A World Full of Traditional Software and Developers: How Cartesi Bridges the Gap

Globally, there are over 25 million programmers using over 250 different languages. We want to connect them all to the unlimited potential of blockchain technology.

Cartesi Foundation


Blockchain technology and its near limitless applications is becoming adopted by more businesses, government bodies and financial institutions each day, with some of the world’s largest corporations utilising the power of decentralization to improve their workflows and processes. All of this being said it is important to note that, whilst the increasing adoption of decentralized technologies and systems is a huge step forward, the software and tools most widely used to build these pioneering applications and protocols are still inherently inaccessible to the majority of the world’s developer population.

In this article we take a look at what the software development landscape looks like today and how projects like Cartesi are helping to merge the traditional developer community with the decentralized tools being used to build the technologies of tomorrow.

The Current Landscape

The explosion of software over the last decade has changed how the world lives, works and interacts, with statistics revealing that almost 2 million applications are in use around the globe today. Nearly 4 billion people worldwide own a smartphone and as we go about our daily lives, shopping, talking with family and conducting business online, we have become more reliant on applications and the software that underpins them than ever before.

In particular, the very foundations of today’s global economy largely rely on the incredibly complex software and technology that we have become accustomed to using in order to function efficiently, with central banks and millions of businesses trusting the complicated frameworks that enable payment and transfers of value.

But one of the less spoken about implications of software’s cambrian explosion that has taken place in recent years is what goes on behind the scenes; pioneering technologies don’t just build themselves, they require experience and innovation from some of the world’s best software developers. This combined with the proper tools to code, build and test is what glues together the estimated 9 trillion consumers, commercial and infrastructure IoT devices in use today.

According to statistics, there were 26,4 million software developers in the world in 2019, with this number expected to grow to 28.7 million in 2024. As the world becomes ever-digital and we are forced to live more of our lives online than ever before due to CoronaVirus restrictions, the appetite for all things software-related has only increased; this demand has been reflected in the need for more skilled software developers.

The Languages of Linux

The toolsets used to deliver more applications than ever before vary widely and there are a plethora of options available to software developers today. When it comes to programming, the number of languages in the world depends on the rules you establish for deciding whether or not a language counts (some sources claim there are as many as 25,000!) — Some sources put the number of notable and popular languages at around the 250 mark.

Many of the popular languages such as Python, Javascript and C++ are used the world over on a daily basis. Languages such as PHP can be combined with the likes of Linux, Apache, and MySQL to form what are known as software stacks, which are ecosystems that enlist the underlying tools, frameworks, and libraries used to build and run applications.

As far as operating systems go, Linux in particular has over the years risen to the top over a period of 26 years to become the go-to platform for many of the world’s best software developers, due to its open source nature and support for almost all of the major programming languages. These are just some of the reasons that many feel that Linux is superior to Windows as an operating system, and also may perhaps be why 96.3% of the world’s top one million servers run on Linux.

Blockchain Bottlenecks

The developer community behind Linux is vast and reaches around the globe. This is not dissimilar to the quickly growing blockchain developer community which, although considerably smaller in size, also contains some of the world’s best developers from all corners of the world. The growing interest in blockchain technology as a solution for so many outdated frameworks and business models has seen the growth of developer communities building on blockchain explode in recent years, as those from the traditional software development world recognise the potential of decentralized systems.

But as great as this growth is, it has been massively stifled. The reason for this? The tools used to build on blockchains such as Polkadot and Ethereum are not “mainstream developer friendly”. This means that the world’s most popular languages and tools are incompatible with blockchains — mainstream stacks and their components (such as libraries, services and frameworks) are not supported and, when it comes to languages, Ethereum supports only Solidity, whereas Polkadot’s Substrate framework requires knowledge of Rust to build on it. The majority of the world’s developers have little experience with these languages, presenting a huge bottleneck when it comes to onboarding, product development and overall growth in the blockchain and Web3 space.

Although the number of new monthly crypto developers grew 15% in 2020, the number of blockchain developers overall compared to the millions of traditional software developers worldwide still pales in comparison. This only goes to highlight that something is still stopping some of the worlds best minds joining the blockchain development landscape.

There needs to be a better segue from mainstream software development to blockchain and Web3 development; we must offer developers trying to build on blockchain the opportunity to access the tools, frameworks and processes they’ve spent years perfecting, and enable them to put them to good use building on the decentralized operating systems that can and are changing the world.

How Cartesi can Bring the Next 25 Million Developers to Blockchain

At Cartesi, we have dedicated years towards solving this issue. We are well on our way toward offering mainstream developers everything they need to transfer their valuable skills, knowledge and toolsets from the Linux OS they love to the blockchain operating systems of the future.

Cartesi is a decentralized and scalable Linux infrastructure that enables the world’s millions of developers to build blockchain applications with the huge variety of mainstream software stacks available today. Our technology allows developers to build on well-established and familiar software stacks, running them in a Linux environment.

By taking away the requirement to learn whole new software stacks and programming languages, we are on a mission to speed up both the adoption of blockchain technology by the mainstream developer communities and productivity for existing businesses looking to onboard developers and expand.

If this wasn’t enough, we’re doing away with the limits on computation, the slow transaction speeds and the high prices that cripple DApps (decentralized applications) being built right now, by allowing applications to run off-chain. With Cartesi, intensive computations on massive amounts of data are performed off-chain, but they retain the same security guarantees offered by the blockchain, giving businesses looking to scale the best of both worlds.

We are looking to bridge the gap between the centralized and decentralized worlds of software development, opening the floodgates for the millions of developers worldwide to experience the power and potential of blockchain technology and decentralized applications. As we move into the second quarter of what is already becoming a landmark year in blockchain development, we’re getting ready for the next wave of developers to join Cartesi and start making their mark on the future of finance, commerce, online identity, security and much more. Are you?



Cartesi Foundation

Cartesi is an application-specific rollup protocol with a Linux runtime.