The Check-List for Well Maintained Smart Contracts.

July 20, 2018

The Check-List for Well Maintained Smart Contracts.

It`s paperwork continuing to get replaced with digital versions in today `s world. Since new applications continue to emerge, they help in the transition to the digital world. Along the transition, keeping a strong check on transitional chaos to make it look smooth!

One such application is smart contracts between two parties. Evolved only recently, it`s a better, efficient, secure mode of securing a contract.  What exactly is ‘smart contracts’? How has smart contract development come into being? What is the check-list for well maintained smart contracts? Let`s try to look for an answer.

A ‘smart contracts’ represents a coded document, written in computer language! It carries out without human intervention all or specific provisions of an agreement. An agreement secured gets stored on the ‘blockchain’ platform.  In some cases, it even serves as an exclusive valid document of an agreement. Be that between two persons, parties, or organizations. Other times, it reinforces what is already agreed in the traditional written contract.

After applying a smart contract, it carries out tasks like money transfer all by itself. A computer code, which a smart contract is, once placed on blockchain gets replicated. Replication continues till it is gets stored on lot many of its (blockchain) nodes. Hence achieving permanence, which is hard to expect from a traditional contract. But security as well gets tighter. Once stored on blockchain network, a smart contract cannot be, at all, tampered with, or changed.

When a condition gets fulfilled by a party involved, the code on the blockchain takes a step in response. A step that corresponds to a set action required of it on completion of certain parameters. In case a party fails to complete any of those set conditions, no further process will proceed.

Common task contracts streamline is a monetary transaction. It`s here a ‘smart contract’ makes things easy and less expensive. Because it automates, upon completion of certain events, the process of releasing funds. Suppose a party fails to meet requisite conditions for ‘triggering event’ to start. In that case, it slaps on defaulting party a monetary penalty. Not anywhere in the whole process is there any involvement of third party such a judiciary. That saves you lots of money and times that otherwise goes into roping in the third party to execute such a service.

A product you have procured arrives at your stockroom and you don`t need to do anything. It is because of a smart contract on its own triggers approval request. And once completed, releases funds to the seller without wasting any time. It has made payment disbursement a lot quicker process. Eradicated, along the way, any room for delays and errors!

But knowing it means nothing unless you consider well maintained smart contracts check-list. You may have understood smart contracts as the blockchain-based accord between two parties. But still, you should not jump on to write one. Especially, before considering the following points about smart contracts!

  • Purpose –It is of the utmost importance to know the purpose of your writing a smart contract. It is important to lay down in advance your hopes, expectations. Or, everything else you expect it to do for you.
  • Commitment –A party part of your smart contract should show commitment towards it. You get to ensure commitment by enforcing a severe penalty for violations. You can also include in your smart contract stakes in the form of digital currency and other tokens.
  • Conditions –Well-defined conditions that you`ve necessitated for your agreement add value it. Those conditions can be the time-bound completion of certain tasks and more. So take it as an imperative to define your conditions in a neat and clean manner.
  • Validation –You must lay down clear conditions against which to measure its validation. I mean validation of tasks accomplished. You can ensure validation by inserting certain provisions in the smart contract itself. Or else doing it from outside!
  • Unsuccessful Deal –If tasks are not done on agreed time, what to do? Or if they are not validated, how is that going to impact your smart contract? Or thereby the deal itself! It all you should decide beforehand. In fact, defining in clear terms things that make your deal unsuccessful save you time and money! And after-deal anxiety, too!
  • Punishment –Best way to discourage tampering with your smart contract is punishment. It is must to violations of the contents of your smart contract. A proper way to get everyone to follow with utmost strictness what`s written in your smart contract.

After following the above steps, there remains another crucial thing to deliberate on. It`s to get you master the very process of smart contracts development. It is the thing called an audit of your smart contract. A necessary component indeed to make sure it`s not prone to security infringement. It involves the process of taking the code and examining it. A step that ensures it is bug-free. Hence, reducing security breach chances before deploying it (contract) on the blockchain network! Once uploaded, it cannot get modified.

When you go through each line of your contract, you get chance to locate issues with your document. To see what else you can add, change, or replace. Taking a look at the whole process of audit, it begins with Disclaimer. Where you make it clear you don`t consider audit file a legal document. Next step you follow is bringing out whatever good you have found in the smart contract you`re auditing. That done, you`ll next mention details on attacks launched on contract document. And including its impact, too! That step leads to the next point where you`ll locate bugs and vulnerability in your smart contract. It`s to locate bugs because they allow persons to change one or more variables of your smart contract. After that, you go for examining each line and then, writing a brief synopsis of your findings. It would include your conclusions, final comments on the audit of your smart contract.

If you follow what`s mentioned above, you get a smart contract which is error-free, secure and bug-free. Also, all-encompassing when it comes to different provisions, deadlines, and transactions! It is about documenting a code that has no loopholes, whatsoever. That is why these check-lists have become important. You need to follow them for creating well maintained smart contracts.

In fact, no smart contract is ever written in air, you describe early on what you expect out of it. Or, what should be the measure of the success of your deal? Or, what penalty to impose if a member of your smart contract breaches its basic tenets. So, you have to take care of these check-lists to get desired results from your smart contract.

Rohit Madaan

Rohit Madaan

Assistant Digital Marketing Manager at Signity Solutions
I am an enthusiastic internet marketer.
Rohit Madaan