Smart Contracts May Need To Play By Dumb Rules

Smart contracts seem to become the norm these days, although there is an argument to be made as to how “smart” these contracts truly are. While there is a certain attribute of efficiency to be gained, there is the question of whether people can make these contracts behave as intended in the real world.

Enforcing a Contract to be Smart

TheMerkle_Dumb Rules Smart Contract

That will be the biggest hurdle to overcome in the real world, as smart contracts can turn out to be complex layers upon one another. To most people, the intricacies of smart contracts are well above their pay grade, nor will they care as long as everything works as expected. But enforcing everything works as intended is a different matter altogether.

One way to solve this problem, according to Nigel Farmer, is to add metadata or a description to smart contracts, containing specific details to enforce the boundaries of this agreement. Additionally, the information will need to be validated independently to ensure the code will execute what is to be expected, and nothing else.

But there is another issue that will need to be addressed, as it’s hard to trust the creator or provider of the smart contract itself. Although this technology is designed to create a trustless ecosystem, in the long run, there is a likely chance smart contract issuer risk becomes a new “term” in the early days of adopting this concept.

Moreover, will smart contracts play nice with existing systems and infrastructure? Legacy systems are not exactly known for being compatible with disruptive technology, and the gap between both infrastructures will need to be bridged in a convenient and cost-efficient manner. Otherwise, this technology will never be properly embraced by enterprises and governments.

Although smart contracts are designed to cut out the middleman of the agreement, there may be oversight needed in the early stages of embracing this technology. A contract with bad code hitting the blockchain could cause a lot of damage unless detection safeguards are put in place. It is always best to prevent than to cure, and developers have their work cut out for them.

Source: Software AG

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