Smart contracts are often seen as a highly powerful application of blockchain technology. These contracts are actually computer programs that can oversee all aspects of an agreement, from facilitation to execution. When conditions are met, smart contracts can be entirely self-executing and self-enforcing. For proponents of smart contracts, these tools provide a more secure, more automated alternative to traditional contract law, as well as an application that is faster and cheaper than traditional methods.
The potential applications of smart contract technology are essentially limitless and could extend to almost any field of business in which contract law would normally apply. Of course, while highly touted, smart contracts are not a magical substitute for old-fashioned diligence. In fact, the case of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a cautionary tale and a warning to investors to not assume that smart contracts are any better than the information and organization that a user puts into them. Nonetheless, smart contracts remain one of the most exciting ways that blockchain technology has already extended beyond the cryptocurrency space and into the broader business world.