Along with Bitcoin and blockchain, you may have seen the term “smart contracts” floating around. What are they and how might we use them in the future?
No, they aren’t contracts that can beat you at Jeopardy. Although they probably could. Smart contracts are programs that verify and transfer anything of value between a buyer and seller on the condition that X happens.
A farmer could get an insurance claim paid out on his crops if the weather drops below 40 degrees, if you lose a bet to your friend when the Bachelor gave his final rose to Stacy, or say Will Ferrell wins an Oscar. Hey, we can dream right? So, how will we use smart contracts in the future?
Here are some likely possibilities:
💍MARRIAGE - Our romantic lives could soon live on the blockchain. Prenups could be executed using smart contracts, along with marriage licenses. In fact, there’s already an app that does this called Smart Vows. We might soon be saying, “I confirm.”
🏠REAL ESTATE - Smart contracts are already being used in a small percentage of real estate transactions, but this number is expected to grow widely. It could include apartment rental applications too. Smart contracts could potentially eliminate the need for the middlemen in real estate transactions, such as the lawyers and title companies. The new saying might be, “The most important thing in real estate is confirmation, confirmation, confirmation.”
✅LAWYERS - RoboCop might have been just the beginning. We could soon have robot lawyers. Well kind of, smart contracts. Smart contracts can operate without the assistance of a lawyer, as the code is pre-programmed and they execute automatically. There likely won’t be an actual robot in a suit, unfortunately, even though that would be really cool.
🚖UBER DRIVERS - Smart contracts could help eliminate Uber and taxi drivers. What do smart contracts have to do with driverless cars? Stay with us on this one. They could allow the car to drive itself and operate completely autonomously. The smart contracts would handle ride requests, confirm payment and we will finally have the future science fiction promised us.
👮♀️ELECTIONS & GOVERNMENT - Smart contracts could be used to make our government run smoother and more transparently. All votes could be seen publicly, and elections could be completely transparent. Government spending could be transparent. Wouldn’t that be nice?
How do you think we’ll use smart contracts in the future? Let us know on social media.