Giorgio Remotti

Blockchain Smart Contract: A First Theoretical Framework

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Smart Contract, Contract, Distribute Ledger Technology, Cryptocurrency, Agreement, Anonymity, Self-enforceable, Self-execution.

In this work, the author questions the legal qualification of the smart contract, especially under the light of a recent Italian law that has given legislative recognition to this wealth transfer tool (Legislative Decree of December 18, 2018, n.135 converted into Law of February 11, 2019, n.12). To this end, the work moves from a first technical analysis of smart contracts to identify their main characteristics, taking especially into account the ‘habitat’ in which these contracts are generated, that is, in general, the one of distributed accounting technology (DLT), and more in particular, the one of cryptocurrencies. After identifying the rudiments of such contracts, this paper goes on to analyze some critical profiles in relation to to this specific tool and in particular those related to anonymity on the net, on the one hand, and those connected to the self-execution of the contract, on the other. After these initial analyzes, this paper identifies the strengths and weaknesses of smart contracts against traditional contracts. In this way, the work offers a comparison with the structural characteristics and requirements of the contract in a legal sense. In particular, the work then focuses on how to implement the agreement between the contracting parties, given that the agreement represents the first requirement to qualify this particular contract as a contract in a legal sense. In this way, in the continuation of the essay, the author will distinguish the hypotheses in which the smart contract is a contract in a legal sense from those in which it merely represents a method of executing a contract.

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