Sophisticated Ledgers and Smart Contracts – Are the useful?

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Sophisticated Ledgers and Smart Contracts


Thursday 3E

Convener: Bryant Gilot

Notes-taker(s): Bryant Gilot


Tags for the session - technology discussed/ideas considered


Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:


'Sophisticated ledgers and smart contracts – are they useful?’ Bryant Joseph GILOT, MD CM DPhil MSc


A spectrum of ledgers exist including the paper ledger, simple database, distributed database, consensus ledgers with strong immutibilty and trust properties.


Which problems in the ID space are easier to solve with sophisticated ledgers (blockchains - the most robust being the bitcoin blockchain)


Samuel S. 90%+ prop usage of ledgers can be solved using a database. Few need preventing double spending.


Properties intersting to the ID management (of blockchains/sophisticated ledgers) Ledger - no intermediaries that can assert control or influence.


No need for trusted intermediaries Allso possible to have diffused trust across distributred participants. The governance can also be with a weakened intermediary, a distributed intermediary with an adaptive governance model.


Smart contracts - code, trust the process other than participants


Smart Contracts offer to the ability to automate, verify actions. They may facilitate access control, granting of permissions.


Distributed, consensus based Diffused trust, reduce risk Ledger vs distributed hash table Time ordered sequence - convenient way Linerizable Public disclosure (some information)


Blockchains/Sophisticated ledgers are most interesting for:

1) strong ability for robust timestamping and the ability to order transactions

The ledger is the common source for trusted revocation records.

2) The distributed nature of the ledger diffuses trust in a beneficial manner

3) the distributed nature of the ledger offers robust data accessibilty features.