Python is a trusted programming language for thousands of developers worldwide. It offers the flexibility of working on different use cases. Most important of all, Python also features easily readable code, which makes it a top choice for learning programming without any prior experience. Interestingly, people have been looking for a Python web3 tutorial to learn about the potential use cases of Python in web3 application development. 

Python includes general-purpose characteristics, which ensure that you can use the language for creating simple applications and machine-learning models. The flexibility for integrating web3 functionalities in Python with web3.py serves as a crucial advantage for web3 developers. The following post offers you an introduction to web3.py and its different uses to help you understand how Python can be a vital asset for the web3 landscape. 

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What is Web3.py?

The first thing you need to know before learning about web3.py is the value of Python as a programming language. Python is an object-oriented and high-level programming language that offers easily readable syntax. Therefore, Python has been one of the top choices for developers, which has been fuelling the adoption rates of Python. The outline of an introduction to web3.py explained for beginners would point out how it helps in offering the functionalities of Python to web3 developers. Web3.py is a library of Python that helps in interacting with the Ethereum blockchain. 

Ethereum is the first choice for any web3 developer interested in creating new applications. The answers to questions like “Is Python useful for web3?” would draw references to the distinct aspects of blockchain application development with Ethereum. Web3 developers have to create smart contracts and also develop clients which can interact with the blockchain. You can create smart contracts with the help of Solidity. On the other hand, developers could create clients to interact with the blockchain through code, which can read and write data from blockchain. 

The most effective web3 python example would showcase how web3.py can help in creating clients for interactions with Ethereum blockchain. In this case, the clients are not user-facing applications. The clients in web3.py are the ones who carry out transactions with the blockchain by reading relevant information from blockchain. Clients could also write new transaction data and execute business logic by leveraging smart contracts

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How Does Web3.py Work?

The definition of web3.py provides a viable impression of how it can offer an effective tool for web3 developers. It is important to review web3.py documentation to identify how the Python library works in web3 development. You must have noticed that web3.py is important for creating clients that could interact with blockchain networks. What does this client look like? In the case of Python, the client could be a script for scraping blockchain data. On the other hand, it could be a server process for execution of smart contract functions. 

Web3.py is not one specific Python library, as it includes a collection of libraries that help in creating clients. The libraries in web3.py help in creating Ethereum transactions or smart contracts and reading and writing data from smart contracts. The functionalities of web3.py explained for beginners would also point to the ways in which web3.py can interact with Ethereum. 

Web3.py leverages the JSON RPC protocol for communicating with Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is a distributed, peer-to-peer network of machines, also referred to as nodes, which have access to all the data in the network. Every node on the Ethereum network receives a copy of all transactions, data, and code on the network. 

The working of web3.py shows that it can help in making requests to a particular node on Ethereum through JSON RPC. It can help in reading and writing data to the network by using a single node. On top of it, web3.py also helps in reading and writing data to the network by utilizing a single node. It works through implementation of HTTP requests for a JSON API on a concerned web server. 

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How Can You Install Web3.Py?

The explanation for definition and working of web3.py creates curiosity regarding the methods for installing web3.py library. You can learn more about the web3 Python example libraries by understanding important dependencies. Let us take a look at the important prerequisites you need to install web3.py and use it in web3 projects

  • Python 

The foremost dependency required for installing web3.py is Python. You need to install Python and some form of environment manager, which is shipped with Python. It is important to ensure that you have a version of Python 3 to install web3.py. Subsequently, you can create a virtual environment for installing Python dependencies by using venv or pyenv. 

You can then install the web3.py library by using pip in the terminal with the following command, 

$ pip install web3
  • RPC URL

The next important dependency you need to access the functionalities of web3 in Python point at the Infura RPC URL. You can connect to a blockchain node with JSON RPC only by accessing an Ethereum node. Developers can achieve this by running their custom Ethereum node by using Parity or Geth. 

However, such methods require downloading a significant amount of data from the blockchain and maintaining synchronization. You can try a different alternative by using Infura for accessing an Ethereum node without the trouble of setting up, operating, and maintaining the node. Web3 developers can sign up and receive their API key alongside an RPC URL for the network they want to connect with. 

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How Can You Check Account Balances?

The development process with web3.py would start with a Python shell in the terminal by using the following command,

$ python

Subsequently, you can import web3 in Python within the Python shell by using the following command,

from web3 import web3

The common help you obtain access to a particular variable for creating a new web3 connection. Make sure that you assign the RPC URL to a variable before generating the web3 connection. You should use the actual RPC API key you received from the Infura node service provider. Now, you can obtain the latest block number and the account balance for a specific address by using distinct functions. 

For example, you can obtain the latest block number by using the function ‘web3.eth.blockNumber’. Similarly, you can use ‘web3.eth.getBalance ()’ function for checking the balance in a specific account. You would receive the account balance in the form of wei, which is a denomination of Ether, just like the penny is to the dollar. You can convert the account balance to Ether by dividing the value in wei by 10 ** 18.

