Ripple Talk

Ripple Labs obtains patent for smart oracle system

  • Ripple Labs has received a patent invented by former Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas and Evan Schwartz.
  • The patent claims the application of smart oracles for a platform based on smart contracts.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Ripple Labs a patent entitled “System and method for verifying sequence of instructions of software”. Filed by Ripple’s subsidiary in Luxembourg, the patent was pending since 2018. In the document published by the USPTO, the patent is attributed to former Ripple CTO Stefan Thomas and co-creator of the Interledger protocol Evan Schwartz.

Ripple patent features smart oracles

The document presented by the Ripple subsidiary describes a software execution system that comprises smart contracts. Specifically, the patent consists of a “smart oracle” system that sends reliable and secure information to smart contracts. The document states:

(…) a result produced from an execution of a copy of the software by a corresponding platform can be received from each of a plurality of platforms. A number of results of execution of the software can be determined. The extent to which the results match can be compared to a threshold. The matching results can be accepted as an agreed-upon output of the software when the extent to which the results match is equal to or greater than the threshold. The software can include an implementation of at least a portion of an act associated with an agreement between at least two entities.

On the exposition of a possible use case, the patent explains that the system presented can be used in “value transfers” or in a combination of transfers agreed upon by two entities. The transfer may include tangible or intangible assets in response to the fulfillment of specific conditions. The document explains:

(…) it can involve a transfer of value such as, for example, an asset, a service, refraining from engaging in an allowed activity, or any combination thereof. The asset can be tangible such as, for example, a good, money, and the like. The asset can also be intangible such as, for example, a share of stock, a bond, an ownership interest, a derivative, a future, an option, a swap, a contract, a lease, a license, intellectual property, digital currency, cryptocurrency, virtual currency, and the like.

As is known, there is an interest from the payment solutions company to implement smart contracts on the XRP Ledger. During his time at Ripple, Thomas was already working on a project to be a competitor of Ethereum and be interoperable between different cryptocurrencies and the digital asset XRP. However, Ripple’s former CTO left the company to found Coil and the project did not yield tangible results.

Despite that, as reported by CNF, Ripple’s investment arm, Xpring, made an investment in Flare Networks in late 2019. The platform will be launched in December and according to its CEO, Hugo Philion, its immediate purpose will be to allow XRP to be used with smart contracts via the Flare Network. Thus, the platform will be interoperable with other networks, such as Ethereum.