eprint.iacr.org will be offline for approximately an hour for routine maintenance at 11pm UTC on Tuesday, April 16. We lost some data between April 12 and April 14, and some authors have been notified that they need to resubmit their papers.

Paper 2016/1156

Scripting smart contracts for distributed ledger technology

Pablo Lamela Seijas, Simon Thompson, and Darryl McAdams


We give an overview of the scripting languages used in existing cryptocurrencies, and in particular we review in some detail the scripting languages of Bitcoin, Nxt and Ethereum, in the context of a high-level overview of Distributed Ledger Technology and cryptocurrencies. We survey different approaches, and give an overview of critiques of existing languages. We also cover technologies that might be used to underpin extensions and innovations in scripting and contracts, including technologies for verification, such as zero knowledge proofs, proof-carrying code and static analysis, as well as approaches to making systems more efficient, e.g. Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees.

Note: Clarification of discussion of Nxt in section 4.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Preprint. MINOR revision.
electronic commerce and paymentblockchainscripting languagecryptocurrencysmart contract
Contact author(s)
s j thompson @ kent ac uk
2017-02-10: revised
2016-12-21: received
See all versions
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Pablo Lamela Seijas and Simon Thompson and Darryl McAdams},
      title = {Scripting smart contracts for distributed ledger technology},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2016/1156},
      year = {2016},
      note = {\url{https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/1156}},
      url = {https://eprint.iacr.org/2016/1156}
Note: In order to protect the privacy of readers, eprint.iacr.org does not use cookies or embedded third party content.