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Introduction

A decentralized storage provides a single source of truth for data, with unparalleled privacy, security, and transparenxcy.

There are three relevant data trends. One, data is expected to grow from 33 ZB (zettabytes) today to 175 ZB in 5 years. Two, data breaches are a growing problem with $150M+ liability issues. Tbree, the cloud needs to move to the edge for performance and availability, driven by IoT applications, multi-player gaming, autonomous vehicles, and content streaming. Decentralization accelerates this change and adoption, as it lowers deployment, management, and scale-out cost while providing better security, performance, and availability. 

Scope

The scope is to define concepts regarding smart contracts and to produce material to describe the various aspects and meanings, trying to come up to standards or good practices. The audience for smart contracts is large and spans from researchers, developers, businessmen, decision makers, policy makers, law makers, software users, citizens to governments, banks, financial institutions, insurance providers, etc

Some research topics and separation of interest are:

  • Models of and mechanism for computation, such as:

  - Stack machines vs automata vs manipulating algebraic types embedded in a another language

  - Scope for less expressive languages (that may have more tractability for formal methods)

  - Execution determinism, and sources of non-determinism in existing languages

  - Cost models for metering computation (e.g. gas)

  - Paradigms for smart contracts - e.g. 'identity-oriented', functional, process-oriented - extent to which smart contracts benefit from special purpose languages

  - Parallelism of execution, state independence (i.e. parallel processing in a single block)

  • Formal guarantees on outputs of smart contracts
  • Smart contract packaging, code reuse, and dependency auditing
  • Smart contracts as representatives of obligations and fulfillment (i.e. 'law')

  - What properties should smart contracts with 'legal charge' have?

  - What relations can smart contracts have with actual contracts and agreements?

  - At what scale to smart contracts best contribute to certainty and execution of agreement?

  - What relationship do legal smart contracts have to models of computation?

  • Generation of smart contracts from existing artifacts (natural language, business process, state machines, non smart-contract code)
  • Data structures and state

  - Verifiable and authenticated data structures - e.g. Merkle dags, log-backed maps,

  - How best to expose through smart contract languages/libraries

  - Sharing state back-ends across execution engines

  - Conflict-free and additive data structures

  • Privacy

  - Multi-party secure computation

  - Differential privacy

  - Zero knowledge and practical building blocks - types of commitments and witnesses

  • Tooling and compilers for existing virtual machines

  - WASM/eWASM

  - EVM

  - WebIDL

  • Design Patterns for Smart Contracts

Work Products

The anticipated initial work products will include (but is not limited to):

Collaborators (other groups)

This working group will collaborate with other Hyperledger working groups, the TSC, Linux Foundation staff, and the project maintainers.

Interested Parties

The following individuals have already expressed an interest in joining this working group, and we hope they will become contributors over the first year:

NameCompanyEmail Address




Proposed Chair

The following individual has volunteered to serve as the initial chair for the working group:

Reviewed by

  • Arnaud Le Hors
  • Baohua Yang
  • Binh Nguyen
  • Christopher Ferris
  • Dan Middleton
  • Hart Montgomery
  • Kelly Olson
  • Mark Wagner
  • Mic Bowman
  • Nathan George
  • Silas Davis


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