This article is about Top Blockchains and their SDKs

What are SDKs? Top blockchains and their SDKs

As technological advancements speed up, building software or applications that stand out in the market has become more difficult than ever, with the end-to-end development process demanding extensive technical expertise, time, and labor. Developers may have to go beyond their skills and undertake new challenges to develop quality applications that attract more users and generate higher revenues. The modern development process now includes software development kits to meet the growing demand for robust software applications, especially in the decentralized space. These kits are complete development packages with sample codes, programs, and APIs that are used during the process of application development.

SDKs aim to standardize development and streamline workflows by providing software development tools. This is to ensure that the application built functions seamlessly on different hardware and operating systems and in cooperation with other apps when required. Developers are also at a great advantage as these kits save time by cutting out all the tedious tasks requiring unnecessary effort and time.

The ability of SDKs to simplify the development of even complex applications and software makes them an indispensable part of the blockchain industry. Blockchain SDKs have, in fact, become the principal tool in the entire development process.

In this article, we will explore SDKs, discussing areas like how they work and why they are important in the blockchain world.

What is an SDK?

A software development kit or SDK is a set of tools and programs utilized to build and integrate customized applications for any existing or new platform. It provides some prebuilt components for development, which expedites the development process as the components need not be built from scratch. This toolkit comprises all the prerequisites developers need to develop a platform. Using SDKs, developers are free from building every aspect and writing lines of code of an application themselves.

A full software development kit includes everything required to set up a robust app, right from the basics, such as code samples, libraries, and documentation, to technology notes, processes, and guidelines. With an SDK, developing any software platform or application becomes super easy. It contains all the necessary components required to integrate new capabilities and functionalities into an application.

Different types of SDKs

The ease that SDKs promise resulted in their different types helping developers in different areas. Some SDKs optimize applications for a specific device or OS, while others allow developers to insert various tools and speed up the application development process.

Following are the types of SDKs used to develop applications for various purposes:

SDKs for hardware: IoT devices have gained significant popularity in the past few years. This is why SDKs assisting developers in programming them or adding extra functionalities to IoT have started to emerge. Let’s explain it with an example. If you plan to buy a solar panel, the manufacturer will provide SDKs to program the app per your requirements.

Open-source SDKs: These SDKs are free to use and allow developers to modify them as per their needs. With open-source SDKs, developers are at a great advantage as they can customize the kit and add more features to it as they desire.

Proprietary SDKs: Proprietary SDKs are exactly the opposite of open-source SDKs. In order to use proprietary SDKs, the developers need to spend some money and have a license. Even after you have the license to use it, it does not allow you to change the source code. Thus, helping achieve enhanced security.

Programming language SDK for web apps: These SDKs help developers build web apps using any programming language they like including Python, Ruby, JavaScript or PHP.

How does an SDK work?

SDKs are the whole package of tools that allows developers to create customized applications faster and in a standardized way. However, it is important that SDKs are as simple to use as the tools associated with them. 

Here is how SDKs work: 

  • The developer purchases, downloads, and installs a platform-specific SDK.
  • A compiler compiles code within an integrated development environment (IDE). The SDKs include APIs that developers can use to develop new apps.
  • In order to build an app, businesses can use the instructions, documentation, code samples, and testing tools provided by the SDKs to get a headstart. 

Differences between SDKs and APIs

Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, their difference is clear in the application development process.

API or Application Program Interface allows apps, programs or platforms to interact with each other. If you want to add new functionality to an existing application, you can use an API to integrate a read-made functionality that communicates with an external service. On the other hand, an SDK is a set of tools developers use to develop any application or program.

More precisely, with the help of SDKs, you build applications, whereas you integrate APIs to add extra functionality to an existing application. Further, SDKs may contain APIs, but APIs cannot contain SDKs. APIs are only a part of the entire toolkit provided by SDKs.

SDKs are also much more cost-effective and accelerate the development process, reducing development costs significantly. The reliability and stability of SDKs are also rigorously tested by various users before they are released to the market.

Elements of blockchain SDKs 

The elements in each software development kit vary from one kit to another. Different SDKs are developed based on the developers’ needs, and the tools are distributed via an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) within the SDK.

However, every SDK comprises at least one API. They can be composed of more depending on the kit and requirements. But there are some essential components that every SDK includes. They are:

Code library: A code library comprises a set of raw codes that can be plugged directly into an application and make it function as needed. For example, using Keras, a Python-based library, ML-neutral networks can be created.

Codes samples: These samples of codes help developers identify how to use a specific code to perform a specific task on a platform for a particular device. These samples are a complete web application or a webpage comprising all the necessary source files and references in the description.

Application programming interfaces: APIs are the codebase parts that make communication between two different software possible. They are useful when one needs to add the more specific functions of an SDK into an application and are lightweight.

Tutorials and documentation: Many SDKs provide instructions on how developers should use the application code. For building an SDK that is easily understandable, detailed documentation is a must. This helps developers boost the development process without spending much time learning the code.

