Decred Whitepaper

Abstract

A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform

Satoshi Nakamoto’s development of Bitcoin in 2009 has often been hailed as a radical
development in money and currency, being the first example of a digital asset which
simultaneously has no backing or “intrinsic value” and no centralized issuer or controller. However,
another, arguably more important, part of the Bitcoin experiment is the underlying blockchain
technology as a tool of distributed consensus, and attention is rapidly starting to shift to this other
aspect of Bitcoin. Commonly cited alternative applications of blockchain technology include using
on-blockchain digital assets to represent custom currencies and financial instruments (“colored
coins”), the ownership of an underlying physical device (“smart property”), non-fungible assets
such as domain names (“Namecoin”), as well as more complex applications involving having
digital assets being directly controlled by a piece of code implementing arbitrary rules (“smart
contracts”) or even blockchain-based “decentralized autonomous organizations” (DAOs). What
Ethereum intends to provide is a blockchain with a built-in fully fledged Turing-complete
programming language that can be used to create “contracts” that can be used to encode arbitrary
state transition functions, allowing users to create any of the systems described above, as well as
many others that we have not yet imagined, simply by writing up the logic in a few lines of code.

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