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Programmable smart assets vs smart contracts

Programmable smart assets vs smart contracts

What is the difference between a Programmable Smart Asset (first class objects) and smart contracts?

Programmable smart assets and smart contracts are two concepts related to blockchain technology, but they differ in their scope, structure, and flexibility

Scope and purpose

Programmable smart assets

These are assets (such as tokens or digital objects) that have their own behaviors and rules encoded directly into them. They can interact with other assets and contracts, and they may include complex functionalities such as self-management, state transitions, and dynamic behavior.

Smart contracts

These are code-based agreements that execute automatically when certain conditions are met. They are used to facilitate, verify, and enforce the terms of a contract between parties.

Flexibility and behavior

Programmable smart assets

These can have more sophisticated behaviors and rules directly associated with them. They can operate autonomously, making decisions and interacting with other assets and contracts as needed.

Smart contracts

These are typically more static in nature. Once deployed, their behavior is fixed, and any changes usually require redeployment.

Abstraction and modularity

Programmable smart assets

These can leverage object-oriented programming principles such as inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation. This allows for more modular, reusable, and abstracted code.

Smart contracts

These are usually single-purpose and may not support the same level of abstraction or reusability as programmable smart assets.

Management and interaction

Programmable smart assets

These can manage their state and behaviors autonomously, allowing for complex interactions with other assets and contracts. They can represent real-world or digital assets with complex behaviors.

Smart contracts

These typically manage interactions between parties based on predefined conditions and terms.

Dynamic upgrades

Programmable smart assets

These can be more easily upgraded or modified at runtime due to their object-oriented design, allowing for more dynamic and flexible systems.

Smart contracts

These often require redeployment for updates, making them less flexible.

Overall, programmable smart assets represent a more advanced and flexible approach to blockchain programming, offering dynamic, reusable, and complex functionalities that go beyond traditional smart contracts.


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