Smart Contracts Lift New Economy

Smart contracts are getting attention as various industries search for innovative ways to integrate blockchain technology into their business models. In the future, companies will utilize smart contracts for a variety of purposes to improve efficiency. Uses for these code-based contracts include managing employees, dealing with vendors, and protecting copyrighted content.

Promising Technologies

An article from CoinCentral, Building a Smart Contract: It’s Easier Than You Think, by Jake Bergal, points out that smart contracts will enable companies to engage in the new decentralized economy. Bergal’s article compares three emerging DApp (Decentralized Applications) platforms: Ethereum, Lisk, and Cardano.

Each platform offers its own advantages:

  • Ethereum is the largest platform with the most active user base. It uses its own language, Solidity, for writing contracts and includes the Truffle framework for testing its application.
  • Lisk uses JavaScript and has its own DApp store where apps can be published.
  • Cardano has a large support team. It promises to separate contract information from transactional data.

Bergal’s article emphasizes how developers can learn to program smart contracts. For example, Solidity has a striking resemblance to JavaScript.

Smart Contract Risks

Researchers are analyzing smart contracts to understand their reliability. In March 2018, a group of researchers focused their attention on three properties of trace vulnerabilities: greedy (locked funds indefinitely), prodigal (leaked carelessly to arbitrary users), and suicidal (killed by anyone). The researchers tested about one million contracts and found thousands of issues, which included exploits for the Parity Bug.

The results of the research highlight the risks that companies must consider when choosing a platform for their smart contracts. To minimize potential risks, some companies prefer using established companies, such as IBM, to implement their blockchain products. The IBM Blockchain Platform promises to provide a secure cloud environment “where any developer can become a blockchain developer.” Looking forward, although smart contracts have promising potential, companies should carefully evaluate the pros and cons of using each platform.

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Alice is a member of the Florida Bar, and she focuses on business and technology matters in her law practice. She attended the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. After graduating, she earned a Juris Doctor at the Stetson University College of Law. During law school, she served as an Assistant Executive Editor for Stetson Law Review and also as a Staff Editor for Stetson Journal of Advocacy and the Law. She currently serves on The Florida Bar Journal/News Editorial Board.