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Improving Haskell’s big numbers support

Haskell is vital to IOHK’s work in ensuring Cardano is a secure blockchain for the future of decentralized finance. As part of this, we use the language to develop the [Plutus smart contract platform](, and you may have read about the training courses run by our engineers, including a [Haskell course in Mongolia]( this month. Smart contract applications are a powerful way for a distributed network to generate value, allowing individuals and businesses to agree to conditions and automatically execute exchanges of information and wealth, without relying on third parties. Plutus contracts contain a substantial amount of code that is run off the chain, on users’ computers. To make it easy to create portable executables for these, we want to compile the off-chain Haskell code into JavaScript or WebAssembly. To reach that goal, we take part in the development of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler ([GHC](, [GHCJS]( (Haskell to JavaScript compiler) and [Asterius]( (Haskell to WebAssembly compiler). Recently we have been working on improving GHC’s support for big numbers, ie, numbers larger than 64-bit (both Integer and Natural types in Haskell). We have developed an implementation of big number operations in Haskell that is faster than the previous one (integer-simple ). We have also improved the way GHC deals with the different implementations to make it more robust and evolutive. These contributions are part of the [latest GHC release, version 9.0]( Read more here [](
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