Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Are you ready for the future of contracts? Automatically executing smart contracts are no longer a thing of science fiction fantasy, they're here.
But the big question is whether smart contracts will be like the smartphone, which rendered non-smart phones nearly pointless, or the smart home, which just seems to be unable to really take off. For smart contracts to succeed at the same level of the smartphone, they will need to usable by techies, lawyers, businesses, and, most importantly, everyday consumers.
What's a Smart Contract Anyway?
A smart contract is basically just a combination of a contract and a computer program that is designed to ensure a contract's terms are fulfilled. For instance, at the most basic level, a smart contract might condition the receipt of funds on the receipt of goods, and be able to automatically release the funds when a third-party delivery service's tracking shows the goods were successfully delivered.
While this basic example might make it seem like smart contracts are more trouble than they're worth, this sort of automatic fulfillment of terms and obligations provides many benefits to the parties to the contract. And the benefits increase as a contract's complexity increases, or with every subsequent use of the same basic smart contract.
What's Out There?
Currently, the market for smart contract services is pretty light, though that's not expected to last too much longer as this cutting edge sector is getting new entrants at an ever-increasing pace. Tech companies are eager to create platforms that take advantage of Blockchain technology, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies.
A newly announced app, called Rocket by Etherparty, promises to make smart contracts easy to use and accessible to the masses, or at least business users. It allows users to create terms linked to rules in an interface that does not require any knowledge of programming languages. Also, their platform can accept over 50 different kinds of cryptocurrencies, thanks to a partnership with CoinPayments, and their own crypto-coin named FUEL.
FindLaw has an affiliate relationship with Indeed, earning a small amount of money each time someone uses Indeed's services via FindLaw. FindLaw receives no compensation in exchange for editorial coverage.