Invented in 1994, at the dawn of the Internet and when modern cryptography became mature, Smart Contracts (contracts partially or completely written in code) promised to improve our contractual relationships by enforcing clauses, such as payments, and enabling multiple parties to operate at distance. Over the last twenty years, financial services and other sectors have used some form of smart contract (e.g. the development of algorithmic trading). In the last few years, with the advent of blockchain, smart contracts have created the potential to impact several aspects of our lives.
This section of the journal will specifically consider smart contracts that run on the Blockchain (or Distributed Ledger Technology). We are interested in understanding how blockchain technology can make smart contracts more useful to businesses and society, and what the challenges and limitations ahead are, both from a technical and a legal point of view.
While we are familiar with contracts written in natural language and understand what it means to sign such a contract, our relationships with smart contracts is yet to be defined by the technological advances and elimination of barriers to adoption. This section of the Frontier on Blockchains is multidisciplinary: computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers, members of the legal profession, and the social science have a space to come together to explore and shape the vision of smart contracts.
We welcome submissions covering, but not limited to, the following topics:
We solicit both original publications that will help a wide community working on smart contracts to advance the field, and surveys that will help the community to understand the current state of the field.
Frontiers is delighted to announce a journal-wide prize of 10,000 USD, “Yun Family Frontiers in Blockchain Prize". This prize is in collaboration with the Yun Family and associate entities, and will be awarded to the best paper published in 2019.
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Smart Contracts welcomes submissions of the following article types: Community Case Study, Correction, Data Report, General Commentary, Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Policy and Practice Reviews, Policy Brief, Review, Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology and Code.
All manuscripts must be submitted directly to the section Smart Contracts, where they are peer-reviewed by the Associate and Review Editors of the specialty section.
Articles published in the section Smart Contracts will benefit from the Frontiers impact and tiering system after online publication. Authors of published original research with the highest impact, as judged democratically by the readers, will be invited by the Chief Editor to write a Frontiers Focused Review - a tier-climbing article. This is referred to as "democratic tiering". The author selection is based on article impact analytics of original research published in all Frontiers specialty journals and sections. Focused Reviews are centered on the original discovery, place it into a broader context, and aim to address the wider community across all of Blockchain.
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