About Smart Contracts in IOTA

Smart Contracts are a hot topic for all Distributed Ledger Technologies.

Naturally, the wider IOTA community has been discussing IOTA’s roadmap with respect to their availability a lot. In fact, it is one of those questions, you repeatedly hear people bring up on ask-me-anything sessions with the IOTA founders.

Let’s be very clear: As of this writing, IOTA does not “natively” support smart contracts. The IOTA Foundation has publicly stated, that smart contracts will not be a feature of the IOTA core but provided as a layer on top. And it’s also public knowledge, that IOTA Foundation is actively working on this additional smart contracts layer which will likely need until the end of 2018 to become GA.

You might have seen announcements claiming that IOTA smart contracts are available or open for beta testing. All of these are completely independent third party projects. IOTA Foundation is not officially working with or endorsing any third party smart contract solution at the time of this writing.

Permissionless, community driven solutions are a cornerstone of IOTA’s philosophy and chances are, that some of these third party smart contract solutions are absolutely awesome.

However, before you leverage those for a professional level production, I recommend to execute at least some basic vetting:

  • Who stands behind the platform in terms of trust, track record, funding and longevity?
  • Is it completely available as open source so you don’t run into a potential vendor lock-in?
  • How does the provider establish decentralization? Ideally, execution of smart contracts should be distributed across the entire IOTA network, so how exactly does it integrate with the network of IOTA Fullnodes?

If for any of these basic checkpoints you do not get a good answer, it might be worth waiting until official support for IOTA smart contracts gets announced.

Did you stumble upon a third party solution and gave it a try? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments or on twitter.

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“You can. Period.” Founder turned investor. Partner at Rottmann Ventures and R13W. Views are my own. 🇩🇪🏌️‍♂️🚴‍♂️

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Ralf Rottmann

Ralf Rottmann

“You can. Period.” Founder turned investor. Partner at Rottmann Ventures and R13W. Views are my own. 🇩🇪🏌️‍♂️🚴‍♂️

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