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Blockchain and Web3 have given rise to the development and growth of dApps or decentralized applications. More and more developers are trying to upgrade their skills and taking an interest in the next generation of smartphone applications that are wholly or partially decentralized. It is possible that eventually, all the applications in the future will become decentralized as they offer more benefits to the users, such as control over data and financial independence, etc. However, creating a dApp from scratch can be a tricky task. To address the issue, blockchain developers have come up with solutions like Hardhat.

What is Hardhat?

Hardhat is a type of testing, debugging, development, and running environment for decentralized applications on the Ethereum network. It is a type of library with readily available tools and plugins that the developers can add to create a new decentralized application. At the same time, the developers can also add unique functions and create innovative projects using the tools available in the hardhat.

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In addition to creating the basic structure of a decentralized application, developers can also use the same ecosystem for debugging, upgrading, and running test simulations for their dApp projects. Hardhat is a Solidity development ecosystem that is built on the bases of Node. JS. The first Hardhat environment was created in 2019 as a Beta version. Developers should understand Solidity, JavaScript, and Node.js to use Hardhat.

What is Solidity?

Solidity is a programming language and logic that is used for creating smart contracts for Ethereum Virtual Machine or EVM networks. The syntax of Solidity is based on ECMAScript, which is an ideal language to support the creation of web development projects. In addition to Ethereum, other blockchain networks such as Cardano, Counter Party, Binance Smart Chain, Hedera, Tron, Avalanche, and Tendermint, among others. Solidity can incorporate business logic and arrange the transactions on a system network in the form of a chain.

What is a Hardhat Runner?

Hardhat Runner is a deployment runway on Hardhat. It allows the developers to deploy their programs using the Command-line interface or CLI input. It means that when a developer has created a new logic and added all the plugins and features to their new dApp project, they can proceed to run their application before finalizing the project. Hardhat runner is also a type of testnet that allows the developers to view the output of their decentralized application and notice all the issues in real-time.

Developers can confirm whether the tasks immersed in the decentralized application are performing as per their requirements or if they need further correction. When the CLI command runs the dApp, the interconnected tasks start calling each other in an aligned and intended manner.

Hardhat runner makes management and sequencing of the dApps tasks and performance easier for complicated workflows. Hardhat runner also allows the user to incorporate overriding functions using existing tasks and plugins that can maximize output and create unique results.

What is Hardhat Network?

While working with Hardhat, the developers will hear about the Hardhat network on several occasions. The Hardhat Network is a web of smart contract frames and templates that are available on the Ethereum blockchain.

The function of these preexisting samples is to provide the beginners with a new base for their dApp projects. At the same time, Hardhat Network is also crucial for allowing the developers to compare, reference, run, debug, and deploy new decentralized applications and/or smart contracts based on the core code stencils that are present in the Hardhat network.

How does Hardhat Network Work?

Hardhat network offers several applications for the developers, such as providing mining options that ensure the verification of a transaction without any delays in the network. The Hardhat Network also takes reference and development support from EVM Implementations that can be added using the platforms such as Remix, Ganache, and Ethereum Studio.

At the same time, users can also incorporate the already existing hard forks samples such as Constantinople, Petersburg, and Byzantium for adding better functionality and upgrades to their decentralized apps.

Users can start developing their decentralized application in the hardhat network by setting the default network setting at hardhat. In this manner, they will be able to gain access to all the tools, logic, hard forks, and plugins present in the network. The developers have the option to incorporate the more popular development plugins such as Ether.js, Truffle, and Waffle, among others, as a direct connection with the source. External clients like Metamask are also compatible with the Hardhat network.

Key Features of Hardhat Network

Here are some of the key features of the Hardhat network for the understanding and education of the developers:


Hardhat network allows the developers to get an interactive and responsive development environment for creating a blockchain, Web3, decentralized apps, and smart contracts. It is also like a compiler that enables the users to borrow the right tools and programming logic for creating a new decentralized protocol using the reference and apparatuses available in the library.


