Thanks to a tip in our great Telegram channel, I was introduced to BlockCAT and their ongoing ICO. Their project is ambitious, could have far reaching applications and is small enough right now that there is significant room for growth.
One of the difficulties of working with Ethereum smart contracts is that in order to create them you need to have coding experience and knowledge. This makes the barrier to entry very high for most people to create and use smart contracts in their day to day life. The smart contract itself is just a piece of coded logic which holds in effect until a certain set of conditions have been met. BlockCAT’s goal is to make it so your grandma could create a smart contract. It’s this simplicity of thought and design which interests me a lot.
According to their whitepaper, “BlockCAT, short for Blockchain Complex Automated Transactions, is a decentralized plat- form that provides an easy to use web portal, hand cra ed by our expert engineering team, to allow end users and organizations the ability to provision and deploy the smart contracts that drive these complex transactions, zero programming required.“ In addition to this, they will also build a marketplace where others can build and sell smart contract templates.
Their goal in the long term is to disrupt third part services such as PayPal, who charge significant fees for larger transactions. Use of the BlockCAT system would all but eliminate these fees. With their app, most financial transactions could be conducted. For example, a landlord could enter into a smart contract with his tenants to pay rent, or companies could set up escrow services for a single or multiple purchases.
Furthermore, because the system is decentralized, no bank, court or other financial institution could stop the transaction or interfere in its processing. It’s relatively easy to find horror stories how PayPal froze withdrawals for a major business, effectively shutting them down or cancelled transactions which had taken place already and froze the funds. BlockCAT puts the power back into the hands of buyers and sellers.
According to the whitepaper smart contracts have their strengths and weakness:
Smart contracts such as those built on the Ethereum platform other several key benefits:
- Smart contracts are completely autonomous and require zero human intervention.
- They are implemented using a programming language, and thus are unambiguous.
- Proper smart contracts are extremely resistant to malicious attack or external tampering.
Unfortunately, these benefits come with their own barriers to mass adoption:
Smart contracts must be written by programmers, making them accessible to few potential users and remain enigmatic to those who cannot code.
While smart contracts are unambiguous in their meaning, only those familiar with the language can interpret them, making it di cult to reach agreement with any non- technical party.
Smart contracts, even when written by capable and well-intentioned developers, can contain bugs, which may result in the loss of assets. For instance, the DAO Hack which attacked a smart contract based decentralized organization called the DAO resulted in an outright loss of 3.6 million Ether valued at more than $60 million USD and also resulted in the price of Ether crashing by 35%. A bug-free smart contract would have prevented this hack from ever occurring.
In the future, a large part of our lives will be governed by these smart contracts. According to Deliotte, “By 2025, 10% of [the] global GDP will be stored on [the] blockchain” This is why there is so much room for growth, and BlockCAT is positioning itself to be the first to market with its app.
Their mission statement paints a broad picture for the future:
“Our mission is to provide the world a safe way of leveraging inexpensive smart contracts on the Ethereum network and beyond, creating intelligent and automated economic activity at scales not previously possible.”
To achieve these ends they’ve set the following core objectives:
Build and remain as the de facto platform for creating and deploying smart contracts in an accessible fashion by delivering a device-agnostic web portal and a broad set of configurable templates for rapidly constructing, deploying, and optionally extracting data.
Make smart contracts quicker to use, more efficient, easier to understand, and less costly than current agreements, contracts, and multi-step payment solutions.
Provide smart contracts that are reliable and inexpensive enough that even the most technically acclimated smart contract developers will gain value from using our pre- built or customized contracts, at a fraction of the time and cost of manual deployment.
Implement the tooling necessary to create smart contracts that have minimal risk of failure.
Provide integration with a variety of other valuable services such as prediction markets, payment interfaces, and digital asset/currency exchanges.
Provide a marketplace for curating and selling smart contracts created by the world- wide blockchain community.
What can smart contracts do?
As seen from the many Dapps which have been created for Ethereum, there are millions of ways which smart contracts can be effectively used. However, all of these variants can be categorized six ways:
- Safe Remote Purchases and Escrow
- Prediction Market Integration
- Tamper Resistant Polls and Voting
- Proof of Existence
Each of these will be available for creation in their BlockCAT app. The app itself will use an underlying CAT token to handle operations of creating and validating each smart contract. CAT will be the only method of payment for setting up the smart contracts, its owners will be able to take part in milestone completion votes, and verifying third party marketplace smart contracts. CAT will be necessary for the app to run and for the ecosystem to grow.
BlockCAT will implement several technical improvements to the traditional smart contract in order to lower gas costs. These will include forwarding contracts, grouping contracts, deploying contracts on a per-need-basis and incorporating their payment code directly into the contracts.
Purchase 300 CAT for 1 ETH right now during their token sale. BlockCAT has a hard cap, but they haven’t released the exact numbers. User M from our telegram group guessed that they would hard cap at 1.5 mill and the sale would end on Aug 15.
This gets my stamp of approval and I will be taken part in the token sale.