Our thoughts on upgradable smart contracts

Smart Contracts are usually immutable — once deployed to the blockchain they cannot be updated, whatever on chain shall never change, this is one of the beauty of Blockchain, yet it is also a reason why Enterprises has not adopt Blockchain in a large scale.

To be upgradable or not? That is the question and it is one of the largest debate in the civil war within the Blockchain Community, especially within the Ethereum Community.

When it comes to Blockchain, the terms “ Decentralisation ” and “ Immutability ” are usually defined as the properties that will enable trust within a digitalized world, as the data stored within the blockchain is immutable, thus to a lot of people, the same logic applies to Smart Contract as well.

If a Smart Contract is mutable or upgradable, it’d defy Blockchain’s values, at least that’s true within the community. We at FST Network, believes that Smart Contracts should be upgradable because it is unreasonable to ask an Enterprise to not to pivot if the situation forces them to do so.

Before we jump into this debate, we’d like to define the nature and properties of Blockchain. In the world of Blockchain, every data flow is transparent, as every transaction is recorded and validated by the miners, the more number of nodes, the more safer the data structure is. Hence, we believe that Blockchain’s nature is an “Observable Data Structure”, and within that nature comes with three properties.

1 ) Merkle Tree ( Sensitive to data change )

2 ) Time Stamping

3 ) Embrace Network Partition ( UTXO )

In which their existence will ensure the correctness, alignment and integrity of the data.

When it comes to upgrading within the Blockchain space, there’s usually 2 methodology , forking, which is one of the most well-known method, which in simple definition is to change the rules within the protocol without affecting the past legacies. The second one would be upgrading the smart contract which to the community means that it’d defy the value of Blockchain, they think the only way people can trust the system / service is because that it is stated in the smart contract. The only way for them to change it would be adding another contract, however this action would affect the operation capacity of said chain, increasing cost and time to maintain, making it difficult for enterprises / businesses to implement Blockchain / Smart Contract within their ecosystem.

With that said, we believe that smart contracts can be upgraded and should be able to be upgraded, because then and only then where business use-cases can be defined, applications can be more grounded, and by serving more clients, we can inevitably learn from the user behavior to find a better use case for Blockchain.

We define upgrading smart contract to be an action that can be “TRACED”, thus not affecting its credibility. With FST Network’s modular concept, our modules are built via a set of smart contracts, like a lego, each smart contract can be removed or replaced depending on the business venture, consequently reducing maintenance cost, extensibility of the smart contracts. Our modular design can also shorten the lead time and lower the threshold for businesses to apply it to their current business environment.

What we need to understand is, blockchain is an emerging tech that is still immature and developing, while businesses believes in its potential and value its immutability, what we need to understand that in which scenario is the immutability applied to. In order for Blockchain technology to blossom, we’d need to provide more flexibility and extensiveness for these businesses to apply.

FST Network Website : fst.network

FST Network Github : https://github.com/fstnetwork

Send us a mail at admin@fstk.io

Partnership / Investment Enquiry : darren@fstk.io

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