One of the most important features of the Hardhat network is testing. At every stage, the developers can stop adding more to their projects and run the existing nodes. It means that the developers will be able to see the lags and errors in advance before going forward with their projects. At the same time, Hardhat enables subsequent fetching tasks in a complex workflow application for the benefit and examination of the developers.


Once an error has been detected in a decentralized application under development, the devs cans stop and implement a solution. It is one of the most important and advantageous features of the Hardhat network. The developers can also employ override functions, add external clients, use plugins, or other methods for rectification.


Hardhat networks also allow developers to fetch hard forks that are available on the Ethereum network. In this manner, the devs can deploy the already existing frameworks after making minor edits to enhance functionality and productivity for their decentralized projects.


Smart contracts and decentralized applications are autonomous computer programs. It means that their baseline infrastructure is intrinsically complex and consists of several layers of intricate programming. Therefore, the Hardhat network makes the management of complicated and expansive dApps projects easier and more convenient for the developers.


There are several sets of libraries and logic agents like Ether.js, Node.js, Ganache, Metamask, Remix, and Truffle that the Hardhat developers can access. Therefore, the Hardhat network also allows the developers to configure a vast array of development tools and templates to work on their projects.


Once the whole decentralized project is ready and tested, the hardhat network allows the users to deploy it in real-time. It means that the users can make their projects public by importing them to the Ethereum blockchain or using it as standalone projects.


Plugins are ready-made functionality options that developers on the Hardhat network can add depending on their requirements. It is worth noting that developers can enhance, upgrade, and manipulate these functions using various tools available on a hardhat.

Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are the primary product that developers are trying to create on a hardhat network. Even beginners can take advantage of the tools and features available in a hardhat and create a rudimentary Solidarity smart contract using all the knowledge base and templates that are available on the network.

What is Solidarity Stack Traces?

Stacks in programming are layers of development code that reflect the interconnected workflows in a coded project. Solidity, as mentioned before, is a type of programming language that is known for its usage in several blockchain projects. Solidity is also one of the supported languages present in the hardhat framework and operates based on universally accepted standards.

The developers who wish to create new automated decentralized applications on hardhat need to put together a smart contract first. For smart contracts, development Solidity is an ideal programming language.

Since Hardhat is more than just a development platform, it also contains features that allow the users to test any faults or bugs present in their smart contracts. When hardhat detects any point of breaking or faults present in an under smart development contract, it can offer exceptions.

These exceptions are based on a combo of JavaScript and Solidity stack retracing models. These stack traces are known as Solidity stack traces, and they highlight the exact reason for the failure of a smart contract so that the developers do not have to check every single line of code in their smart contract.

What are Automatic Error Messages in Hardhat?

A Hardhat network can find out the exact point of failure in a decentralized project that is under development. Anyone who has used a text editor for writing a new program knows that the editor will highlight the problematic line of error automatically where the logic is breaking. In the same manner, Hardhat uses Solidity Stack Traces for detecting the issues and points of concern within an underway project.

When the developers proceed to run the program, the network will generate an automated message or warning wherever an error in the execution of code is detected. These messages and warnings are called Automated Error Messaging in Hardhat, and they are vital in allowing the developers to solve issues in advance and make debugging fairly easier. The AEM within the Hardhat network is going to trigger under the following conditions:

  • The usage of a function without proper specification of the suitable parameters.
  • If an external function is called using the wrong or non-contract account.
  • When the call is incorrect or contains errors for the precompiled contract.
  • In case the developers try to send Ethereum to a contract that is present without proper payable backup or receiving function.
  • The mismatch of bitcode size when it is smaller than the deploying contracts present on the hardhat network. 
  • If the required amount of Ethereum submission is smaller or greater than a requirement. 

How to Install Hardhat?

From the first impression about the smart contracts, blockchains, Web3, and dApps, it can seem that downloading its compiler can be a real pain stalking task. However, in reality, the Hardhat network is fairly easy to use, and anyone with a little knowledge of operating systems and basic programing language skills can download it within a few minutes.

