This paper discusses the life cycle of decentralized smart contracts, i.e. digital and executable representations of rights and obligations in a multi-party environment. The life cycle relies on blockchain technology, i.e. a distributed digital ledger, to ensure proper implementation and integrity of the smart contracts.
The life cycle consists of four subsequent phases: Creation, freezing, execution, and finalization. For each phase actors and technological services are identified and explained in detail. With the life cycle at hand, risks and limitations of smart contracts and the underlying blockchain technology are briefly discussed.
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