An Empirical Study into the Success of Listed Smart Contracts in Ethereum

Pieter Hartel, I. Homoliak, Daniël Reijsbergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Since it takes time and effort to put a new product or service on the market, one would like to predict whether it will be a success. In general this is not possible, but it is possible to follow best practices in order to maximize the chance of success. A smart contract is intended to encode business logic and is therefore at the heart of every new business on the Ethereum blockchain. We have investigated how to measure the success of smart contracts, and whether successful smart contracts have characteristics that less successful smart contracts lack. The appearance of a smart contract on a listing website such as Etherscan or StateoftheDapps is such a characteristic. In this paper, we present a three-pronged analysis of the relative success of listed smart contracts. First, we have used statistical analysis on the publicly visible transaction history of the Ethereum blockchain to determine that listed contracts are significantly more successful than their unlisted counterparts. Next, we have conducted a survey among more than 200 developers via an anonymous online survey about their experience with the listing process. A significant majority of respondents do not believe that listing a contract itself contributes to its success, but they believe that the extra attention that is typically paid in tandem with the listing process does contribute. Finally, based on the respondents' answers, we have drafted 10 recommendations for developers and validated them by submitting them to an international panel of experts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8919981
Pages (from-to)177539-177555
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • blockchain
  • business success
  • computers and information processing
  • ethereum
  • new product development
  • product development
  • recommendations for developers
  • smart contracts
  • social implications of technology
  • Software engineering
  • technology social factors

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