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On and Off-Blockchain Enforcement Of SmartContracts

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Carlos Molina-Jimenez, Dr Ellis SolaimanORCiD, Dr Ioannis SfyrakisORCiD



Abstract—In this paper we discuss how conventional business contracts can be converted into smart contracts—their electronic equivalents that can be used to systematically monitor and enforce contractual rights, obligations and prohibitions at run time. We explain that emerging blockchain technology is certainly a promising platform for implementing smart contracts but argue that there is a large class of applications, where blockchain is inadequate due to performance, scalability, and consistency requirements, and also due to language expressiveness and cost issues that are hard to solve. We explain that in some situations a centralised approach that does not rely on blockchain is a better alternative due to its simplicity, scalability, and performance. We suggest that in applications where decentralisation and transparency are essential, developers can advantageously combine the two approaches into hybrid solutions where some operations are enforced by enforcers deployed on–blockchains and the rest by enforcers deployed on trusted third parties.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Molina-Jimenez C, Solaiman E, Sfyrakis I, Ng I, Crowcroft J

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: School of Computing Technical Report Series

Year: 2018

Pages: 11

Print publication date: 01/04/2018

Acceptance date: 01/04/2018

Report Number: 1519

Institution: School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle University

Place Published: Newcastle upon Tyne