Blockchain development has gained unparalleled momentum in recent times, especially with the growth of many blockchain-based applications. Decentralized applications in the domain of DeFi and crypto functionalities associated with NFTs showcase how the future of the web is in the hands of smart contract developers. 

As a result, developers have to find the best choices in Hardhat vs Truffle comparison to adopt the best tool for their smart contract development needs. Hardhat and Truffle are the two biggest tools you would find the recommendations by blockchain experts and communities. Both the platforms offer exceptional blockchain development environments for developing, compiling, testing, and deploying blockchain applications

However, it is important to go through a detailed comparison between both tools to find the better alternative for your development needs. The following discussion offers you an overview of the differences between Truffle and Hardhat on the basis of different factors. 

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Why Do Developers Need Hardhat and Truffle?

The most important thing you need before learning about Truffle vs Hardhat differences is the reason for which developers need these tools. Beginners in the field of smart contract development must have identified the need for writing smart contracts in Solidity. Subsequently, they can use Remix, the IDE suitable for Ethereum, as an option for compiling Solidity code. However, it is important to note that Remix IDE is suitable for smaller projects. As developers begin integrating more logic in their smart contracts, they would need a tool for efficient testing and deployment of the projects on a local development chain, mainnet, or testnet. 

Furthermore, developers must also note that Remix IDE requires copying the ABI code of smart contracts. The difference between Hardhat and Truffle might focus on the extent of automation of this process for interacting with different smart contract functionalities. Let us learn about both platforms before uncovering the differences between them.

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What is Hardhat?

hardhat

Hardhat is an Ethereum development environment developed by Nomic Labs, which supports developers in the management and automation of common tasks included in the development of dApps and smart contracts. The questions like “Which is best Hardhat or Truffle?” have been gaining attention because of the additional features it introduces in the workflow for smart contract development. Hardhat offers the core functions of compiling, running and testing smart contracts.

Some of the important highlights of Hardhat include Solidity debugging, error messages for failed transactions, and explicit stack traces. The in-built Hardhat Network and CLI also serve as critical additions to the features of Hardhat. The Hardhat Network serves as a local Ethereum network focused on development, while the CLI works on flexible interaction with core functionalities of Hardhat.

What is Truffle?

Truffle

The other competitor in a Hardhat vs Truffle comparison, i.e., Truffle, is another popular Ethereum development framework. Developed by Consensys in 2016, Truffle is one of the oldest development tool ecosystems for Ethereum developers. It serves as a development and testing framework as well as an asset pipeline for blockchain applications by using the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Truffle offers many features for easier and efficient development of dApps, such as contract compilation and management support, an interactive console for facilitating direct contract communication, and network management. 

The Truffle Suite also includes Ganache, which helps in testing Solidity contracts on a local blockchain network. Truffle also emerges as a top answer to “Which is best Hardhat or Truffle?” on the basis of Drizzle, the collection of front-end libraries. Drizzle can help in designing interactive UIs for helping people interact with your dApps. Most important of all, developers don’t have to worry about synchronizing contract and transaction data. 

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Differences between Hardhat and Truffle

The definition of Hardhat and Truffle showcase that both development environments are great tools for building your first smart contract. However, it is important to look for the differences between them to figure out the best alternative for you. Here is an outline of the comparison between Hardhat and Truffle on the grounds of different critical determinants of efficiency.

Hardhat Vs Truffle

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  • Documentation

One of the first factors for a Truffle vs Hardhat comparison would refer to the documentation you can find with each tool. Hardhat features simple and organized documentation with comprehensive guides on starting Hardhat CLI and using the Hardhat core functionality. 

A clear explanation of concepts and steps in the guides can help developers start off their development journey immediately. The most noticeable highlight for Hardhat documentation in the difference between Hardhat and Truffle would refer to the facility of tutorials for different features and tasks in Hardhat. As a result, developers could easily find the best practices for using the Hardhat development environment.

Truffle also boasts of clear and organized documentation with informative overviews of the components in Truffle Suite. Developers can learn about Truffle, Ganache, and Drizzle in detail before starting off their development journey. The documentation also provides examples of connecting Truffle with crypto wallets like Metamask. Since Truffle is older than Hardhat, you are more likely to find additional resources on the web to learn about Truffle. If you struggle in understanding any topics, then you can capitalize on the multiple sources of information about Truffle on the web. 

  • Community

The aspect of community support is a big determinant for answers to “Which is best Hardhat or Truffle?” as it defines the future of developers. Hardhat has an active community featuring blockchain and core developers associated with the framework. You could contact the community through the discord server. 

Most important of all, you must ensure that you ask meaningful questions which have not been addressed before. On top of it, developers can also try solving the problems posted in the community to obtain a better idea regarding the community. In addition, Hardhat communities on Stackoverflow and Stackexchange provide adequate support in situations where you encounter common development errors. 

On the other side of the spectrum, Truffle can boast of a larger community that is equally supportive on all fronts. Truffle also has an official discord server where you can ask questions to community members. With the first mover advantage, the community of Truffle definitely stands out as the better alternative. In addition, Truffle has been around for quite some time, thereby helping you access more resources around the web.

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  • Libraries and Plugins

The next pointer of difference between Hardhat and Truffle would refer to the facility of libraries and plugins. Hardhat features a broad collection of libraries and plugins to the extent that plugins qualify as a crucial part of the Hardhat infrastructure. In addition, you can use the desired plugins for enhancing the functionalities of Hardhat, along with the flexibility for creating your own plugins. 

