Technology in Society – Research Links

Stigmergic Society

A radical new societal model? Decentralization of everything. May be highly idealistic, and incredibly difficult to implement, but heck . .

Understanding the blockchain

This article examines the impact of the blockchain on developers, the segmentation of blockchain applications, and the network effects factors affecting bitcoin and blockchains.

What are smart contracts?

Smart Contracts: The Blockchain Technology That Will Replace Lawyers

Blockchain Use Cases
17 Blockchain Applications That Are Transforming Society

Dan Woods on Forbes:
Why Business Rules Will Dramatically Expand The Impact Of Blockchain

HBR on Blockchain

The Economist on Blockchain

Model for smart contracts

Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks by Nick Szabo (1997)

Abstract Smart contracts combine protocols with user interfaces to formalize and secure relationships over computer networks. Objectives and principles for the design of these systems are derived from legal principles, economic theory, and theories of reliable and secure protocols. Similarities and differences between smart contracts and traditional business procedures based on written contracts, controls, and static forms are discussed. By using cryptographic and other security mechanisms, we can secure many algorithmically specifiable relationships from breach by principals, and from eavesdropping or malicious interference by third parties, up to considerations of time, user interface, and completeness of the algorithmic specification. This article discusses protocols with application in important contracting areas, including credit, content rights management, payment systems, and contracts with bearer.

Design by Contract

CMSC 2002 – Since many computer scientists have strong math backgrounds, it’s only natural to think that math might help in creating better software. Math is good at many things. In particular, it’s good at being precise and unambiguous. If you understand math, then you can be much more precise in your description, at least, more so than in English or other natural languages. In essence, that’s where “design by contract” comes from. The idea is to describe properties of the classes. These properties are called: preconditions, postconditions, and class invariants.

. . . .term was coined by Bertrand Meyer in connection with his design of the Eiffel programming language and first described in various articles starting in 1986.

Blockchain Is Hot, But Where’s the Beef?

fundamental issues holding blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) back is the level of maturity of the technology, to wit, it’s current inability to support large-scale financial infrastructures by working in millisecond speeds. Currently the math, which is CPU-intensive can only support single digit to tens of transactions per second. It’s a bit of hurry up and wait! The problem was highlighted in a recent article on Finextra, “Bank of Japan exec warns FS firms against leaving DLT expertise to tech providers,” 2MAR17. – See more at:

current use cases that do not require millisecond transaction speeds are:
Cross-border payments
International remittances: replacing current mechanisms to send money between family members.
Supply chain management
Centralized Referable Records/Data
– See more at:


Reconstructing Smart Contracts Part I. The Ghost of Undeterminism Erik Zhang, Da Hongfei

Making Sense of Blockchain Smart Contracts