Smart contracts are a new approach in the ecosystem of Block Chains. As Nic Szabo described them
“Smart Contract: a computable contract that has been made tamper-proof by being run on a decentralized computing network. Contracts as code that are tamper resistant, able to self-verify their own conditions and self-execute by releasing payment to the appropriate party”.
Smart contracts run on node networks beyond the control of a contract’s participants, assuring that the contract will be executed as it was written once performance occurs. Self-verifying in its evaluation and provable recording that contractual performance has occurred. Recording performance in real time as it is reflected in various pre-defined data feeds (e.g., price, location, events, etc.) Self-executing in its performance of the contract by releasing payment to the appropriate party once key conditions have been met. For example; if weather event and price change have probably occurred by time X, send $100 from Alice’s account to Bob. Smart contracts are uniquely tamper resistant because they are run and/or stored on a network of computers that is beyond the influence of the contract’s participants. Since none of the contract’s participants can influence the smart contract beyond the actual performance of their obligations, all of the participants can trust that this type of contract will be executed as it was written. Tamper resistance is achieved when only one of the contract participants cannot stop the smart contract from self-verifying and/or self-executing. Smart contracts provide new levels of efficiency for contract monitoring and execution, creating gains in profit for high maintenance contracts.” 1
This characterization is a summary of how we have applied them in BloqCube ™ in developing a LEAN and speedy way to conduct clinical trials. In our system, four separate elements come together to make a cohesive whole. These are:
Peer to Peer payments system
C2TA™ – Continuous Clinical Trial accounting
Blockchain technology to create a distributed ledger of immutable data
By applying this we believe we can minimize Source Data Verification, speed up the clinical trial and provide a new and integrated way to manage trials potentially from end to end.
Briefly, a Smart Contract is a block of computer code that executes an algorithm within the distributed ledger system via a network of nodes. Based on a set of preset attributes, which when compiled with, it causes a set of instructions to be executed which in turn will cause a set of actions to be initiated.
In its simplistic form, it’s a bit like the code that instructs your banker to withdraw money from your account to pay your bills electronically. Eg pay $100 on the 10th of every month to Utility account XXX, by debiting my account YYY then every month this is paid assuming there are sufficient funds
In this case, it’s more complex as the data is cryptographically secured in the blockchain and the explicit instructions need to be intelligently written. Once these execution instructions and rules for conformance written others cannot intervene to stop it. Given the decentralized nature, there are execution done simultaneously so that identical copies exist at all
Why use Smart Contracts in BloqCube
– Tamper-proof/Immutable: The data is stored in multiple locations in Realtime using blockchain code making it virtually impossible to be tampered with. Tampering will be detected
– Self-executing and autonomous: Given that it is an algorithm and follows a programmed sequence of checking results with data inputs along with the decision rules that when met causes execution of the preprogrammed path, no human intervention is really needed apart from general monitoring
– Self-checking: As can be seen based on the code specification it will check compliance with the rules defines on its own
– Avoids/ eliminates middlemen” Given that the code replaces human intervention of checking and rechecking middlemen can be minimized if not eliminated. Thus the SDV which is substantially manual and be automated significantly
– Speed is increased: As there are no middlemen and code executes rapidly we can have close to real-time transaction speeds
– Decreases transaction costs: As Human intervention is decreased costs of manpower used in the transaction decrease substantially
– Transparent: As its code and being run in a distributed fashion it is transparent
– Cryptographically secured.
Value added by using Smart Contracts in BloqCube™
Secure/Safe: Driven by the usage of permissioned blockchain, with multiple distributed copies using cryptography to protect data thus minimizing the potential for hackers to get inSpeed: As this minimizes if not eliminates middlemen, middle process human data checkers decreasing transaction costs and the code automates the process making it very speedy. SDV is 10% of all clinical trial costs ( citation needed). Using Smart contracts helps to decrease this costSmart: Accurate, requiring minimal human intervention decreasing the chances of human errors.