America’s relationship with technology is conflicted: we can’t get enough of it, until it becomes so good that our human talents become obsolete. Many have assumed that those jobs manned by highly educated professionals—like lawyers—will be safe. A computer can’t effectively present a closing argument to a jury, can it? Maybe not. But what if a computer made a lawsuit unnecessary in the first place? What if contracts could enforce themselves?
The concept of a self-enforcing “smart contract” is not a new one. Smart contracts have existed in our everyday lives for decades. When you slide a dollar bill into a soda machine, you enter a contract to buy a soda. The soda machine determines whether your dollar is legit, and drops you a Coke and a smile if it is satisfied. Sure, it is possible the machine won’t work correctly, but the binary “if this, then that” technology has dramatically limited the chances of a soda dispute. Read the full article.