Truffle also offers something similar to plugins in the form of Truffle Boxes and a collection of front-end libraries in Drizzle. The Truffle Boxes serve as a type of smart contract application template with desired functionalities. However, it is also important to understand that you cannot use only a part of the Truffle Boxes. As a result, the process for capitalizing on libraries and plugins in Truffle can be quite complex in comparison to Hardhat.

  • Testing Environment

The Hardhat vs Truffle comparison would also account for the testing environment as a formidable highlight. Developers must note that Hardhat offers better flexibility in a testing environment when compared to Truffle. It facilitates interaction with smart contracts in the testing process with better ease. 

You must notify the necessity of one file for writing the test through waffle, mocha, or ethers.js. The common methods for testing include the “test/sample-test.js” command. Developers have limited difficulty in familiarizing themselves with the testing environment with everything written in JavaScript.

On the other hand, Truffle also features a testing environment developed on the foundation of libraries such as web3.js, mocha, and chai. However, the downside for Truffle in a Truffle vs Hardhat comparison in terms of the testing environment reflects the inability for direct interactions with the contract. Developers have to start a Ganache local blockchain along with free accounts to test any contracts. Hardhat can easily win the bet with the facility of everything configured in a single package.

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  • Deploying Contracts

The ease of deploying contracts also serves as an important aspect in determining answers to “Which is better Hardhat or Truffle?” and finding the ideal alternative. Hardhat presents the benefits of flexibility in the processes for running tests or deploying contracts, with the facility for writing your own scripts. In addition, the functionalities of the Hardhat play a vital role in expanding its functionality. 

For example, you can use the Etherscan plugin for automation of the process for verification of contracts on Etherscan, which can allow opportunities for exploring and analyzing Ethereum contracts. Interestingly, Hardhat also features a plugin for the integration of Hardhat with the Truffle contract. On the other hand, Truffle relies on a specific arrangement for deploying smart contracts, thereby compromising terms of flexibility. 

  • Error Management

The Truffle vs Hardhat comparison would also focus on the capabilities of the tools for dealing with errors. Hardhat features tools for error management and testing, such as the “console.log” method. Developers can call these tools from the smart contracts alongside logging into the terminal. However, Truffle calls for scripting your own events alongside managing them on your own for testing the contracts. 

In addition, Hardhat offers stack traces which can help in evaluating the response in the contract upon introduction of new modifications. The facility of stack traces could provide promising results during the smart contract debugging process. On the other side, Truffle only offers the error message rather than the actual stack traces. 

  • Ease of Forking

The difference between Hardhat and Truffle also includes the flexibility for creating a fork of the blockchain. Hardhat provides better ease of forking the blockchain by leveraging Alchemy through a single line of code. Interestingly, developers don’t have to go through a complicated installation process for creating a blockchain fork. In the case of Truffle, you have to install Ganache to develop a local fork of the Ethereum blockchain to test and deploy smart contracts. Therefore, Truffle is a bit more complicated than Hardhat when it comes to creating forks of the blockchain.

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  • Integration of TypeScript

The comparison between Hardhat and Truffle would also emphasize the flexibility for integration of TypeScript in the development environments. You can integrate TypeScript easily into Hardhat by following the official guide of the platform. On the other hand, integrating TypeScript into Truffle would need substantial work. 

  • Interaction with Smart Contracts

The limitations of Truffle in interaction with smart contracts during testing serve as an important highlight of the platform. Developers should know that Truffle leverages the Web3.js library for interacting with smart contracts. On the other hand, Hardhat has Ethers.js as the default library for interaction with smart contracts. However, the Hardhat vs Truffle comparison in terms of interaction with smart contracts draws attention to the comparison between Ethers.js and Web3.js. 

Many developers perceive that Ethers.js is more user-friendly and provides better ease of use. At the same time, it is also important to note that both Ethers.js and Web3.js have their share of advantages and disadvantages. Interestingly, you can use Web3.js in Hardhat through a plugin or facilitate the installation of Ethers.js as a dependency suited for Truffle tests. 

  • Companies Using the Frameworks

The discussions on Truffle vs Hardhat comparison would be incomplete without referring to the outline of companies using the frameworks. You must have a clear impression of the top companies using the smart contract development frameworks to identify the bigger player. 

Hardhat has been employed by notable solutions like OpenZeppelin, Aave, and Optimism. OpenZeppelin is a platform offering security solutions for decentralized applications, while Aave is a DeFi lending platform, and Optimism is a layer 2 scaling solution. The clientele of Hardhat definitely reflects the diversity of its offerings. 

On the other side of the spectrum, Truffle has also accumulated many renowned clients such as JP Morgan Chase, BitGo, and 1inch. BitGo leads the race in the custody of institutional digital assets while 1inch serves as a DEX aggregator. Therefore, the comparison of clients of Hardhat and Truffle leaves a neutral outcome. 

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Final Words

The differences in the Hardhat vs Truffle debate call for attention to many critical factors before rounding up on the best pick. You must have a clear impression of the objectives of your smart contract development project. Once you know what you expect from the development project, you can round up a suitable development framework for your needs. 

The comparison between Hardhat and Truffle focuses on the advantages as well as setbacks of both frameworks. While Hardhat is the latest player on the block, Truffle has strengthened a massive community over the years. Learn more about each tool to figure out the best option for your blockchain development projects now. 

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*Disclaimer: The article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. Claims made in this article do not constitute investment advice and should not be taken as such. 101 Blockchains shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person who relies on this article. Do your own research!