Blockchain! Smart contracts. Problems?

By June 22, 2022Layer2
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Interested in the future of blockchain, smart contracts, and the potential challenges associated with widespread implementation? Me too.

For those interested, I thought I’d share this academic article I ran across, Blockchain smart contracts: Applications, challenges, and future trends (Khan et al., 2021).

The authors talk about challenges and future needs to be investigated further and addressed. The human challenge was top of mind for me this week, as I just listened to a podcast talking about someone who successfully completed a hack challenge for a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and the weak link was the off-chain, human link.

Can smart contracts help? A colleague of mine and I discussed this week how they can help. Smart contracts show promise, but the authors of the article say legal, “off-chain” resources and immutability could prove problematic. Scalability as well, but that is being talked about a lot lately. They discuss “layer 2” as having potential to address some issues (which are solutions built on top of blockchain systems such as Bitcoin or Ethereum), but I am sure those will have their own challenges as well.

It’s an interesting read for those looking for a not-to-deep overview into the state of blockchain, smart contracts, and problems that the industry needs to/is focusing on.

Article abstract:

In recent years, the rapid development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has influenced the financial industry by creating a new crypto-economy. Then, next-generation decentralized applications without involving a trusted third-party have emerged thanks to the appearance of smart contracts, which are computer protocols designed to facilitate, verify, and enforce automatically the negotiation and agreement among multiple untrustworthy parties. Despite the bright side of smart contracts, several concerns continue to undermine their adoption, such as security threats, vulnerabilities, and legal issues. In this paper, we present a comprehensive survey of blockchain-enabled smart contracts from both technical and usage points of view. To do so, we present a taxonomy of existing blockchain-enabled smart contract solutions, categorize the included research papers, and discuss the existing smart contract-based studies. Based on the findings from the survey, we identify a set of challenges and open issues that need to be addressed in future studies. Finally, we identify future trends.


Khan, S. N., Loukil, F., Ghedira-Guegan, C., Benkhelifa, E., & Bani-Hani, A. (2021). Blockchain smart contracts: Applications, challenges, and future trends. Peer-to-peer networking and applications,14(5), 2901–2925.

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