Problems & Costs of Smart Contract Development

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@michielmuldersMichiel Mulders

Can your business afford it?

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The problem with smart contracts is that most small and medium businesses are unable to implement smart contracts not only due to technological complexity but mostly because of their expensiveness. The costs for smart contract development are skyrocketing as there is an increasing demand for smart contract developers and contracts for ICOs.

Why smart contracts are so great in the first place?

Smart contracts, which are, actually, a self-executing code on blockchain that automatically implements the terms of an agreement between parties or business logic. It’s basically an unbreakable agreement with predefined rules. In addition, smart contracts are deterministic which means the same output will be generated from a given initial state/input. Because of these properties, companies are keen to experiment with smart contracts to find opportunities for their business model. Being a first-mover gives a company many advantages like new clients, media attention, and more revenue.

What’s the actual cost of smart contract development?

The development process itself is not only driving the costs. Proper auditing and testing are very expensive as this requires even more specialized niche knowledge to find bugs/faults in your smart contract code.

A simple smart contract with no complex business logic costs around $7,000. More advanced contracts cost up to $45,000 and more. It’s not uncommon large organizations with specialized knowledge ask up to $100,000. In addition, don’t forget about the costs for deploying your contract on the main net. The complexity of your contract defines the price.

It’s even possible to calculate the exact gas price of your smart contract. If you do a quick google search for ‘Gas Costs from Yellow Paper’ you will find this spreadsheet. Each operation is listed in the spreadsheet with the gas price for executing it. For example, using the ‘addition’ operation costs you 3 gas (which is very low). If you have a more complex contract, it’s not easy to calculate this. The Mist wallet, for example, is capable of making a rough estimation of the actual gas cost when deploying your contract.

Spreadsheet Gas Costs Ethereum

Solving the price problem

The problem with smart contracts is that most small and medium businesses are unable to implement smart contracts not only due to technological complexity but mostly because of their expensiveness.

iOlite is solving this problem using their Fast Adaptation Engine (FAE). Contributors, smart contract experts, can define structures linked to smart contract code. Through machine training, the FAE is capable of understanding more complex language, resulting in the creation of better smart contracts. Best of all, the FAE doesn’t charge you any money for the development of a smart contract. On the other side, contributors are rewarded with iLT tokens through the mining process. The mining process occurs when a solution has been found for a specific input.

If you want to know more about iOlite, check out their Medium or join them on Telegram.

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