Smart Contracts and the Blockchain-Revolution in the area of conflict between Technology and Law
Wirtschaftskammer Österreich, MANZ'sche Verlags- und Universitätsbuchhandlung GmbH, 2018
Similar to the creation of the internet, today the world is captivated by a new phenomenon that is considered to produce substantial impact on economic life. We are talking about the Blockchain technology, which was initially introduced as the technological backbone of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and is in a simplified form representing a decentralized data storage system within a peer-to-peer network. As Blockchains can be implemented in many areas of life, there are continuously emerging new ideas of utilization. One of the most promising areas of application are so-called “Smart Contracts”, which introduce new codified relationships that are both defined and automatically enforced by a code. However, fully organizing legal relationships by Smart Contracts in the near future also raises doubt on the consistency of connected processes with
the law. This article examines Smart Contracts from a legal perspective, specifically explaining its place in existing Austrian contract law.