Ruby for Blockchain Development: Smart Contracts and Decentralized Apps

In the realm of blockchain technology, the creation of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps) has gained significant traction. These innovations offer transparency, security, and efficiency by eliminating intermediaries and central authorities. While languages like Solidity have traditionally dominated the blockchain space, Ruby, a dynamic and versatile language, is carving its niche in this arena. In this blog, we’ll delve into the exciting intersection of Ruby and blockchain, exploring how Ruby can be used for crafting smart contracts and developing decentralized applications. With the aid of code samples and practical insights, we’ll uncover the potential of Ruby in revolutionizing blockchain development.

Ruby for Blockchain Development: Smart Contracts and Decentralized Apps

1. Understanding Smart Contracts and DApps

Before we dive into the synergy between Ruby and blockchain, let’s establish a clear understanding of the key concepts: smart contracts and decentralized applications.

1.1. Smart Contracts: The Backbone of Trust

Smart contracts are self-executing agreements with the terms of the contract directly written into code. Once predefined conditions are met, the contract automatically enforces the agreed-upon actions. This removes the need for intermediaries and introduces a new level of trust and automation to various industries, from finance to supply chain management.

1.2. Decentralized Applications (DApps): Empowering Users

Decentralized applications (DApps) leverage blockchain technology to operate on a distributed network of computers. Unlike traditional applications that rely on central servers, DApps use the blockchain’s decentralized nature to enable greater security, censorship resistance, and user empowerment. DApps span various domains such as finance, gaming, and social networking.

2. Why Ruby for Blockchain?

While languages like Solidity have become synonymous with blockchain development, Ruby offers a refreshing approach to creating smart contracts and DApps. Known for its elegant syntax and developer-friendly features, Ruby has several advantages:

  • Developer Familiarity: Ruby is a well-established language with a large and supportive community. Developers who are already proficient in Ruby can transition into blockchain development more seamlessly.
  • Expressive Syntax: Ruby’s clean and expressive syntax allows developers to write code that is both readable and concise. This can lead to faster development cycles and easier debugging.
  • Rapid Prototyping: Ruby’s focus on developer productivity makes it an ideal choice for rapid prototyping. When experimenting with new blockchain concepts, Ruby’s agility can be a game-changer.
  • Rich Ecosystem: Ruby boasts an extensive ecosystem of gems (libraries) that can accelerate blockchain development. These gems cover a wide range of functionalities, from interacting with blockchains to managing cryptographic operations.

3. Creating Smart Contracts with Ruby

To illustrate Ruby’s potential in crafting smart contracts, let’s consider a basic example: a simple token contract on the Ethereum blockchain. We’ll use the Ethereum Ruby gem (ethereum.rb) to interact with the Ethereum network.

require 'ethereum.rb'

# Connect to an Ethereum node
client ='http://localhost:8545')

# Load the contract's ABI and address
contract_abi = [...]  # ABI definition
contract_address = '0x...'

# Instantiate the contract
contract = Ethereum::Contract.create(
  name: :SimpleToken,
  address: contract_address,
  abi: contract_abi,
  client: client

# Interact with contract methods
balance ='0xuseraddress')
puts "User's balance: #{balance}"

In this example, we use the Ethereum Ruby gem to establish a connection with an Ethereum node, load the contract’s ABI (Application Binary Interface) and address, and then interact with the contract’s methods.

4. Developing DApps with Ruby on Rails

Ruby’s versatility extends beyond smart contracts. It can also power the development of decentralized applications, particularly when combined with the Ruby on Rails framework. Let’s explore how you can build a basic decentralized voting DApp using Ruby on Rails and the Ethereum blockchain.

4.1. Setting Up the Project:

Start by creating a new Ruby on Rails project and configuring it to work with Ethereum. You can use gems like web3.rb and ethereum.rb to communicate with the Ethereum network.

4.2. Creating the Voting Contract:

Write a smart contract that represents the voting mechanism. Define functions to register votes and retrieve voting results. Compile the contract using tools like solc (Solidity Compiler).

4.3. Integrating the Smart Contract:

Integrate the compiled contract’s ABI and address into your Rails application. Use the Ethereum Ruby gem to interact with the contract’s functions.

4.4. Building the User Interface:

Design the user interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Use web3.js to interact with the Ethereum contract from the frontend.

4.5. Implementing User Authentication:

Use Ruby on Rails’ built-in authentication mechanisms to secure the voting DApp. Authenticate users before allowing them to cast votes.

4.6. Deploying the DApp:

Deploy the Ruby on Rails application along with the Ethereum smart contract to a hosting platform. Consider using blockchain-specific hosting solutions for DApps.

# Sample code snippet for interacting with Ethereum in a Ruby on Rails controller
class VotingController < ApplicationController
  def vote
    user_address = current_user.ethereum_address
    contract = Ethereum::Contract.create(...)  # Instantiate the contract

    # Cast a vote using the contract's function, params[:candidate_id])
    redirect_to root_path, notice: 'Vote cast successfully!'

  def results
    contract = Ethereum::Contract.create(...)  # Instantiate the contract

    # Retrieve voting results using the contract's view function
    @results =

5. Challenges and Considerations

While Ruby’s elegance and productivity benefits are enticing, there are certain challenges and considerations when using Ruby for blockchain development:

  • Performance: Ruby might not be as performant as languages like Solidity, which are designed specifically for blockchain use cases. Heavy computational tasks can slow down Ruby-based blockchain applications.
  • Gas Costs: Ethereum transactions involve gas costs, and inefficient code can lead to higher fees. Optimizing Ruby code for gas efficiency is crucial.
  • Community and Libraries: While the Ruby blockchain ecosystem is growing, it might not be as extensive as other languages’. Developers may need to create custom solutions or contribute to existing libraries.


As blockchain technology continues to reshape industries, the role of programming languages like Ruby becomes increasingly important. Ruby’s expressive syntax, developer-friendly features, and rich ecosystem make it a viable option for crafting smart contracts and developing decentralized applications. While challenges exist, the Ruby community’s dedication to innovation ensures that Ruby’s presence in the blockchain landscape will only grow stronger. As you embark on your journey into blockchain development with Ruby, remember that the intersection of these two realms holds endless opportunities for creativity and disruption.

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Experienced software professional with a strong focus on Ruby. Over 10 years in software development, including B2B SaaS platforms and geolocation-based apps.