The real world of business is largely an ecosystem of paper contracts. Electronic business will move towards electronic contracts. Smart Contracts are contracts whose terms are embodied in program code, where the terms of the contract are partially enforced by the program's execution. Like board games, Smart Contracts allow players to make moves within the agreed rules. With rights as board pieces, the game releases these only by the rules -- an escrow-based enforcement arrangement usable without legal sanction.
Many commercial web sites can be seen as forms of Smart Contracts. But could you take the plane reservation you got from Expedia.com and offer it for sale through Escrow.com? As with games, the pieces acquired in one board game cannot generally be put into play in another. What is needed to make Smart Contracts composable; for the rights acquired in one to be recognizable in another?
In this talk, we present ERTP -- the Electronic Rights Transfer Protocol -- as the next protocol layer up from distributed capabilities. ERTP supports the decentralized assaying and transfer of rights -- needed for electronic business to grow into a robust ecosystem.
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