When Nick Szabo first proposed smart contracts back in 1994, he envisaged them as bringing ‘highly evolved’ practices of contract law to the design of e-commerce. Szabo, a computer scientist, legal scholar and cryptographer, graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Computer Science. Szabo is thought by many to be Satoshi Nakamoto through his introduction of Bit Gold back in 1998, which some believe eventually lead to the emergence of Bitcoin; he has however repeatedly denied it.
The use of smart contracts far surpasses the security of traditional contract law, increases efficiency and reduces associated costs.
So what are smart contracts? Smart contracts are computer programs that directly control the transfer of digital currencies or assets between parties under certain conditions. A smart contract not only defines the rules and penalties related to an agreement in the same way that a traditional contract does, but it can also automatically enforce those obligations.
Being stored on the blockchain, smart contracts inherit the security associated with the decentralized ledger. In other words, they are tamper proof, remove the potential for human error and ensure accuracy in execution. The open ledger of the blockchain also ensures complete transparency.
Today there is a disconnect between legal contracts and smart contracts, and whilst many businesses or individuals may with to use them, their complexity and relatively unknown nature inhibits their use.
There is a new platform which aims to bridge the gap and make the adoption and transition to smart contracts easy and efficient. Contract Vault bridges the gap by making the creation, management and integration of contractual processes on the blockchain simple. It is aimed at consumers, law firms, small business customers, enterprise customers, legal professionals and smart contract developers.
By recognizing this disconnect and roadblocks in smart contract adoption, Contract Vault have identified and provided solutions to the following issues:
- Traditional contract templates are often substandard and irrelevant, requiring extensive legal knowledge which may be unavailable to the average person.
- Collaboration with clients is inefficient and time consuming and consists of either multiple emails sent back and forth or sending documents by post/courier.
- Adopting smart contracts is complicated and expensive to implement and generally inaccessible to non-technical people. There is a high risk involved as they may not be legally compliant.
- Accessing legal and technical advise for contracts, conventional or smart, can be an expensive and lengthy process.
The Contract Vault platform can generate a variety of end-products from their SmartTemplates, including:
- Conventional legal agreements, which can then be used off-line in the usual manner.
- Legal agreements, which can be saved securely on decentralized storage and made tamper-proof using signed blockchain transactions.
- SmartForms and SmartDossiers, which empower legal professionals by enabling them to communicate and collaborate with their clients more efficiently.
- Customised Smart Contracts, such as Ethereum Smart Contracts
- Legally-enforceable Smart Contracts in the form of Ricardian contracts or dual-linked smart contracts
The intuitive Contract Vault interface allows anyone to create, test and manage traditional and smart contracts using only a browser or mobile device. They have a ‘white label’ solution, meaning that any firm can utilize the Contract Vault platform applying their own branding.
The Smart Edit tool allows for the creation or modification of existing contracts to suit and through their Market Place, legally and technically audited contracts are accessible.
The Contract Vault API enables enterprises to create or enhance applications by integrating their existing processes with smart contracts without spending months developing them.
Through Contract Vault’s rich ecosystem of legal advisors, blockchain experts and businesses, users gain access to expert advice, arbitration and mediation.
With an experienced team behind them and a solid business case, solving a real-world issue; the Contract Vault ICO (Initial Coin Offering) appears to be a sound investment as well as being the perfect solution for all contractual needs.
Visit their website or Telegram Group for more information.
Smart Contracts for All was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.