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Front. Blockchain | doi: 10.3389/fbloc.2019.00008

Formal models of Bitcoin contracts: a survey

  • 1University of Cagliari, Italy
  • 2University of Trento, Italy

Although Bitcoin is mostly used as a decentralized application to transfer cryptocurrency,
over the last ten years there have been several studies on how to exploit Bitcoin to execute smart contracts. These are computer protocols which allow users to exchange bitcoins according to complex pre-agreed rules. Some of these studies introduce formal models of Bitcoin contracts, which specify their behaviour in non-ambiguous terms, in some cases providing tools to automatically verify relevant contract properties. In this paper we survey the formal models proposed in the scientific literature, comparing their expressiveness and applicability in the wild.

Keywords: Blockchain, Smart contract, Cryptocurrencies, Formal model, concurrency

Received: 03 Apr 2019; Accepted: 31 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Bartoletti and Zunino. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Roberto Zunino, University of Trento, Trento, Italy, roberto.zunino@unitn.it