Digital Asset Holdings announced its recent acquisition of the technology firm Elevence, a company which has created a language that executes a different kind of contract protocol. The Elevence team is made up of computer scientists and financial experts whose technology “compliments” Digital Asset’s existing software.
Digital Asset Holdings’ Smart-Contract Alternative
Digital Asset Holding, the company headed by former JP Morgan Executive, Blythe Masters, says they have created an “alternative” to smart contracts for financial institutions. While typical smart contracts need to be pre-funded, the company says they have introduced “a new language and execution environment specifically tailored for this purpose, called the Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML).”
The software language DAML is a private execution environment as opposed to an open execution landscape, which is dependent on all the nodes within a network. DAML executes these same features without the “trade offs” that Digital Asset says is “unsuitable for financial institutions.” The firm goes as far to say that its new model is more similar to the definitions Nick Szabo focused on in the early nineties.
Without the complexity of an entire public network involved, the language executes these contracts to benefit participating institutions. Distributed ledger technology has wonderful aspects, the company says, but some information is meant to stay private between businesses. Digital Assets blog explains:
While distributed ledgers solve the problem of agreement on what the current state of the ledger is, they cannot solve the issue of agreement on what should happen to it next for complex financial agreements without revealing their contents.—By combining a shared log containing the complete provenance of these rights and obligations with an off-chain execution environment for processing the workflows of the behaviors being modeled, DAML ensures that all stakeholders can reach the same conclusions as to the result of a common workflow.
Digital Asset’s blog adds that DAML contracts are “independently verified” and interact with the Hyperledger Project. The protocol serves as a logic and validation layer that the firm says works above the ledger itself making the technology auditable. Unlike Ethereum, DAML is not a Turing-complete language that needs to adapt to an array of computational problems and solve them. Digital Asset says that “by restricting a language to only be able to write programs relevant to financial usage, the potential outputs of those programs becomes predictable.”
The blockchain technology firm explains this concept is specifically designed to be suited for financial institutions with the same assurance as public distributed ledgers. The company believes DAML is a first of its kind language and may prove to be a reliable source for financial executions.
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