Aug 19, 2020

Efficient Smart Contracts at Scale

By: Silvio Micali

Smart contracts are one of the most beautiful and powerful gifts of the blockchain to the world. But they are also technically very challenging. Traditional smart contracts are solely implemented at layer 2 and are slow, expensive, and fragile. By contrast, Algorand’s smart contracts are very much non-traditional, efficient, and secure, and are implemented both at layer 1 and at layer 2.  

Algorand’s layer-1 smart contracts are executed at the very consensus layer, the most secure layer in any blockchain, without slowing down block production in the least. These smart contracts are thus as efficient and secure as ordinary payments. They are also called TEAL contracts, because they are written in a special language: TEAL, short for Transaction Execution Approval Language.

Algorand’s layer-1 smart-contract platform has two components, namely:

1.     Smart Signatures.

This technology was released last November (2019) and has been discussed in my earlier blog.

2.     Smart Contracts.

This technology is being released this August (2020) and is the subject of this blog.

The next and final chapter in Algorand’s smart-contract platform will consist of its Smart² Contracts. As discussed in my latest blog, such contract operates at level 2, but in fundamentally novel ways. This technology will be deployed next year.