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Author(s)

Jerry I-H Hsiao, Ph.D.

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ABSTRACT

Combining law, computer science and finance in unprecedented ways, “smart” contract has the potential to reshape our understanding of contract law. Based on blockchain technology, a “smart” contract is a contract captured in code, which automatically performs the obligations the parties have committed to in the agreement. By removing the need for direct human involvement, once a “smart” contract has been deployed on to a trustless public ledger (TPL), the computer program could make contractual relationship more efficient and economical with potentially fewer opportunities for error, delay or dispute. Despite the promises, there remains significant technical and legal issues around this nascent technology that need to be resolved. This paper begins with an introduction to “smart” contract and the concept of blockchain technology, it will continue to discuss whether “smart” contract fits within the current contract law or we should expand a new set of laws for this new technology. This paper argues that “smart” contract might not disrupt our current understanding of contract law but rather “smart” contract and “dumb” contract (the traditional contracts), could collaborate to perfect the underpinning of contract law.

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