Cardano Will Allow Users to Create and Execute P2P Financial Agreements

Cardano’s parent company IOHK is developing a suite of decentralized finance (DeFi) products called Marlowe.

In a blog post that begins by relating faulty experiences to traditional financial services, IOHK announced that they are developing Marlowe. By creating this decentralized finance (DeFi) project, they seek to democratize finance by facilitating peer-to-peer deals on a blockchain.

Marlow is configured to allow users to build their own financial instruments and establish agreements with anyone they want to interact with. The suite will serve developers, retail end users, and business users.

With simplicity in mind

First, Marlowe for Developers will include Marlowe Build and Marlowe Play, as well as entry to the Marlowe Library. The first two together enable the development of end-to-end financial smart contracts. Developers can use Marlowe Build to write smart contract code.

Then they can formally verify and test the smart contracts on Marlowe Play. Once smart contracts are created and tested, developers can contribute them to the Marlowe library of open-source smart contracts.

IOHK is also designing a suite of products for retail end users, so they can run their own financial deals on the blockchain. The product will provide access to a variety of financial instrument templates from the Marlowe Library.

The developers are designing the interface with simplicity in mind. This means that users do not have to understand the complexities of blockchain or know how to write smart contracts. According to IOHK, “each step of the contract is explained in non-technical language, and each action is performed only with the explicit authorization of the user.” Marlowe Run will also include financial tools known as escrow, debt securities, and swaps.

Finally, Marlow will also include products for business users. These will include a customizable set of financial agreements and capabilities, tailored to a business use case. This will be enabled by the provision of smart contract templates that adopt the unified standards of algorithmic contract types (Actus) for financial contracts.

Financial agreements in a decentralized way

Although IOHK launched Marlowe Playground Alpha in 2020, Marlowe for end-users will be online in stages throughout 2021.

The first will be the Marlowe Run prototype, where users will be able to demo and test their own financial arrangements. The prototype will allow users to explore the possibility of making financial deals in a decentralized way, without risking any real tokens.

Marlowe will launch on Cardano with the launch of Goguen, but it is designed to be blockchain independent, so it could eventually run on other blockchains as well.

As previously reported, Cardano’s next update, Alonzo, will introduce smart contract support for the blockchain. Alonzo will use the Plutus platform to establish the infrastructure and tools for the development of smart contracts.


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing or trading crypto assets carries a risk of financial loss.

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