2019 Summer NSF Undergraduate Research Experience (REU) presentation for project "Private
Digital Currencies and Closed Payment Communities: Law, Regulation and Financial Exclusion
Following a summer of research by NSF REU undergraduate Sanjith Venkatesh, under the
direction of PI Bill Maurer and supervision of graduate student researcher Nima Yolmo
this presentation explains how Ethereum smart contracts have revolutionized the very
meaning of how to conduct business in the digital space. Through its short history,
we have seen more and more users starting to use these so-called “smart contracts”
to simplify the relationship between two or more parties by defining functions that
would automatically keep track of the tokens each person has as well as how to deal
with disputes. However, such potential wasn't possible with these smart contracts
just a few years ago.
In this presentation Sanjith will analyze the development of these smart contracts
as well as what the future holds. He will also look at how these contracts have been
treated by programmers and the relationship between having a centralized program perform
necessary functions versus a decentralized program.