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Smart Contracts Lawyers

Blockchain attorney Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Attorney Nick Oberheiden
Smart Contracts Team Lead
Blockchain attorney Alina Veneziano

Attorney Alina Veneziano
Smart Contracts Team Lead

Experienced Consultants and Attorneys for Smart Contracts

To get answers and assistance on smart-contract-related questions, look no further. If you wish to get legal help with smart contracts, assistance with smart contract enforcement, understanding differences between smart contracts and traditional contracts, learning how to get out of smart contracts, and more, talk to our team of experienced smart contract lawyers and consultants.

Smart contracts save people and entities money, time, and effort. They are supported by the Ethereum blockchain that allows many other specialized programs. The attractiveness of Ethereum blockchain for multiple apps running simultaneously has attracted federal agency attention. Smart contracts enjoy SEC attention, with issuers open to higher federal investigation risks.

Blockchain Lawyer’s smart contracts lawyers and consultants have the latest on smart contracts. We advise on all smart contract issues, from the formation of smart contracts to interpreting and enforcing them. We also defend clients who are under federal investigations or charges due to smart contracts.

Take a proactive approach. Don’t wait for a federal investigation or for your reputation to be damaged. Contact our smart contract lawyers and consultants now.

Definition: Smart Contracts

What’s a smart contract?

Smart contracts are self-executing agreements written in code and maintained on the blockchain (a decentralized and distributed ledger). Blockchain transactions can’t be deleted or modified, offering a unique level of security.

Parties to a smart contract must define the subject of their agreement to offer the smart contract permission for alteration. Before the contract is finalized, contractual terms must be developed and agreed upon. This is done via programming.

Smart contract agreements are simply predefined rules automatically executed by the occurrence/non-occurrence of a certain event. In simple terms, parties to the smart contract don’t do anything once the contract is made. The contract is “smart" and capable of executing itself based on the predefined rules. This “smart" element reduces transaction cost, time, and effort significantly. In fact, there’s little to no need for human interaction.

Background: Smart Contracts

Smart contracts date back to 1996. They were invented by Nick Szabo – a computer scientist and cryptographer. Szabo’s goal was facilitating an e-commerce and trading system between people anywhere globally without the need to connect to each other.

His aim was to eliminate third parties as each smart contract was designed to execute itself based on predefined events occurring or failing to occur.

Smart Contracts Today

Smart contracts today run on Ethereum blockchain. Every contract on the blockchain can send transactions through its network guided by predefined rules. Smart contract coding makes it possible to allow precise terms to be automatically executed. Since smart contract transactions are powered by blockchain, once a transaction is done, it can’t be reversed.

Smart Contracts vs. Traditional Contracts

Traditional contracting differs from smart contracts in three major ways:

Contract Interpretation

Traditional contracting has always had interpretation issues that may need legal assistance (a court) to interpret ambiguous terms. Smart contracts don’t have this problem. Since commands and circumstances are set in code on the blockchain, there’s no room for misinterpretation. Everything is predefined and confirmed when the contract is being moved to the blockchain.

Modification

Traditional contracts can be modified with ease, depending on the type of contract (sale of goods or common law contracts). Modifications are done in writing and may require drafting of a new contract. Smart contracts can’t be modified once the code is moved to the blockchain.

Contract Execution

If all parties to a traditional contract abide by the terms of the contract, the agreement is fully executed. The contracts can also be partially executed if only one party abides. The contract can also be breached and rendered void if one party refuses to abide by the terms.

Smart contracts don’t have this problem. It’s impossible to breach a contract once it is in play. The conditions of smart contracts are automatically executed based on if the predefined condition occurs or fails to occur.

Our seasoned smart contracts lawyers can advise on all smart contract-related issues. Contact us today.

How Are Smart Contracts Created?

Smart contracts are popular today in many industries. They are common when transferring real estate, purchasing goods, and transferring funds without the need for third-party approval. Creating smart contracts is easy using the following steps:

Step 1

The process begins with establishing rules or commands for the contract and all parties agreeing to the rules.

Step 2

Once the rules are in place and all parties agree, they are inputted in code and moved to the blockchain where they can’t be changed or deleted. Since the contract is in a public ledger viewable to anyone, the parties to the contract remain unknown.

Step 3

If the set conditions for executing the contract occur or fail to occur, a predetermined command is executed automatically.

Advantages of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts have notable benefits to the entities and individuals that use them. The most notable smart contract benefits include:

  • They can’t be modified after being moved to the blockchain, which adds unmatched security.
  • They get rid of third parties in typical contracts – eliminating fees, increased execution time, and many other third-party problems.
  • Few regulations eliminate compliance issues common in traditional contracts.

Disadvantages of Smart Contracts

  • Many people aren’t knowledgeable about smart contracts, which hinders adoption.
  • Decentralized systems required to run smart contracts are more expensive since they require more computing power than centralized systems.
  • Few regulations expose parties to smart contract risks

Legal Help on Smart Contracts

Smart contracts have many benefits for businesses and individuals today. They make contracts more binding and safer since, once the rules are set and recorded on the blockchain, they can’t be changed.

When the triggering event occurs, the contract is automatically executed, eliminating third parties who increase contract cost and execution time, and introduce other problems. However, smart contracts can be challenging to create.

You require experienced smart contracts lawyers like us to help you handle your smart contract issues. We advise on the ever-changing legal and regulatory environment surrounding smart contracts. Don’t wait for smart contract issues to find you. Contact us today to claim a free confidential consultation.