Available technologies

Smart contracts written in quasi-natural language

Reference number: 8380

Smart contracts that lawyers can program

8380 LPS Smart Contracts

Developed by Prof Bob Kowalski & Dr Fariba Sadri's group in Imperial College London's Department of Computer Science.

Overview

Smart contracts can vastly improve the efficiency and security of traditional contracts, through self-executing autonomy. The most prominent smart contract implementation is the Ethereum blockchain platform. Solidity is a contract-oriented language, designed to target this platform.

Whilst Ethereum is an enabling technology, challenges arise in encoding; it is difficult to program a smart contract such that it accurately captures all the desired contractual requirements. Encoding in Ethereum entails translating a natural language statement regarding law (from a contract), into an object-oriented code regarding computation (in Solidity). There is thus a high chance of a loss in translation, and the gap between natural language and Solidity paradoxically creates new inefficiencies in the system. This is true even when the legal and programming skills reside in the same person implementing smart contracts. A novel language that aims to solve the problems with Solidity is presented in the downloadable datasheet below.

Download the datasheet

contact

Rebeca Santamaria-Fernandez

Director of Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation, Engineering

r.santamaria-fernandez@imperial.ac.uk

+44 (0)20 7594 8599

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