BigchainDB and Smart Contracts

One can store the source code of any smart contract (i.e. a computer program) in BigchainDB, but BigchainDB won’t run arbitrary smart contracts.

BigchainDB will run the subset of smart contracts expressible using Crypto-Conditions.

The owners of an asset can impose conditions on it that must be met for the asset to be transferred to new owners. Examples of possible conditions (crypto-conditions) include:

  • The current owner must sign the transfer transaction (one which transfers ownership to new owners).
  • Three out of five current owners must sign the transfer transaction.
  • (Shannon and Kelly) or Morgan must sign the transfer transaction.

Crypto-conditions can be quite complex. They can’t include loops or recursion and therefore will always run/check in finite time.


We used the word “owners” somewhat loosely above. A more accurate word might be fulfillers, signers, controllers, or transfer-enablers. See the section titled A Note about Owners in the relevant BigchainDB Transactions Spec.