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Monday, March 28, 2016

What The Hell Is A Blockchain Smart Contract

The promise of blockchain technology's so-called smart contracts needs an evolutionary jump in order to become adaptable.

Adaptability will lead to commercial use, which will lead to revenue and sales growth for related applications.

But has anyone thought through the problem the smart contract is supposed to solve?

As a matter of fact, does anyone really know what the hell a smart contract actually is? What it does?

Or is this just a really-smart and cutesy term, useful for people who don't know what the hell they're talking about, to sound smart to people who are less knowledgeable about blockchain technology derivatives?

The classic smart contract is a self-executing code. Under that paradigm, the occurrence of specified events, based on a previously agreed protocol, leads to performance without a further decision or action being required.

This simple transaction has been around for years in the securities markets. We already have self executing contracts.

My point is that we have "smart contracts," which are not contracts. They're not necessarily smart, either.

We should take a step back and figure out the problem we are trying to solve. Even Prehistoric Man took this approach with the use of fire and the wheel. These discoveries only continued and evolved into use because of their usefulness. So what is the utility of a smart contract? What is the problem to be solved?
This is the issue most technologists in the blockchain industry seem to miss.

It seems blockchain technology, the distributed and immutable ledger, is very much a solution in search of a problem.

* Eric Dixon is a New York based corporate lawyer who works with some blockchain startups to solve questions pertaining to precisely this type of issue.

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