Blockchain Firms Blockstack And Algorand To Jointly Adopt New Clarity Smart Contract Language

Blockchain, News | June 11, 2020 By:

Blockstack, a New York-based decentralized web developer, and blockchain platform Algorand have announced an agreement to jointly adopt Clarity, a first-of-its-kind smart contract language.

This year, the value locked in crypto smart contracts surpassed the $1 billion milestone. Yet most smart contracts are still being coded in Solidity, a fork of Javascript originally intended to build websites. Recognizing the need for smart contract languages that are more safe, secure, and predictable in order to mature the industry beyond its current state, teams run by Blockstack Founder Dr. Muneeb Ali, a Princeton Ph.D in computer science, and Algorand Founder Dr. Silvio Micali, a computer science professor at MIT, will collaborate on Clarity design and development.

The two firms will work closely together to release an alternative smart contract language that is purpose-built for the needs of developers working on high-stakes transactions in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which require more predictability and reliability than current solutions.

“The value locked up in smart contracts recently crossed a billion dollars, and that number will likely continue to grow exponentially,” said Ali. “While JavaScript might be the language of choice for writing web apps, smart contracts have radically different requirements for verifiability and security which require a different approach. We could get away with using insecure languages when the stakes were low, but with increasing real-world use cases, it is time for a serious upgrade.”

Because any developer can use this open source language to initiate and execute contracts between each other seamlessly across several platforms, the firms claims that Clarity is also an important step towards blockchain interoperability. Smart contracts will be about to execute across both Algorand and Blockstack without a middleman.

“Unlike common “undecidable” languages, that by their nature make it impossible to know precisely how a contract will behave in certain situations without prior execution, Clarity is a “decidable” language, meaning developers can know, with mathematical certainty, what a program will and will not do ahead of time,” the firms said. “This shift addresses a key obstacle currently preventing large-scale, serious use.”

Micali said that smart contracts are an integral driver of blockchain adoption, as they eliminate the need for a third-party intermediary and facilitate frictionless economic exchange.

“With high volumes — and values — of assets stored in smart contracts, the emergence of a next generation programming language such as Clarity has the potential to unlock blockchain-based solutions for large-scale enterprises and governments, which demand a higher level of trust and security,” Micali said.