Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Blockchain with internal market for algorithms and smart contract boilerplate

One could design an on-chain language akin to Bitcoin Script, or perhaps with provability characteristics analogous to Russell O'Connor's "Simplicity", but optimized for pithy expression of cryptographic algorithms (rather than smart contracting.) One could then define a mechanism whereby users may submit new cryptographic algorithms to a blockchain for use by others in their transaction scripts. The algorithm ID would presumably be a hash of the algorithm submission. Optionally, one could allow an algorithm submitter to specify a per-use fee, in which case transactions which utilize that function would only be considered valid if they set aside the pre-specified fee (which could for example be deducted from unspent input prior to calculating the miner fee.) One could moreover define transaction types whereby the original submitter could adjust price over time, and/or could modify the address to which that fee is payable. Optionally, the protocol could mandate that such fee adjustments are valid only when they lower the initial fee, and not if they raise it.

In this manner, a competitive market could be created for the automatic upgrading of a blockchain's cryptographic primitives over time - at least as utilized in transaction scripts. But if not restricted to cryptographic primitives, perhaps this mechanism could also facilitate the on-chain standardization and improvement of reusable smart contracts.

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