Ethereum Foundation introduces new smart contract language 'Fe' for the ecosystem

The Ethereum Foundation has introduced a new smart contract language called 'Fe' (pronounced fee) for the ecosystem.

Currently, the majority of Ethereum applications are written in the Solidity programming language, but having more choices for developers will be a net positive for the ecosystem, said Christoph Burgdorf, a software engineer at the Ethereum Foundation.

"A lot of people want to have a simpler, more Pythonic alternative to Solidity," Burgdorf told The Block.

Fe was born as a rewrite of Vyper (in Rust), a programming language for Ethereum Virtual Machine. Thus, it inherits several things from Vyper, said Burgdorf. "At this early stage in development, the differences between Fe and Vyper are still limited," he said, adding that Fe will begin to more closely resemble Rust as it borrows a few syntactic properties from Rust.

According to its GitHub page, Fe aims to achieve most of the goals of the existing Vyper project, such as more precise gas or transaction fees estimation, among other things.

Burgdorf noted that the development on Fe has ramped up significantly in the past month and the Ethereum Foundation is optimistic about adding support for all features used in an ERC-20 contract and be able to compile one before the end of 2020.

"To be clear, the compiler will in no way be a suitable choice for a production ERC20 by that time, but we look forward to demonstrating the capabilities of Fe with such a well understood working example," said Burgdorf.

In the future, Fe could also support Ethereum WebAssembly (eWASM) or Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM), Burgdorf told The Block.