Additional tools: The major focus of SDKs is to make developers’ life easy. They provide all the modern equipment to developers to help them perform various tasks while creating, running, and testing applications. A good example would be a debugger. This helps correct minor errors automatically and smooths the app development process.

Integrated development environment: IDE is the programming interface used by developers. It contains a compiler that translates the high-level programming language of the SDK’s source code into a lower-level language. 

Characteristics of blockchain SDKs

Certain components require more work for developers to build during the app development process. This is because any error in that component could result in major issues. However, their demand has increased exponentially, and hundreds of SDKs exist now. Businesses may find it challenging to choose between them.

Comprising all the tools and a detailed guide are good factors for picking a blockchain SDK to meet your needs. However, some other factors should be considered, too, such as being user-friendly and easy to understand.

Blockchain SDKs are most effective when they have the following characteristics:

Lightweight: If an application or platform utilizes too much code and the SDKs are too heavy, it will be slow. Thus, good SDKs will always be lightweight, providing all the desired features with the usage of minimal codes.

Detailed documentation: Any SDK is good if it provides thorough documentation. The documentation should describe how to use it. This helps developers to spend less time understanding the code and more time developing a robust application. 

Customizable: An SDK should be open to customization. This helps developers add unique features of their own choice and insert original branding and graphics into the app.

Security: Use SDKs that come from trusted sources. This will help to ensure that no malicious and otherwise unwanted code is inserted into the application.

Easy to use: An SDK should provide tutorials, guides, and sample codes to let developers easily understand the codes. They should allow developers to connect directly with support services to discuss the problem they may incur during the process.

Energy efficiency: A good SDK will not drain the battery and consume a lot of data on a device. They will always require less data consumption and support the long battery life of a device.

Benefits of using SDKs in the blockchain space

Software development kits have proven beneficial for blockchain developers in multiple ways. The blockchain development tools this kit provides make the deployment and integration of applications more efficient and quick. Further helping companies launch applications with improved app retention rates and the average time spent by the end-users.

Using a blockchain SDK while developing any application brings many benefits. Let’s understand them in detail.

Customized experience: By using well-built SDKs, developers ensure the applications are robust and smooth with no errors or bugs. The toolkit enhances an application’s or software’s intuitiveness and provides its users with a personalized experience.

Faster integration: One of the most important advantages of having a blockchain development toolkit is that it reduces integration complexity and makes the development process smoother and seamless. SDKs have prebuilt functionalities, programming tools, documentation, and sample codes which eliminate the need to involve traditional time-taking processes and allow developers to use the existing tech stack to build highly advanced applications.

Application accessibility: When developing applications, accessibility is the primary concern. Adding user-friendly components is essential, even if you are building a platform from scratch or upgrading the existing one. SDKs enable accessibility features for improving application usability. Thus, allowing businesses to reach a wider audience through their applications.

Cost savings: SDK integration is at ease as it requires no specialized skills. The blockchain development tools overall shorten the development cycle, reduce engineering time and lower the cost needed to maintain and update codes. This offers businesses substantial cost savings that can be utilized in other areas.

Increased brand exposure: A software development kit creates interoperability between applications. This increases the ability of applications to perform well with other tools when integrated with applications. SDK toolkit-supported apps are less prone to unexpected crashes, which boosts their ratings and the brand’s credibility.

Mitigate risks: With blockchain development tools, establishing a security system, and developing, testing, and upgradation processes of the application aren’t too complex. The toolkit blocks fraud and protects the app from tampering and data breaches.

Enhanced functionalities: SDKs allow developers to add more functionalities to applications. For example, they can easily integrate features like push notifications and ads.

Top blockchains and their SDKs

Following is the list of the top 5 blockchains and their most popular SDKs


Founded in 2013, Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain platform that helps deploy decentralized applications that can facilitate transactions without needing a third party. The Ethereum ecosystem is popular for building decentralized applications and has many other use cases. It protects users’ data in the industry like finance, gaming and more. The platform has its native currency called Ether (ETH).

It is also known for supporting smart contracts executed using the Ethereum Virtual Machine. EVM is the underlying technology of Ethereum that understands smart contracts and allows users to interact with them. It used the Proof-of-work consensus mechanism earlier but now has shifted to proof-of-stake consensus.

Important SDKs of the Ethereum blockchain

  • Web3j SDK

Web3j is a lightweight, highly modular, reactive, type-safe Java and Android library for interacting with Ethereum smart contracts and integrating Ethereum nodes. It gives you the ability to work with the Ethereum blockchain without writing additional integration code.

  • SDK is a Python library for interacting with Ethereum. Many decentralized apps (dapps) use it to send transactions, interact with smart contracts, and read block data. Originally derived from Web3.js Javascript API, has evolved to cater to Python developers’ needs.


