The promise of smart contracts

Source: Libertarianism.org
by Kate Sills

Fargo is primarily a movie about promises, implicit and explicit. It asks whether we will keep our promises to others, even against our own self-interest. What makes the movie fascinating is that many of the promises aren’t backed by the court system, for very good reason — the deals are illegal. Fargo asks if we can trust each other even if there is no government force making us comply. In other words, can we make contracts in the state of nature? In 1651, Hobbes argued that we couldn’t …. Smart contracts are a new mechanism for enforcing promises, allowing us to make credible commitments with each other on a blockchain, including commitments with strangers in other countries. To be clear, smart contracts are not legally enforceable, but that’s part of their unique advantage. Smart contract commitments are enforced outside of the law, outside of legal jurisdictions, without government enforcement. Given that our legal jurisdictions are primarily tied to our geographic location, and many countries have frail or unreliable legal institutions, this is a huge societal advance.” (02/13/18)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/promise-smart-contracts

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