you with creating smart contracts and deploying them as well.
Creating Smart Contracts Is Easier Than Ever With Aegas
Aegas is an IT outsourcing company that focuses on blockchain development and creating custom solutions using Web 3. We can help you write smart contracts for blockchains of your choice, including Ethereum, BSC, and more.
The process can be as simple as letting us know your business requirements to refine your vision, collaborating and creating smart contracts, launching confidently, and preparing you for success and smart-contract management.
So if you are looking for an easier way to build smart contracts on BSC or other blockchains, then give Aegas a try! You won’t need to worry about learning Solidity or setting up your development environment again! Talk to our expert team today.