Two Truths and a Lie: Smart Contracts ed.
1. There are a number of hurdles to the legal enforceability of smart contracts.
2. Smart contracts are legally unenforceable.
3. I am awesome.
Which one is a lie? (Hint: I'm actually awesome)
There is this rather odd notion floating about that if you enter into a contractual agreement on a blockchain, that agreement is not legally enforceable. This. Is. False. There are a finite number of elements that comprise a legally enforceable contract: offer, acceptance, consideration (i.e., the thing being exchanged) and mutuality of obligation (i.e., meeting of the minds). And in some cases, the contract must be in writing (spoiler alert: code satisfies this requirement). While I'm not 100% certain, I believe this myth that smart contracts are magically unenforceable stems from how the contract and its terms are memorialized and executed. The hurdles inherent to smart contracts are not so novel or so unwieldy that they change the very nature of contractual agreements. These are old, familiar problems in a new, shiny package. Issues such as consent, actual/constructive notice, capacity, force majeure, reliance, fraud, mistakes, and all of the other points of contention that arise in traditional contract disputes will most certainly still arise in smart contract disputes (with the exception of performance). Lucky for us, there's a body of contract law (and other laws) ready and waiting to address these very familiar problems.