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.
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.