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Crypto Terms:  Letter M

What is Marlowe?

Marlowe - a simple programming language that is used for financial contracts.
2 minutes

Let's find out Marlowe meaning, definition in crypto, what is Marlowe, and all other detailed facts.

Marlowe is an easy-to-use programming language developed by Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK), which is the development and blockchain research company behind Cardano. Marlowe is used for financial contracts such as derivatives, loans, and other agreements.

Marlowe is a financial modeling tool that is both easy and powerful. Its syntax has been made as basic as possible so that it can be used by programmers as well as non-programmers. It operates in a sandbox environment, allowing any kind of developer to create a smart contract.

Marlowe is part of IOHK's attempts to bring formal methods to smart contract development, but it differs from earlier approaches in that it is specialized for financial applications. In order to do that, its creators looked into finance theory, particularly the work of Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow, who pioneered much of the mathematical thinking that underpins modern finance.

This resulted in a set of built-in abstractions based on real-world financial notions like time and money, rather than the more generic concepts present in other programming languages like lists, functions, and variables.

Marlowe is built on a theory of financial contracts that has been defined in the Isabelle theorem prover. Because of that, Marlowe has a few features that are different from other contract languages. These features include:

  • The ability to formally verify properties of contracts.
  • The ability to reason about contract value expectations.

Besides, at the moment, Marlowe contracts can only be carried out on the Cardano blockchain. Users can test it out in real-time on Playground, which allows them to model and execute contracts without having any prior knowledge of blockchain or smart contracts. 

However, note that even though Marlowe will be currently running on Cardano, it’s not only exclusive to it. It will be possible to use Marlowe to construct smart contracts on different blockchains in the future.

There are various processes that Marlowe can be used for. The following are the main ones:

  • Simulating business processes, that involve finance or insurance
  • Defining games and protocols for decision-making processes
  • Modeling financial markets
  • Building interactive financial contracts
  • Exploring ideas in game theory