IOHK, a leading blockchain research and development firm, announced two tools developed by a world-leading team for writing smart contracts for the Cardano blockchain.
The apps are called Plutus and Marlowe and were launched in test format at the first PlutusFest conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. These powerful tools will enable start-ups, the financial services and fintech industries, and academia to prepare blockchain contracts that will run on Cardano (ADA).
Plutus provides a general purpose programming language and tools for the Cardano protocol. IOHK’s scientists and engineers have combined the discipline of the Haskell functional language with the ADA network to create a platform for fintech developers to write secure and robust smart contracts.
IOHK has provided an easy-to-use exploratory development and testing environment for Plutus contracts based on a novel blockchain emulator, called Plutus Playground. These contracts are ready to be deployed to the blockchain itself.
Cardano’s Charles Hoskinson explained that the Marlow application provides instant global fund transfers for business. It also enables the holding of rental deposits in escrow to increase transparency.
“As an example: The escrow mechanism allows Party 1 to deposit the money into a contract, in a way that the money will only be released when two out of three participants agree on whether Party 2 has indeed given Party 1 the item. The escrow participant (Party 3) is supposed to be a neutral third party that decides in case of dispute. This way if Party 1 and Party 2 are honest, they will just agree on the result of the transaction and Party 3 will not need to do anything. If Party 1 and Party 2 disagree, Party 3 will be able to choose whether the money must go to Party 1 or to Party 2.”
To put matters in a simpler context, Hoskinson said that, for example, if the money paid for Item A is 450 ADA and it must be committed by Party 1 before block 10, it will be refunded to Party 1 if there is no consensus before block 90.
For non-programmers, Marlowe is a simple way to generate code and create software products. It is an easy-to-use tool that enables professionals in the finance industry who have no programming background to build automated financial contracts on the blockchain. Marlowe comes with its own web-based testbed, Meadow.
The first PlutusFest, the event at which these tools were unveiled, has been hosted by the Edinburgh Blockchain Technology Laboratory at the University of Edinburgh. This facility was established in February 2017 as the headquarters for IOHK’s network of global university partnerships.
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