ethers vs web3
Published on November 4, 2022
by Gabriela

So if you decided to invest in Web3.0, you may have already researched the subject and have doubts about choosing Ethers vs Web3.

Ethers.js and Web3.js are the most widely used JavaScript libraries for interacting with smart contracts. It is natural for anyone just starting in Web3 to be perplexed about which is best. 

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but most developers now prefer Ethers.js due to its user-friendly syntax. However, we won’t just stop there; we will perform a deep analysis of the key differences that lead to this.

Remember that the fact that some people find Ethers easier to use doesn’t mean that you should be influenced to choose it over Web3. 

Ethers might be easy-to-use for certain developers, but they might be extremely complicated for you or just don’t meet your requirements. So, it’s highly recommended to read all the information here, try both a little and decide what’s best for your case.

Both interact with smart contracts and process network transactions in different ways. Because of this distinction, one performs some tasks better than the other. So, prepare to learn about their differences, best use cases, and how they interact with the network.

Ethers vs Web3: The Bases

There’s no better starting point than having a quick review of the history, description, main purposes, and some basic concepts of each one. For this reason, let’s give it a look:


This is a data storage and recording system. A blockchain is made up of blocks linked together to form a chain. The blocks store data and can communicate with other blocks in the chain. 

A blockchain is unchangeable. The blocks themselves cannot change, and the chain can only be updated by adding new blocks.

Smart contracts

These are self-executing programs that are stored and executed on a blockchain network. They are generated by submitting a unique type of transaction to the network. They generate interfaces for our projects to interact with as soon as they are deployed.

Developers use them to create serverless frontend applications. However, the cost of performing computational tasks on the network can quickly add up. As a result, it is always recommended that all computations be performed outside the network, with only data storage occurring on it.


Web3.js is the oldest of the libraries in JavaScript that are used to interact with the Ethereum network. Released in 2015 by ChainSafe Systems and licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL-3.0), It is an open-source project with a large community that is actively maintained.

Its main purpose is to either send Ethereum from one address to another or to interact with smart contracts. The network it creates comprises computers (nodes) that work together to process transactions made over the network. 

This network can be a single computer’s private node, a main public net, or a test net. For development, the private node and test networks are used. The test net is a much more public development environment accessible to the entire world. 

The public node, on the other hand, is limited to just one computer. On the other side, the main net is where all of the real interaction takes place and where the more valuable cryptocurrency remains.

During a blockchain transaction, Web3.js returns “promiEvents,” which can be used to request an event like “receipt” or “transactionHash” to access the details of a blockchain transaction.


Ethers.js is a relatively new library created by Richard Moore and the ethers community that was released in 2016. It has an MIT license, which means it is open-source, actively maintained, and has a large community.

Its primary function is interacting with Ethereum smart contracts and performing network transactions while also serving as a lightweight JavaScript library.

The goal of this Library was to be used primarily with (a web3 browser), hence the small size, but it has now grown to be more general-purpose and can be used similarly to the web3 Library.

Very different from Web3.js, Ethers.js provides all necessary information directly in the receipt during a blockchain transaction. This means that no additional interaction is required to access the information of the said transaction.

Ethers.js also directly supports ENS (Ethereum Name Service) like Marak.eth. This is the shorter and more friendly version of a cryptocurrency address and can be used with Ethers in place of an Ethereum address.

Ethers vs Web3: Comparison

While both libraries can perform the same operation, they do so in different ways, giving them strengths and weaknesses in different situations. In the following categories, you’ll find said characteristics:

Size of Code Created

Ethers is designed to be simple, lightweight, and efficient. When using Ethers instead of Web3, your code may become more compact. Ethers accomplish this level of simplicity by limiting developers and providing only what is required to interact with the network.

The size of the code generated is important because it affects the time it takes for your program to load. Web3 programs are relatively small in size. However, it is much larger than the same code in Ethers. This causes it to take longer to load than those that use Ethers.

The size of the Library

Ethers is written in TypeScript and has a smaller bundle size, user-friendly API structure, and extensive and concise documentation. Web3, on the other hand, is written in node.js and has a larger bundle size and less extensive documentation.

The Ethers frontend library is significantly smaller than the Web3 frontend library. As a result, frontend applications using Ethers rather than Web3 are smaller. Making of this is the main reason why most developers prefer Ethers to Web3.

The main reason why the Ethers library is smaller than the Web3 Library is that Ethers’ sole purpose is to work with the Ethereum Network and nothing else. However, the Web3 Library is larger because it includes tools that can do more than just work with the Ethereum Network, such as the following:

  • Web3.bzz: It allows interaction with a swarm of decentralized file storage.
  • Web3.shh: This is used to communicate with the whisper protocol to broadcast messages.
  • And much more.


Web3 has existed for longer than Ethers. As a result, Web3’s community is larger in comparison, making it easier to find solutions to any problems you may encounter than in Ethers. Furthermore, because Web3 has been around longer, businesses prefer it over Ethers.

Although the Ethers community is not as large as the Web3 community, it has great documentation, making it really easy to look up what you don’t understand anytime you feel stuck.

What to Have in Mind When Starting a Web3 Project

Although it’s true that defining which framework you will be using for your Web3 project won’t directly determine its success or failure, other things are more decisive for the success of a web3 project. Without going any further, assembling your project team, or even the marketing strategy you apply once it’s done. 

For that reason, it’s crucial to have a good marketing team backing your project that not just performs a plan, but also builds a presence for your brand. For example, Exonite can create an adapted solution for your specific case. They count on a team made up of both marketing and cryptographic experts. Of course, with the knowledge that Exonite can add up to your project, the chances for it to succeed are highly increased.


The two libraries can accomplish the same, but they do it differently. The Ethers library is the best choice if you want to create an application that only communicates with the Ethereum network. 

It is less about features; although there is still a couple of cool features/design, the principal reasons to choose Ethers are:

  • It is smaller.
  • Counts with good testing.
  • It is well documented.
  • It’s maintained properly, receiving updates regularly.
  • Has fewer bugs.

However, if you’re not concerned about space or your project needs more than just interaction with Ethereum, Web3 should be your first choice.

Finally, always have in mind that, independently from the framework you choose, the team behind the project needs to be chosen carefully.

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About the Author

Gabriela, CEO of SEONFT Marketing agency, is passionate about developing Marketing strategies for Crypto Assets, selling out NFT collections, the Metaverse, and opportunities yet to come.

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