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One feature I sorely miss in most existing blockchains is the ability to verify the history of the blockchain from within its contract language. Why so? Because this feature when present enables easy composition of contracts, without the contracts being composed having to offer a dedicated API to facilitate such composition, such as the awkward “allowances” of ERC20 contracts.

Indeed, thanks to access to blockchain history, it is possible to compose not just contracts that weren’t designed to be composed, but even contracts involving other parties who are not directly involved in the larger composition — whether you don’t want to involve them, or they refuse to make your life easy. …


Image for post
Image for post

One feature I sorely miss in most existing blockchains is the ability to verify the history of the blockchain from within its contract language. Why so? Because this feature when present enables easy composition of contracts, without the contracts being composed having to offer a dedicated API to facilitate such composition, such as the awkward “allowances” of ERC20 contracts.

Indeed, thanks to access to blockchain history, it is possible to compose not just contracts that weren’t designed to be composed, but even contracts involving other parties who are not directly involved in the larger composition — whether you don’t want to involve them, or they refuse to make your life easy. …


Many proposed blockchain solutions use verification games, whether informally as in TrueBit and Plasma, or formally as in Alacris.io. In these systems, an important challenge is for the contract to be able to assess whether participants are putting down sufficient collateral to accompany their claims; and this assessment crucially depends on having a good model for the price of gas.

My Name is Bond, Collateral Bond

In a system based on verification games, participants make claims that others may disprove if they are invalid. Each step of the verification game (or “smart lawsuit”) happens by invoking the “smart contract” on the blockchain with parameters detailing the claim (making a “smart legal argument”). If no one successfully counters the claim with a counter-claim within its challenge period, then the claim is considered validated. To punish those who make spurious claims and reward those that prove their claims invalid, participants who make a claim must accompany it with the deposit of a proper collateral. …

About

François-René Rideau

Co-Founder and Chief Architect at Alacris.io

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