What Is Move (Programming Language)?

Last Modified:
May 25, 2024

Move is an innovative programming language specifically designed to ensure the safe handling and management of digital assets and transactions on the blockchain. Geared towards security and flexibility, Move allows developers to build apps that can easily be scaled in the future. It was originally developed for Meta's scrapped blockchain project, Libra. 

Move is now being used by Aptos, a blockchain that addresses common scalability and usability challenges in decentralized environments. So far, Move has proven to be effective for modern blockchain platforms that require both a high level of security and the ability to handle complex transactions.

What Sets Move Apart From Other Languages?

Compared to other programming languages, Move is resource-centric. Its code treats digital assets and resources as a special type that cannot be duplicated or accidentally destroyed. This allows programs created through Move to represent unique entities like tokens or NFTs without the fear of getting them mixed up with each other. It also enforces asset scarcity and allows users to have direct ownership of their assets. 

Just like actual physical assets, each digital asset in Move is treated as an individual item; in the same way that you can’t duplicate a person’s house, you also can’t simply duplicate an NFT that represents that specific house. The strict control over digital tokens or contracts helps prevent common blockchain issues such as the problem of double-spending.

Security and Flexibility

Since Move was designed with security in mind, it has safeguards in place against common vulnerabilities found in other smart contract languages. Also, because Move is a modular programming language, developers can simply update parts of the dApps they build without having to overhaul the entire application. In blockchain environments that need to constantly adapt to changing markets or legal regulations, using Move makes it easy to tweak the parts that need to be fixed without too much hassle.

Verification and Control

Move is a programming language that supports formal verification—developers can use mathematical proofs to ensure their code meets certain specifications and behaves as intended under all conditions. This feature is crucial in blockchain applications where one tiny error can make or break the system, or can lead to major financial losses for users.

Developers can use the Move Prover to formally verify code. 
Development Support

Move supports code upgradability, allowing developers to update their smart contracts while maintaining the integrity of the existing resources. As the platform grows, new features can be added or existing ones tweaked without affecting ongoing operations or compromising the security of the contracts already in place. Move also offers developers many available IDE plugins and tools to support syntax highlighting, code navigation, type checks, and other features.

You can learn more about the Move programming language through the Aptos Move Guidebook.

Move's design principles make it an excellent for dApps that require a high degree of trust and security in the management and transfer of digital assets. Its resource model and access control features allow it to manage things like financial instruments and assets, smart contracts that must be executed with precision, and apps which involve sensitive data such as legal contracts.

For example, a decentralized lending platform built on Aptos can ensure that loan agreements are executed exactly as written, such as funds being locked in a smart contract that only releases them upon fulfillment of agreed conditions. Since Move is resource-oriented, these funds cannot be duplicated or lost.

With its combination of strict asset management, enhanced security features, modular upgradability, and verification tools, Move is a very powerful choice for blockchain development. Through it, developers can ensure that the dApps they build are reliable and efficient, whether for individual use or for the highest standards required by enterprises.