Blockchain’s Smart Contract Solution Wins EY Startup Challenge

By Susan P. Altman

The world is abuzz with news about blockchain development and technology lawyers need to understand the implications. The rise of smart contracts, or automated implementation of portions of real-life contracts by transferring assets between parties, is one of those interesting implications. A smart contract is neither smart, nor a contract, but can be regarded by lawyers as a technological solution that automates some transfer between parties to a contract, such as payment or release of information, upon the occurrence of a triggering event. At its most basic, a smart contract consists of fixed program code, a storage file and an account.

Recent news about a startup company making headway with smart contract technology development is worth noting. Adjoint, Inc., based in Boston, is trying to market a solution where financial transactions are automated through smart contracts and work with many proprietary interfaces. The solution provides a consensus protocol (a protocol used in blockchain to get all the processes to agree on a specific value for verification) that allows companies to deploy and analyze a network of smart contracts on top of a mathematically verified distributed and encrypted ledgers.

The future of this technology is promising enough that Adjoint was voted this year’s Ernst & Young Startup Challenge winner of the title of “Most Investable Startup.” The recent EY Startup Challenge required six teams to build and showcase blockchain solutions and prototypes. For the six-week competition in London, Adjoint focused on a distributed ledger solution for energy trading clearing and settlement. At the competition’s concluding showcase, Adjoint provided a live demonstration of its smart contract solution for Over-the-Counter bilateral trades, setting up an OTC swing swap contract between two parties on a private blockchain.

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