Back to issue
Cover of: The Limits of Smart Contracts
Jens Frankenreiter

The Limits of Smart Contracts

Section: Articles
Volume 175 (2019) / Issue 1, pp. 149-162 (14)
Published 06.02.2019
DOI 10.1628/jite-2019-0021
Published in German.
  • article PDF
  • available
  • 10.1628/jite-2019-0021
This essay investigates the potential of smart contracts to replace the legal system as an infrastructure for transactions. It argues that (contract) law remains relevant for most transactions even if they are entirely structured by way of smart contract. The reason for this is that the power of smart contracts to create and enforce obligations against attempts by the legal system to thwart their executionis limited. These limitations are most relevant for obligations to perform certain actions outside the blockchain, but also apply to other obligations contingent on facts outside the records stored on the blockchain.