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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.