Write and read “Smart Contract” but it’s an “Automated Contract”

Somayyeh Gholami
Jun 25, 2019 · 4 min read

The biggest achievement of smart contracts is that with the help of blockchain technology, they can only run independently their initial code. Since there is no possibility of human interference and tampering with functionalities or transaction results. But anyway, these contracts do not necessarily have the concept of intelligence or smart.

The authors of the article are Somayyeh Gholami and Mehran Kazeminia

Image for post
Image for post
Smart Contract Vs. Automated Contract

The reputation as a SMART is not proportional to the reality of these contracts and is not a proper name. The best name for them may be is the automated contract because the contracts are not necessarily intelligent or smart but certainly, they are automated!

These contracts, in accordance with the initial codes, work automatically after registering and deploying into a blockchain, and no human, even the owner(s) or developer(s) of contract, can make the slightest change in its initial code or functionality. This is perhaps the main feature of these contracts, and to convey this concept, using the title “automated contract” is appropriate because smartness or intelligence is not the main criterion for these contracts.

Smart inventors, automated inventions

Smart contracts are computer programs that simulate conventional or classical contract. They can exchange their own cryptocurrency or a special token. In addition, for each contract, an account or wallet is defined which called “contract wallet”. Parts of its coding are the conditions and how to exchange between the contract wallet and users (or between the contract wallet and the other contracts wallet).

Smart contracts can be registered on some blockchain networks. These contracts will be immortal after launch. It means, as long as that blockchain works, the original smart contract, as well as all transactions and exchanges in full details, continuously and permanently are stored and maintained on the blockchain network. These contracts work for all time, just according to the original contract code, and no human, even owner or developer can make the slightest change in the code of the program.

Image for post
Image for post
Nick Szabo

People like Nick Szabo or Vitalik Buterin are surely smart people! But their research and study achievement, which is an automated contract on the blockchain platform, is not always smart. For this reason, the title of “smart contract” is not proportional to the reality of these contracts. However, if we can not or do not want to change the name of these contracts, at least we gain the right insight into these contracts.

In many cases, decentralized networks are more restricted than centralized networks. For example, the random function does not exist in Solidity language, because the EVM Ethereum virtual machine requires total determinism within the smart contracts But all these technical reasons do not stop the efforts to make intelligence these contracts in necessary cases. Even developers are working on blockchain and Artificial Intelligence technology to serve each other and have some achievements, or …… However, it should be noted that today and ever, many of the contracts that have been registered on blockchain networks and deployed, they are not smart or intelligent and may not need to be either! That’s why the title of “smart contract” should not make developers and users mistaken.

Smart Contracts that Are Not Smart!

An example of smart contracts that is not smart! Maybe, the ERC-20 standard which has been used by many companies since late 2015 to generate tokens on the Ethereum network. This standard includes six main functions:

totalSupply() public constant returns

balanceOf(address tokenOwner) public constant returns

allowance(address tokenOwner, address spender) public constant returns

transfer(address to, uint tokens) public returns

approve(address spender, uint tokens) public returns

transferFrom(address from, address to, uint tokens) public returns

Image for post
Image for post
ERC-20 >> Token standard

If you are familiar with Solidity programming language and its functions, you also confirm that the above standard cannot be a structure for the smartness or intelligence of the token generator contract. Rather, functions are deterministic and nonsmart. Of course, if we want to assume a smart contract as smartness, we have to call “smart” all or most of the computer programs!

Many of the smart contracts only provide method bodies for all above functions and do not have a specific smart feature, but they are all automated, and after registering and deploying them, they continue their activities forever according to the initial code and without involving any human factors.

We end this discussion here and we’re eager to receive your comments.

HackerNoon.com

#BlackLivesMatter

Sign up for Get Better Tech Emails via HackerNoon.com

By HackerNoon.com

how hackers start their afternoons. the real shit is on hackernoon.com. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Somayyeh Gholami

Written by

Founder of Soliset, Tech researcher, Computer software engineer, Web & Blockchain developer, passionate about technology and art https://www.soliset.com

HackerNoon.com

Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Atatiana Jefferson, Tamir Rice, Bettie Jones, Botham Jean

Somayyeh Gholami

Written by

Founder of Soliset, Tech researcher, Computer software engineer, Web & Blockchain developer, passionate about technology and art https://www.soliset.com

HackerNoon.com

Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Atatiana Jefferson, Tamir Rice, Bettie Jones, Botham Jean

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store