Launched in June 2019, Klaytn is a public blockchain focusing mainly on the metaverse, gamefi, and the creator economy. Currently, it is the leading blockchain platform in South Korea and is expanding its operation to other parts of the world. This expansion is supported by the Klaytn Growth Fund, which is managed and disbursed by the Klaytn Foundation.

Further, the platform can process approximately 4,000 transactions per second. Klaytn ecosystem involves 50 consensus nodes to maintain network security. It is EVM compatible and is able to execute Solidity contracts like Ethereum. However, the network has a fixed gas price rather than a variable one.

Important SDKs of Klaytn blockchain

  • Caver- js

Caver-js is a JavaScript API library for interacting with Klaytn nodes via HTTP or Websockets. You can find it on npm.

  • Caver-java

Caver-java is a lightweight, highly modular, convenient Java and Android library for interacting with Klaytn. It allows Java applications and the Klaytn network to communicate with each other easily.


Stellar is an open-source and decentralized network that enables low-cost transfers between digital currencies and fiat money. Furthermore, it enables cross-border financial transactions. It operates on blockchain technology like other cryptocurrencies, which enables it to keep the network in sync. Compared to other blockchain-based systems, Stellar is faster, cheaper, and more efficient. The network supports the native currency known as Stellar Lumens (XLM).

The Stellar network ecosystem contains interconnected nodes, a Stellar core, and a consensus protocol. The stellar core is the backbone of the network and is responsible for verifying transactions with the help of the Stellar consensus protocol. Apart from verifying transactions, the Stellar consensus protocol allows network users to trade money or tokens.

Important SDKs of the Stellar blockchain

  • Stellar-js SDK

Stellar-js is a Javascript library for communicating with Stellar Horizon servers. It can be used to build Stellar apps either on Node.js or in the browser.

  • Stellar-py SDK

Stellar-py is a Python library that allows communication with Stellar Horizon servers. It is used to build Stellar apps in Python. The SDK supports Python 3.7+ as well as PyPy 3.7+.


Founded in 2014, Tezos is a decentralized, open-source blockchain platform that allows the creation of assets and the building of decentralized applications. The Tezos blockchain platform is similar to other smart contract and dApp platforms but has a unique self-amending feature. This allows the network to evolve and upgrade itself automatically. It supports a native currency known as Tez.

Further, Tezos has three protocol layers: the network protocol, the consensus protocol and the transaction protocol. It is a decentralized platform that utilizes a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. This mechanism allows users to participate in the governance and make decisions by holding the platform’s native currency.

Important SDKs of the Tezos blockchain

  • Tezos-J SDK

Tezos-j is a JAVA SDK that allows interactions between tezos nodes with Conseil support. Using the TezosJ SDK library, Java developers can create applications communicating with the Tezos blockchain. The library is based on the Gradle framework and is written mainly in Java.

  • Tezos-Rust SDK

Tezos-rust-SDK is a Rust library typically used to interact with the Tezos blockchain. The library has no bugs and no vulnerabilities and has a permissive license. It is a multi-crate project that allows its users to use only the functionality they need. Therefore, reducing redundant code and unnecessary dependencies.


Launched in 2019, Harmony is a fast, secure blockchain platform designed for decentralized applications. It is a layer-1 blockchain that utilizes sharding and an effective proof-of-stake mechanism to achieve high scalability and security. The Harmony network features trustless cross-chain bridges and is divided into four shards that process transactions in parallel. It has a mainnet with 4 shards, each containing 1000 nodes, which can produce blocks every 2 seconds with finality.

The platform promotes distribution and decentralization among validators, delegators and users through proof-of-stake mechanism and sharding. The main goal is to create an open network of nodes run. The native token of the Harmony protocol is ONE. ONE can be utilized to pay transaction fees and participate in governance and staking.

Important SDKs of Harmony blockchain

  • Harmony-j SDK

HarmonyJ is a Java library for interacting with the Harmony blockchain. The library helps in the partial implementation of Harmony’s JSON-RPC client API over HTTP with features.

  • Harmony-js SDK

This JavaScript SDK library allows easy interaction with the Harmony blockchain. Using it, you can create decentralized applications. This library works on both nodejs and browsers.

Final thought

Building a software application can be daunting, as it involves a complex process of gathering the right set of tools to build a smooth, interoperable, user-friendly, and scalable product. However, real progress can only be made when everything falls into place during development. One way to achieve this is by utilizing a software development kit (SDK).

An SDK provides developers with pre-written code, allowing them to build applications more efficiently. This can save time and effort and ensure the application functions properly in a given environment. SDKs are particularly useful for deploying decentralized applications in the decentralized space. As blockchain is a relatively new technology, many may find it difficult to understand it or build associated applications. SDKs prove immensely helpful in this case. Using an SDK with pre-built tools can have a wide range of benefits for businesses looking to enter the blockchain space.

For a comprehensive understanding of the performance and technical capabilities of various blockchain protocols, be sure to check out Scortik, that provides reviews and ratings of blockchain protocols performance.