IOHK, a blockchain research and development company, has introduced two new tools developed for writing smart contracts for use on the Cardano blockchain. Plutus and Marlowe launched in test format at the first (and currently live) PlutusFest conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. These tools aim to enable startups, financial services and fintech industries and academia to prepare blockchain contracts that will run on Cardano.
“We’re really excited to release testbeds of Plutus and Marlowe so developers, finance professionals and academics can test how they can use smart contracts on Cardano. Both technologies are a major step forward for the blockchain industry,” shared IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson. “They have been rigorously designed by a team of leading experts in programming language design, with the aim of reducing the kinds of software bugs that have led to huge losses totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Plutus provides a general purpose programming language and tools for Cardano. IOHK’s scientists and engineers have combined the discipline of the Haskell functional language with Cardano to create a platform for fintech developers to write secure and robust smart contracts. IOHK has provided an easy-to-use exploratory development and testing environment for Plutus contracts based on a novel blockchain emulator, called Plutus Playground. IOHK indicated that these contracts are ready to be deployed to the blockchain itself.
“Its core language for on-chain code has been kept extremely simple to make it future-proof and so it supports verification. The core is taken directly from the work of the French logician Jean Yves Girard and the US computing researcher John C Reynolds, who independently invented the same system. We have a crack team of world-leading researchers and developers designing, implementing, and formalising Plutus.”
For non-programmers, Marlowe aims to be a simple way to generate code and create software products, a tool that enables finance industry professionals sans programming background to build automated financial contracts on the blockchain. Marlowe comes with its own web-based testbed, Meadow.
IOHK reiterated that the potential benefits from applying blockchain technology are massive:
“Renewing and reviving the infrastructure of the global financial system will bring costs down and allow the emergence of new companies as digital disruptors in financial services and other industries. In financial trading alone, Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank, has estimated that blockchains could cut out errors in clearing and settling trades in cash equities, leading to savings of $11 billion a year.”
Building on their experience from the launch of Ethereum, IOHK founders Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood have aimed to create a groundbreaking strategy for the Cardano blockchain which combines “academic rigour with the formal discipline and correctness of Haskell in the hands of a world-class development team to bring an unparalleled level of reliability and security to Cardano and the ada cryptocurrency.” Their strategy, with its focus on mathematical probability for security and reliability, hopes to put Plutus and Marlowe at its core for developing smart contracts to run on Cardano for real-world applications when the network is decentralized in 2019.