Blockchain payments technology firm Ripple has won a patent for a design that can execute smart contracts based on data collected from the outside world.
Earlier this week, Ripple Labs received a patent (No. 10,789,068) for a smart contract that can use oracles to connect a distributed platform to a variety of different real-world data.
Originally filed in June 2018, one example use case provided includes using the smart contracts to automatically settle options contracts when pre-agreed conditions are met, such as a company’s debt-to-equity ratio hitting a certain threshold.
Another example, for the oil industry, is feeding data on the density of a specific crude oil shipment to help a smart contract determine whether to make a trade.
Smart contracts are mostly associated with Ethereum, but other large blockchains are looking to add similar capabilities.
Earlier this year, derivatives exchange BitMEX, which is now facing legal troubles, awarded a $50,000 grant to a Bitcoin Core contributor to develop a Bitcoin smart contract.
One of the two authors of the patent, Ripple’s former CTO Stefan Thomas, previously revived a defunct project called Codius – one working to bring smart contracts to Ripple – into a new startup, Coil.