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Source Code Meaning

Aug 2, 2023 | Updated Aug 2, 2023
A source code is a computer code or programming statements that define how a software functions based on specific instructions.

What is Source Code in Blockchain?

Source code is simply a computer program or software in its primary state. It comprises lines of computer code that define how the software works based on a set of instructions.

The set of instructions, which is made up of letters, words, and symbols, is written using high-level programming languages such as Java, Python, JavaScript, Rust, Solidity, C, etc. For instance, the source codes for blockchains like Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin and Stellar are mainly written in C++. It is compiled or translated into a language that computers can interpret to make it executable. An interpreter or compiler handles the translation process.

Source Code vs Open Source

Source codes can either be open source or proprietary. In proprietary or closed-source (commercial) software, it is owned by an individual or a company and is hidden from the public.

In the context of blockchain networks like Bitcoin, the source code is open source. This means that the it is available to the public for free and is developed collaboratively as opposed to individually. Open-source software is also called free/libre open-source software (FLOSS).

The transparency of open-source software allows users to inspect, modify (by consensus), and contribute to the source code while seeing how Bitcoin works. In this sense, it creates a balance of power between the blockchain network and the users.

Open source for Bitcoin opens doors for developers to unleash their creativity to innovate faster or get inspired to create better blockchains. It somewhat democratizes decision-making for major blockchain modifications. However, the changes in the Bitcoin blockchain can only be made when the community reaches a consensus.


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