Tech 17 October 2018

Erik Gibbs

Dr. Craig Wright breaks down smart contract registries

Dr. Craig Wright took to one of his favorite stages recently to talk about Bitcoin BCH and smart contract registries. In a Medium post, Wright set out to detail how smart contracts could be introduced successfully on the blockchain and did an incredible job breaking down the specifics of any registry platform.

Wright points out that one of the major issues with contract management is the overwhelming amount of redundancy. Copies of the same contract are kept in a number of different locations, which is a logistical nightmare when any change or addendum is needed. Since contracts are often written in natural language, they can also be open to interpretation if not properly dissected during the drafting phase.

These obstacles, among several others, are the reason smart contacts make sense. However, several steps must be followed to have them implemented properly.

Some of the main requirements include formal definition of the contract so that it “can be formally interpreted and implemented by a machine, as well as converted into natural language,” explains Wright. Additionally, it’s important to be able to publish a contract so that everyone knows it exists, while not divulging any of the details, except to those with the need to know.

It is also important to consider including mechanisms that allow the contracts to be configured based on time and/or conditions. Perhaps a contract is only valid for 18 months or expire once the contract’s target has been fulfilled. Smart contracts will need to know what actions to take based on these criteria if they are to be effective.

The Bitcoin BCH blockchain already includes a number of features that make contract creation a breeze. Once the proper controls are added to the contract and it is registered in a repository, “the associated URI and hash can be used in accordance with using metadata within a Blockchain transaction to associate the transaction on the chain with the controlling contract itself,” explains Wright.

To ensure that any machine-readable contract can also have a human-readable version, Wright points out that he and the group at nChain are already working on a tool that will generate a readable document. This version would be delivered in in pdf format, or something similar that doesn’t allow for easy editing.

To ensure that only authorized individuals have access as appropriate to the contract, it can be secured by several means. The most basic security is offered through a hash check to ensure that there haven’t been any alterations. Additionally, the repository itself can be locked down and the contract can be digitally encrypted to limit access only to those who have the corresponding decryption keys.

Says Wright, “In many cases, the Contract itself will have partial protection on it. For example, some sections within the file are protected but the overall content is public. For example, the details of how to implement a fixed rate loan are published but the knowledge of who took out the loan, for how much and at what rate is known only to the contracting parties.”

Wright provides further details on the intricacies of contract creation and manipulation using the Bitcoin BCH blockchain, but it’s evident from the insightful piece that Bitcoin BCH already has everything it needs to facilitate contract creation and storage, and doesn’t need any modifications to enhance the platform.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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