Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/252

The Limit of Blockchains: Infeasibility of a Smart Obama-Trump Contract

Yongge Wang and Qutaibah m. Malluhi

Abstract: Blockchains have become a buzzword and many blockchain proponents believe that smart contract is a panacea to redefine the digital economy. The community has a misconception that any kind of contracts could be implemented as a blockchain smart contract. There is no doubt that Turing-complete scripting languages in blockchain techniques such as Ethereum can be used to draft many important smart contracts. However, digital economy is much more than Turing-complete smart contracts. Many protocols/contracts in our daily life could not be implemented using Turing- complete smart contracts. As an example, we formulate an Obama-Trump contract and show that this kind of contract could not be implemented using blockchain smart contract techniques. It is straightforward to observe that many contracts in our daily life could be described in terms of an Obama-Trump contract. As a background discussion, we also give a comprehensive review of historical cryptographic currency techniques, bitcoin smart contract techniques, and Turing-complete smart contract techniques in modern blockchains.

Category / Keywords: applications / block chain

Date: received 5 Mar 2018, last revised 13 May 2018

Contact author: yonwang at uncc edu

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Version: 20180513:065516 (All versions of this report)

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