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Smart Contract Templates: essential requirements

Type: Literature (pdf)

Submitter: [anonymous]

Category: Guides / Tutorials - Business / Finance

Exhibition Date: 2018-03-10 05:04:36 MST

Views: 109

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Submitter's Comment
Smart Contract Templates: essential requirements and design options

December 15, 2016
Smart Contract Templates support legally-enforceable smart contracts, using
operational parameters to connect legal agreements to standardised code. In this paper,
we explore the design landscape of potential formats for storage and transmission of
smart legal agreements. We identify essential requirements and describe a number of
key design options, from which we envisage future development of standardised formats
for defining and manipulating smart legal agreements. This provides a preliminary step
towards supporting industry adoption of legally-enforceable smart contracts.

1 Introduction
The aim of Smart Contract Templates [2, 3] is to support the management of the complete
lifecycle of smart legal agreements. This includes the creation of legal document templates
by standards bodies and the subsequent use of those templates in the negotiation and
agreement of contracts by counterparties. They also facilitate automated execution of the
contract via smart contract code [24], and provide a direct link within the instantiated smart
contract as an identifier for reference and recovery of the signed legal agreement. The smart
legal contracts could potentially be executed on distributed ledgers (such as Axoni Core [1],
Corda [7], Digital Asset Platform [8], Ethereum [11], Hyperledger Fabric [16], etc.).
In a previous paper [3], we discussed the foundations, design landscape and research
directions for Smart Contract Templates.

We begin this paper by stating what we believe are the essential requirements for smart legal agreements. We then provide an abstract “core”
specification and proceed to explore the design landscape for the storage and transmission of
smart legal agreements. Our aim is to support the financial services industry (including trade
associations such as the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and FIA) in:
(i) exploring how legal prose can be connected with parameters and code, and (ii) reviewing
existing data standards to take account of the features of smart legal agreements.
We do not aim to address topics relating to the execution of smart contract code, the
semantics of legal prose, or languages for expressing business logic.
In a similar manner to our previous paper [3], we aim to discuss these topics using
reasonably straightforward language, so that it is accessible not only to financial institutions
but also to lawyers, standards bodies, regulators, and policy makers. We hope that the issues
and views raised in this paper will stimulate debate and we look forward to receiving feedback.

Keywords: Smart Contract Templates Legally Ethereum Cryptocurrency

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