An overview on smart contracts: Challenges, advances and platforms

Zibin Zheng, Shaoan Xie, Hong Ning Dai*, Weili Chen, Xiangping Chen, Jian Weng, Muhammad Imran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

603 Citations (Scopus)


Smart contract technology is reshaping conventional industry and business processes. Being embedded in blockchains, smart contracts enable the contractual terms of an agreement to be enforced automatically without the intervention of a trusted third party. As a result, smart contracts can cut down administration and save services costs, improve the efficiency of business processes and reduce the risks. Although smart contracts are promising to drive the new wave of innovation in business processes, there are a number of challenges to be tackled. This paper presents a survey on smart contracts. We first introduce blockchains and smart contracts. We then present the challenges in smart contracts as well as recent technical advances. We also compare typical smart contract platforms and give a categorization of smart contract applications along with some representative examples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-491
Number of pages17
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Early online date17 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

User-Defined Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Decentralization
  • Smart contract


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