July 17, 2016

Ricardian Contracts in the media!

Ricardian Contracts were featured in R3's event on Smart Contract Templates in coordination with Barclays.

See the deck, pages 44-67. The Riccy formed a big part of that event as the idea of laying out the prose contract alongside the smart code are now becoming evidently necessary as well as just merely necessary. The R3 weekend read pulls quotes from IBTimes / Lee Braine and Richard Gendal Brown:

The following pull quote is best contrasted with The DAO entry at the beginning of this post:
Braine said that one of the motivations for creating smart contracts, together with shared ledgers underneath them, is the opportunity to reduce the number and duration of disputes. Some of the potential improvements could result from simply making the relevant information, such as agreements governing specific trades, more easily accessible.

Brown agreed, adding: "If you look at the experience with The DAO recently, one of the key takeaways from that incident was that, in a system that perhaps had an express design goal of having the code be dominant, there is a need to have a broader contract that explains what happens in the event that things do go wrong."

This future of contracting sees a layout of {prose, code, params} which fully describe a smart contract entered into by parties, something I talked about in SOAC a while back.

Instead of the normal boring presentation on 'what' the Ricardian Contract is, I talked about 'why' with the hope that, by understanding the research origins that led to the design pattern, it would be clearer why it has to be so. I hope we can do a voice release or article / paper at some point so a little more context can be explained.

And, to round off the news, we now have the Ricardian Contract's own wikipedia page. Thanks to Arthur Doohan for that hard work!

Posted by iang at July 17, 2016 05:40 PM

I agree. I'd like the various organizations to get involved in this discussion. W3C's Payment protocol group would work. Hyperledger, perhaps.

Law and accounting are the subject-matter. IT doesn't understand either one.

Payments are one-HALF of the DELIVERY upon a legal contract.

Posted by: Andrew B Brown at July 17, 2016 08:08 PM
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