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This question is not about external solutions, but are there technical limitations to why a contract that has funds, can't schedule itself to run at a future block? Could the Ethereum protocol have been designed to include this functionality and if so, what would it have involved?

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I believe this was designed as a feature to minimize the burden on the network and reduce resources. There are several solutions if you want to "call on a contract":

http://www.ethereum-alarm-clock.com/

Source:

I'm proud to announce the launch of the Ethereum Alarm Clock service.

http://www.ethereum-alarm-clock.com/

The Alarm service facilitates scheduling contract function calls for a specified block number in the future. The current release should be considered alpha software.

  • Schedule contract function calls to be executed at a specified block in the future.
  • Trustless. No administrative API's or special access granted to anyone, including myself.
  • Published verifiable source code.
  • Lots of documentation with examples.

I'm very interested to hear people's feedback. Feel free to send me a message at pipermerriam on gitter.

  • 1
    You mention "several" solutions? – Joël Jan 23 '16 at 17:36
  • If the technical limitation is network and resource usage would increase, can it be explained or quantified better to illustrate why it actually becomes a limitation? An increase in something doesn't necessarily mean it becomes a limitation. – eth Nov 2 '17 at 10:16
  • Just wondering... For a contract function to be called, a transaction has to be written to the blockchain, since a function is executed when that transaction is mined and verified. So perhaps one way to implement this could be to use Events. (Just an idea). A function in a smart contract could subscribe to an Event. When that Event is triggered, transactions could be sent to the blockchain calling each function subscribed to that event - one transaction for each subscribed function. Still, it depends on an event being triggered. Not completely self-invoked. – Ajoy Bhatia Nov 17 '17 at 18:43
  • I have another idea about implementing this functionality but this might not be the right forum for it. Will look for some place where it would get a serious consideration by the powers-that-be. Perhaps, something like this is already in the works. Will check that, too. – Ajoy Bhatia Nov 17 '17 at 19:55

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