TEAL programming language used in Algorand

TEAL programming language makes Algorand perfect for DeFi usage

Bitcoin is written in C++ but has no smart contracts, Ethereum smart contracts are written in Solidity while Cardano and its SC in Plutus. Algorand went a bit different way of using the programming language TEAL. But what does that mean?

Let’s start this article with a little analysis of different programming languages used in the blockchain industry.


Ethereum core has been developed by using four different programming languages: Go, C++, Python, and Java. Smart contracts in Ethereum are written in Solidity, which is a simple programming language made by the co-founder of Ethereum Gavin Wood, who is actually working on the Polkadot project. Solidity is a Turing-complete contract-oriented programming language with the highest developer’s usage, used by over 200k programmers. Ethereum is the first-mover of the smart contracts which they came by ERC-20 standard. Ethereum serves as the world computer, it's calling itself as Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).

The Turing-completeness is as well a disadvantage of both Solidity and Ethereum. Turing-completeness was the reason for the security flaw that allowed DAO hack in 2016.


Another programming language, which is one of the most used in the blockchain sphere, is C++. It has the capability to scale resource-intensive applications and then facilitate to run them smoothly. This is making C++ popular especially for 3D games.

The core of the Bitcoin network is programmed in this programming language, as well as smart contract platform EOS.


Haskell is functional and in terms of security, one of the most stable and secure programming languages. The properties of its code can be formally tested and proven mathematically. It says the core of the Cardano network, which aims for robustness and security.

On the other hand, Haskell is very robust and not very popular between developers due to its greater complexity. This is why the development of blockchain using Haskell is slower than other programming languages. Smart contracts on the Cardano network will be developed in the Plutus programming language, which is derived from Haskell. The complexity of those languages might be a barrier for developers.

Some other languages such as Java, C#, JavaScript, SQL, and others are not mentioned in this article, while they are not relevant to the topic, but I’m not saying they are not important for the whole blockchain industry. Let other articles to describe those.

TEAL programming language

TEAL = Transaction Execution Authorization Language

TEAL is a special ASC1 language, which consists of 30 basic functions. Using this language, developers have the opportunity to program smart contracts like escrow, crowdfunding, or collateralized debt.

TEAL support both Stateful and Stateless smart contracts, which might be also written in Python language and then compiled by the PyTEAL library to TEAL.

TEAL programming language is Turing-incomplete, which is the opposite of the Solidity programming language used by Ethereum, which as described above is Turing-complete. Silvio Micali once said, that this is a huge advantage and Turing-incomplete language is more secure and sufficient in this context, used for a blockchain.

But why it is better to use the Turing-incomplete programming language?

TEAL is an assembly-like language. It is processed with the stack machine. Turing-incomplete languages don’t support looping.

By using TEAL, a developer can’t do loops, but jumps are allowed, which makes things faster and easier to develop. Algorand also provides a set of smart contract templates, so if you desire, you can then build your own smart contracts from scratch.

Algorand, therefore, provides advanced functions, thanks to which you can create assets such as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), or even patent certificates. You can also use TEAL to write smart contracts or perform multiple sets of transactions on multiple assets at once.



What is Algorand?

Algorand is a decentralized blockchain platform for smart contracts with its native coin ALGO. It uses Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS) algorithm to conclude network consensus.  

The project is supported by the Algorand Foundation, which can rely on a very strong team of cryptographers and developers led by Silvio Micali. Silvio Micali received a Turing award in 2012 for his work in cryptography. He is also co-author of Zero-Knowledge Proof technology.

Algorand is using contingency by Verifiable Random Functions (VRF´s are also co-invented by Micali) in the selection process of both the new block creators and verifiers. By using randomness thanks to VRF, the so-called Blockchain trilemma is reached.

Algorand blockchain is scalable (amplified by the possible use of Layer2), secure, and decentralized at the same time. Those are required qualities for decentralized finances (DeFi) in every blockchain. DeFi without security is useless as well as without a good level of scalability. For now, the necessity of high decentralization level is not that demanded by some customers/users, but in the long run, there will be definitely a big need for it!


TEAL programming language used in Algorand is a good pick because it is simple for writing and debugging, Turing-incomplete which means it doesn’t support loops and by that, it is more secure than the Turing-complete programming languages such as Solidity. Because of that, it is an ideal programming language for decentralized finances, because, in DeFi, security is the most important as there is handled with huge amounts of finances.

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