Smart Contract History and Related Resources

I was writing this basic introduction, Smart Contracts: Use cases, and DApps

Smart contracts are self-executing code that defines and executes an agreement between multiple parties. That code contains simple “if/when…then…” statements executed within a distributed network that achieves consensus on transactions made within it.

When I came across:

    • A Next Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform (Vitaliks ANN post on lambda-the-ultimate)

      Smart contracts and related languages have a long discussion history on LtU

Which took me down the rabbithole and led to the creation of this resource.

Smart Contract History

VatA (the donor) deposits a reference to gift at nonce in VatC’s (the host’s) from-VatA-for-VatB table, and returns a Vine for the gift-entry.


Object Capabilities (ObCap)

The object-capability model was first proposed by Jack Dennis and Earl C. Van Horn in the 1966 paper.

Object Capabilities are new to me, and I’m just placing any related information here for now until I make them a page of their own.

Basically this research starting in the 60’s, with much work throughout the 80’s (that is not well dowcumented online), culminating with Nick Szabo’s work, and E Language. Object Capabilities are central to the original line of work the term “Smart Contracts” was used in reference to, which was somewhat misappropriated by Vitalik.

Nick Szabo

Elang and other Early Work



After DAO


Smart Signatures



  • Yes, Bitcoin Can Do Smart Contracts and Particl Demonstrates How The Bitcoin blockchain is not known for its ability to enable smart contracts. In fact, most developers creating smart contracts use a different blockchain, like Ethereum. But the truth is that the Bitcoin protocol can be used to create smart contracts., the blockc…
  • Scriptless Scripts: How Bitcoin Can Support Smart Contracts Bitcoin’s capacity is limited. Meanwhile, smart contracts can be resource intensive. So even though Bitcoin has always supported basic smart contract functionality, the two have never been a natural match.But a recent topic of research spearheaded by Blockstream mathematici…

    RSK, bitcoin´s smart contract platform.

Languages - Platforms


This page isn’t really about learning how to do smart contracts, but more about the history and different aspects of smart contracts. However, I have these links, and I’ll throw them here until I make a page devoted to learning how-to.





    Smart contract (also self-executing contract, blockchain contract, or digital contract) is an electronic algorithm intended for the automation of the contract execution process in the blockchain. The general idea of smart contracts is to exclude divergences in the treatment …

  • OpenLaw — A free legal repository

    We are home to a passionate group of people, technologists, and dreamers committed to rebuilding the legal industry.

  • Investopedia — Smart Contracts

    Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the contract between buyer and seller directly written into lines of code.