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Solidity seems to be written in C++ so does that mean that smart contracts require some level of C++ programming skills to get by? How much background knowledge is required for writing a simple one or two-condition contract compared to tokenizing stocks?

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The ("official") Solidity compiler and associated utilities are written in C++.

But Solidity is its own language with its own grammar.

does that mean that smart contracts require some level of C++ programming skills to get by?

No. You could write a Solidity compiler in any language you like as long as the output of compilation is valid EVM bytecode. Knowing the language that the compiler is written in doesn't make the target of that compilation any easier to understand or work with, unless by coincidence there are inherent similarities in those two languages.

(Is Solidity similar to C++? Not similar enough that knowing C++ would give you an advantage, other than the fact that knowing C++ means you're familiar with programming in general. In my opinion.)

How much background knowledge is required for writing a simple one or two-condition contract compared to tokenizing stocks?

Difficult to answer objectively.

Back to the original question:

How much C++ is needed to write smart contracts?

Smart contracts can be written in languages other than Solidity1. Vyper is another popular one, and one which I would argue has greater similarity to Python that Solidity does to C++.

(1 You could write smart contracts in complete gibberish, as long as you wrote a compiler - in any language you like - that could compile that gibberish to valid EVM bytecode.)

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  • would you say the tokenization of stocks, as well as the writing of non-fungible token smart contracts for securing assets like real estate, would rely predominantly on the Solidity and Vyper languages? what is your outlook for the demand for contract-coding services as more assets become tokenized? – user610620 Jan 21 at 10:42
  • Yes, currently any tokenisation would predominantly rely mainly on Solidity, and to a lesser extent Vyper. Note that this only answers the question for the Ethereum ecosystem. There are other blockchains that run their own form of smart contracts and have their own smart contract languages. Overall I would expect demand for coding services to increase. Whether Ethereum will remain the best platform - however you qualify "best" - on which to run smart contracts will remain to be seen. – Richard Horrocks Jan 21 at 11:53
  • which blockchains are the second and third runners-up for smart contract writing and adoption? – user610620 Jan 21 at 12:02
  • It's difficult to tell without being properly immersed in each of the platforms. Adoption could perhaps be determined by the market cap of the associated currency(?). Bitcoin itself has Rootstock, though I'm unsure of adoption. Or developer interest could be gauged by Stack Exchange activity? (In which case Ethereum probably wins. But see EOSIO, Tezos, and Iota Stack Exchange sites, as well as the Bitcoin one. I believe they all have smart contract support.) – Richard Horrocks Jan 21 at 16:11

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