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MarTech Landscape: What’s a smart contract?
As a blockchain ecosystem emerges, smart contracts could become a common way of automatically implementing transparent deals.
Suppose you had a contractual agreement that understood its own terms, could track whether the terms were fulfilled and could send the required payment or product when the deal was finalized.
That, essentially, is the idea behind a smart contract, one of the new ways of doing business that blockchain technology is introducing. In this article, part of our MarTech Landscape Series, we look at this new kind of self-enacting agreement.
The idea was first proposed in a 1996 paper by computer scientist and legal scholar Nick Szabo:
A smart contract is a set of promises, specified in digital form, including protocols within which the parties perform on these promises.