Incomplete Smart Contracts

Incomplete Smart Contracts

Contracts cannot account for every single contingency. The problem with contracts in not what is in them, but what is not in them. This is also true with any type of engineering. At some point there will exist an issue that was not planned, thus allowing for exploitation. There is always a better individual option. If there was not, then there would be no need for a contract. This results in an incomplete contract and therefore all contracts are inherently incomplete. On June 18th, 2016 an Ethereum network participant exploited a vulnerability in the Genesis DOA smart contract and was able to walk away with 3.6 million ETH, approximately one-third of the 11.5 million ETH locked in the DAO.

The incompleteness of the Genesis DAO contract resulted in not only a hard-fork of the Ethereum network, but for some ERC20 projects to wonder if they could create a better blockchain from the ground-up. On June 30th, 2018, VeChain, previously the VEN ERC20 token on Ethereum, disconnected from the Ethereum network to create their very own blockchain. The VeChainThor Blockchain attempted to rethink 2nd generation smart contract blockchains from the ground-up, just as Ethereum did with the Bitcoin blockchain.

VeChain’s goal is to prepare for evolving contingencies in the developing ecosystem not only in their smart contracts, but throughout the entire blockchain infrastructure. To improve tokenonmics, they introduced two tokens, VET and VTHO. VTHO embodies the network cost and VET is a value transfer agent. Crypto currencies are highly speculative, and hence quite volatile. The cost of running the Ethereum network is tied to its current price. This poses a significant inherent risk that is addressed by VeChain’s dual coin system.

The dual coin system is just one example where the VeChainThor Blockchain attempts to better it’s predecessors with a more agreeable infrastructure. They believe these attempts will fundamentally reduce the possibility of unforeseen contingencies throughout the system. Nevertheless, contingencies in smart contracts must of course be addressed within the framework of the contract. As stated above, the problem with contracts in not what is in them, but what is not in them. Blockchain must be concerned with improving the quality and quantity of terms outlined in a smart contract. To achieve this, there must be greater effort placed on improving the quality and quantity of information provided to that blockchain.

VeChainThor is focused on making the blockchain easily available to any enterprise. Their focus is supply chain, Internet of Things, NFTs, and Artificial Intelligence. External information is acquired by VeChainThor through novel means including NFC chips, QR Codes, and RFID in concert with smart contracts. Products may then be tracked from cradle to grave thus dramatically improving supply chain logistics. Getting a high quality and quantity of information to the blockchain will allow for a greater number of terms and definitions. This is key to reducing contingencies and therefore significantly reducing the likelihood of incomplete smart contracts.

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