Installation is the first and most important step in starting the journey to learn and work with Hardhat. Here are the simple and easy steps to follow for a completing installation of Hardhat on your operating system:

  • Install npm (Package Manager) and Node.js 12th or the latest released on available from its official website. Node.js is free and it is an open-sourced server environment. 
  • After installation is completed, the users can run commands to auto-update and run npm using the “sudo apt install npm” command.
  • It is time to create a new directory and install Hardhat that is based on Node.js with mkdir hardhat-example.
  • Use “npm I –save-dev hardhat” to add Hardhat as a developer dependency framework.
  • The developers can then start a new decentralized project by creating a hardhat.config.js file. The command “npx hardhat” allows the users to auto-generate.
  • Now that the baseline Hardhat file is ready, it is time for the users to start working on downloading all the other directories, libraries, and dependencies such as Ether Chai.
  • Hardhat has access to Ethers.js for smart contract deployment and it uses Chai as a standard for the code. Open hardhat.configure.js and add integrate it with the relevant library using coding lines.
  • Finally, all the codes and the installation requirements are now complete and which means that the users can start creating new projects using Solidity’s latest version or 0.8.4.

Starting a Sample Project with Hardhat

The developers who have recently downloaded Hardhat can take their time learning about its functions and getting familiar with its use cases. The ideal way to get familiar with the use cases of Hardhat is to start working with it. However, taking a slow and steady approach is the best route to success. Therefore, starting a basic project is a great idea as a sample project for beginners. The most basic project can run in the Hardhat environment without the availability of any plugins.

The first command to get started is “npx hardhat” which will create a new folder in the framework for a new project. Once the basic application is ready, the devs can make test runs and explore its debugging, error finding, and testnet functions and options. The best way to become an expert in using hardhat is to start using them and make as many mistakes as possible.

Trial and error is the way to go when it comes to programming and coding. However, it is important to note that the hardhat network will create notifications for integrating hardhat-ethers or hardhat-waffles for the users to enable further testing and debugging features.

Hardhat versus Truffle

Truffle is a development environment that offers features like framework testing and creating asset pipelines on blockchains based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Standard. Since both Hardhat and Truffle are competitive protocols many users often wish to make comparisons to determine the best options for their projects. Here are some of the important points to consider:

Documentation and Support

Truffle is older than hardhat, and it has been around for several years. Therefore, the solutions, references, forums, tutorials, and blogs around the project are more common and readily available as well. On the other hand, Hardhat is a relatively new library, and users who are getting started may have to spend more time looking for community support and solutions.

Forums and Community

Truffle community is active on platforms like Discord and other private forums, and it is also considerably supportive and interactive. On the other hand, the Hardhat community is still in its development phase. Users also have the option to contact them on their official Discord server. Furthermore, users can also take references and help from the community present on Stackoverflow and Stackexchange if their queries are not answered.

Plugins and Libraries

Truffle contains a source called ox that works as a plugin, and it is highly customizable. However, the issue is that the users need to utilize the entire box, and they cannot make do with only taking the required parts, which can pose an issue for beginners. On the other hand, Hardhat offers a vast array of libraries and plugins that allow the users to work with relative ease and expand functionality as per their requirements.


The testing environment of Hardhat is more flexible and effective in comparison to Truffle. There are multiple testing logics such as ether.js, waffle, and mocha, and all of them are manageable with one programing language JavaScript. On the other hand, Truffle uses different authentication libraries such as chai, mocha, and web3.js. However, the interaction is not direct, which means that users need to add another stack such as Ganache CLI or UI first.

Commercial Use

Hardhat is used by noteworthy corporations such as OpenZepplin, Optimism, and Aave. All of these projects are specialized and dedicated decentralized platforms that are working within the blockchain sector. Meanwhile, Truffle supports projects such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. 1inch and BitGo, which are noteworthy financial and digital payment services providers.


Hardhat is a decentralized application development, testing, debugging, upgrading, and deployment framework. The framework is compatible with EVM standard protocols, and it is a more user-friendly and simplified dApps compiler. At present, the hardhat community is still growing and developing; however, it has already contributed to producing some of the most successful smart contract and dApps projects.

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Larry Wright

By Larry Wright

Larry Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author. He is known for his insightful reporting and his ability to delve into complex issues with clarity and precision. His writing has been widely acclaimed for its depth and intelligence.