Blockchain-Based Coordination: Assessing the Expressive Power of Smart Contracts

Last modified by Andrea Omicini on 16/04/2021 09:10

Giovanni Ciatto, Stefano Mariani, Alfredo Maffi, Andrea Omicini

A common use case for blockchain smart contracts (SC) is that of governing interaction amongst mutually untrusted parties, by automatically enforcing rules for interaction. However, while many contributions in the literature assess SC computational expressiveness, an evaluation of their power in terms of coordination (i.e., governing interaction) is still missing. This is why in this paper we test mainstream SC implementations by evaluating their expressive power in coordinating both inter-users and inter-SC activities. To do so, we exploit the archetypal Linda coordination model as a benchmark—a common practice in the field of coordination models and languages—by discussing to what extent mainstream blockchain technologies support its implementation. As they reveal some notable limitations (affecting, in particular, coordination between SC) we then show how Tenderfone, a custom blockchain implementation providing for a more expressive notion of SC, addresses the aforementioned limitations.

(keywords) blockchain; smart contracts; coordination; Linda; Tenderfone
Information 11(1), pages 1-20, 20 pages, article no. 52, January 2020.
Davide Calvaresi, Alevtina Dubovitskaya, Michael Schumacher, Kuldar Taveter (eds.)
Special Issue “Blockchain Technologies for Multi-Agent Systems”
Articleno = 52,
Author = {Ciatto, Giovanni and Mariani, Stefano and Maffi, Alfredo and Omicini, Andrea},
Doi = {10.3390/info11010052},
Editor = {Calvaresi, Davide and Dubovitskaya, Alevtina and Schumacher, Michael and Taveter, Kuldar},
IrisId = {11585/714395},
Issn = {2078-2489},
Journal = {Information},
Month = jan,
Note ={Special Issue ``Blockchain Technologies for Multi-Agent Systems''},
Number = 1,
Numpages = 20,
Pages = {1--20},
ScholarId = {16345875581954179024},
ScopusId = {2-s2.0-85079030248},
Title = {Blockchain-Based Coordination: Assessing the Expressive Power of Smart Contracts},
Url = {},
Volume = 11,
WosId = {000513801000051},
Year = 2020}


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