Important Components in the Working of Web3.py

The introduction to web3.py would also point out references to the important components of the library. You can refer to web3 py documentation for identifying the crucial elements of web3.py for developers. For example, you can know how to address the configuration needs of web3.py. After the installation of web3.py by using pip install web3, you have to configure the provider endpoint alongside any middleware you wish to use apart from the defaults. Let us take a look at the crucial highlights in the configuration of web3.py. 

  • Providers 

The first highlight in the working of web3.py explained for beginners would point at providers. Providers play a crucial role in helping web3.py library for connecting to a blockchain network. The web3.py library features the following in-built providers with distinct functionalities.

  1. HTTPProvider helps in connecting to JSON RPC servers based on HTTP and HTTPS.
  2. IPCProvider helps in connecting to JSON RPC servers based on IPC Socket.
  3. AsyncHTTPProvider is also useful for connecting to JSON RPC servers based on HTTP and HTTPS.
  4. WebsocketProvider offers support for connecting to JSON RPC servers based on ws and wss websocket technologies. 
  • Middleware

Another important aspect in a web3 python example for configuring web3.py would point at middleware. It is an important component required for configuring the web3.py instance further. You can understand the web3.py middleware by drawing analogies to the structure of an onion. Every layer of the middleware could influence incoming requests as well as outgoing responses from providers. You can find different types of default middleware in web3.py, along with the flexibility for adding more entries or disabling some middleware. 

  • Accounts and Private Keys

The working of web3.py would also focus on the use of accounts and private keys. Private keys help in ensuring approval of transactions made by users. The method for securing the key could help in determining the methods for creating and sending transactions with web3.py. You can explore answers to “Is Python useful for web3?” by reflecting on the use and management of accounts and private keys. 

Local nodes, such as Geth, could help in managing your keys for you, and you could also add references to the keys by utilizing ‘web3.eth.accounts’ property. Hosted nodes such as Infura could not have any knowledge of the keys of users. In such cases, you must ensure local availability of your private key for transaction signing.       

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How Many Types of Base APIs Can You Find in Web3.py?

The base APIs in web3.py library are crucial requirements for addressing a wide range of convenient utility functions. You can refer to the official web3 py documentation for exploring the functionalities of different base APIs in the library. The base APIs in web3.py include encoding and decoding helpers, address helpers, cryptographic hashing APIs, and currency conversions. Encoding and decoding helpers include web3.is_encodable(), web3.to_text(), web3.to_bytes() and few others. The address helpers base APIs include web3.is_address(), we3.to_checksum_address() and web3.is_checksum_address().

Most important of all, the base APIs in web3.py provide essential functionalities such as cryptographic hashing and currency conversions. You can integrate currency conversion functionalities in web3.py by using web3.to_wei() and web3.from_wei(). Similarly, you can carry out cryptographic hashing functions in web3 applications with the Python library by using web3.keccak() and web3.solidity_keccak(). 

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What is the Significance of web3.eth API?

The web3.eth APIs are one of the most popular APIs used for interactions with Ethereum blockchain. You can find different applications of web3.eth API in a Python web3 tutorial, such as fetching data, sending transactions, and contract operations. The web3.eth APIs for fetching data could help in viewing account balances, block data, and transactions. Such types of APIs can serve as the major starting points for web3.py. 

Another common use case of web3.eth APIs would point to sending transactions. you can use the ‘send_transaction’ or combination of ‘send_raw_transaction’ and ‘sign_transaction’. 

Most important of all, you should also learn about the web3.eth APIs you can use for working with smart contracts. You can find the flexibility of using web3 in Python for deploying, reading from, and executing functions on deployed contracts. Deployment implies that the contract should be compiled alongside ensuring availability of ABI and bytecode. Developers can complete the compilation step with Remix IDE or other contract development frameworks. 

You should also pay attention to the use of web3.py filters for reacting to mining of new blocks or new events emerging from contracts. For example, the web3.eth.filter(), web3.eth.get_filter_logs(), and many others can serve as productive logs and filters. Developers could rely on the Monitoring Events section in the web3 py documentation for identifying more complex patterns to create filters. 

On top of it, you should also pay attention to the flexibility of supporting ENS with web3.py for providing the infrastructure to design human-readable addresses. You can also rely on ethPM for packaging the contracts to enable their reuse or using contracts from other trusted registries.

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Conclusion 

The final impression of the web3.py tutorial showcases that it could help in leveraging the functionalities of Python for web3 environments. Most important of all, you can find multiple tools in web3.py library for creating new web3 applications. You should pay attention to the use of Base APIs and web3.eth APIs in web3.py library. 

The responses to “Is Python useful for web3?” also focus on how web3.py serves powerful components to create web3 applications. For example, you can find distinct APIs for working with smart contracts in web3 applications. Learn more about web3.py library with the official documentation and explore new guides on different methods to use the library. 

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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!