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Potential of Blockchain-enabled smart contract platforms

for automated enforcement and dispute resolution

 

STUDENT PAPER

By Aseem Sharma

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France

 



ABSTRACT

Over the past few years the word blockchain has been gaining a lot of attention. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most widespread blockchain platforms and there are many other platforms which have emerged recently. But not every blockchain based platform uses smart contracts. Smart contracts are self-executing computer protocols that are meant to verify and enforce the performance of contract conditions. The field is evolving and there is still a lot of ambiguity about the concept itself. This makes the selection of the platform a crucial decision from the users’ perspective. This paper intends to discuss five different blockchain based smart contract platforms namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stratis, Lisk and Neo, and evaluate their potential and limitations. Multi-Attribute Decision Making Analysis is used to compare these platforms based on attributes like Speed, Future Orientation, Scalability, Risk and Programming language. The results are presented in quantified form and most feasible options have been proposed.

Keywords: Blockchain, Smart Contract, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Traditional contracts, Arbitration, Distributed digital ledger, Enforcement

INTRODUCTION

Over the last few years, blockchain technology has become one of the most talked about topic and it is proving to be the biggest disruption since the internet. Blockchain essentially is a publicly available, immutable distributed ledger of transactions which have been verified by getting consensus from all the participants in its network. It focuses on the issue of trust between parties involved in the transaction. Though started from the area of application in financial services, blockchain since then has been finding its application in governance, e-voting, supply chain, taxation, internet of things and now arguably almost everywhere.

Smart contract is emerging as one of the most promising areas of blockchain implementation. Smart Contracts are digital auto contracts made between two parties based on pre-defined logic. They are self-enforcing in nature and it is expensive to break the contract. Since Blockchain provides trusted counterparties without a need of trusted third party, it is well suited to corroborate smart contracts. Smart contracts are increasingly being used to automate enforcements of contracts and thus provide a cost –effective, efficient and faster way of handling transactions. They solve almost all the issues associated with a traditional contract. However, since the concept of smart contracts is relatively novel, their legal binding is not clear yet. And even though blockchain provides an intelligent way of enforcing contracts, the arbitration of blockchain disputes itself requires deliberation.

This paper evaluates some of the blockchain supported smart contract platforms. It starts with explaining the evolution, technological details, strength and limitations of five platforms namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Stratis, List and Neo. Then criteria have been selected based on which comparison of the platforms is performed and then quantitative ratings have been provided to each alternative based on the attributes. Final evaluation of all the platforms is done using Multi-Attribute Decision Making Analysis (MADM) and best alternative has been proposed.

To summarize, the purpose of this research is to answer the following questions:

  1. The pros and cons of using different blockchain smart contracts platforms and identify their strengths and limitations.
  2. Identify the parameters on which smart contracts can be evaluated and compared.
  3. Propose the best feasible platform based on current and future perspectives.

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 

Editor’s note: Student papers are authored by graduate or undergraduate students based on coursework at accredited universities or training programs.  This paper was prepared as a deliverable for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Sharma, A. (2018). Potential of Blockchain-enabled smart contract platforms for automated enforcement and dispute resolution, PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XI – November.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/pmwj76-Nov2018-Sharma-potential-of-blockchain-enabled-smart-contract-platforms.pdf

 



About the Author


Aseem Sharma

Republic of India 

   

 

 

Aseem Sharma is an MBA student at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and did his student exchange term at SKEMA Business School, Lille Campus. As part of a key module “The International Contracts” qualification requirement under the direct supervision of Professor. Paul D Giammalvo, the Course Director and the Professor Paul Gardiner, the Program Director, this student paper has been produced with the purpose of getting it published with The PM World Journal. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He has worked at UnitedHealth Group as an application developer from 2014 to 2016 and interned at HSBC Securities Services in the summer of 2017. He has a background in project management, finance and technology and closely follows the Fintech space. He can be contacted at: [email protected]