What Can Smart Contracts Do?
On 7 December, 2016 for the 42nd edition of Bitcoin Wednesday, Alex Norta will give a talk on a more practical side of smart contracts. He will present his work on a smart contract markup language, smart contract management lifecycle and smart contract application layer for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations.
Alex aims to give a more holistic understanding of what smart contracts can do beyond the technical transaction machinery of the blockchain. He received his PhD from TU Eindhoven in this area and his Master’s degree from the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. He is currently associate professor at Talinn University of Technology. His research inspired the start up Proof of You. He has been working in the field of smart contracts, including cross-organizational process automation, multi-agent systems and virtual-enterprise management for more than 10 years, long before the launch of Bitcoin or Ethereum. He notes that the emergence of blockchain-based smart contracts gives him the opportunity to reapply his PhD research to this new context.
The Ethereum blockchain in particular provides a decentralized network for smart contracts that can be written with the Turing-complete scripting language, Solidity. However this platform does not have the features of the application layer that would make smart contracts usable for practitioners and laymen. Alex has worked out a smart-contract management lifecycle and believes that his presentation should also be interesting for anyone interested in Ethereum, Synereo, Lisk, Eris and other blockchain technologies with similar properties.
Alex is originally from Pretoria, South Africa, but has lived in seven other countries. His hobbies are cycling, cooking and anarchism, and he considers 1984, The Republic, Brave New World and Faust his favorite books.