Behind every phenomenal blockchain protocol stands one concept – smart contracts. These are the backbone of blockchain systems, allowing users to carry out transactions once specific requirements are met. As these conditions can be set up at will, smart contracts facilitate automatic transactions between two parties.
Although smart contracts are now mostly associated with blockchain systems, they actually date back to 1994, far beyond the foundation of the first blockchain ecosystem, Bitcoin. In 1994, Nick Szabo proposed the concept of smart contracts, defining them as transaction protocols that execute the specific terms outlined in the contract.
Since then, smart contracts have spread across many industries. With the success that they’ve brought to blockchain systems, many are now proposing alternative uses in distinct industries. For example, smart contracts are now seen in industries like supply chain management, the music industry, and even voting in elections.
In this article, we’ll examine smart contracts, demonstrating why they’re such a useful tool for businesses and how companies like Metatime are pushing their utility even further than what was once thought possible. Let’s dive right into it.
Why Are Smart Contracts Useful?
At their core, smart contracts are simply an agreement between parties. If one party delivers a good, the other then releases the payment. By automating this process, both parties are able to put their trust in the system, as the autonomous connection will only occur if both hold up their end of the deal.
Beyond their central concept, smart contracts have become so popular due to three core reasons:
- Speed – Smart contracts are executed the moment that the conditions written into the contract are fulfilled, making this an incredibly efficient method of creating peer-to-peer contracts.
- Removing Human Error – Smart contracts can be carried out completely anonymously, without the need for an authority in the middle to handle transactions. This is the core reason that they’ve become so popular within the decentralized world of blockchain. By removing this human element, smart contracts are also much more precise and accurate.
- Creation of An Immutable Record – When a smart contract is executed, the transaction that takes place is irreversible. Beyond this, the transaction is then directly scribed in an ongoing ledger of transactions, creating a paper trail that absolutely anyone can look at.
Smart contracts have been incredibly effective within the world of blockchain, having constructed a multi-billion dollar financial industry due to how efficient, accurate, and useful they are.
Yet, blockchain is far from the only industry that we’re seeing an uptake in smart contract usage in.
Going Beyond Blockchain
While smart contracts have primarily found their footing in the world of blockchain, this is far from the only industry where they can be put to use. Especially after the monumental success of the blockchain industry, which is largely underpinned by financial movements facilitated by smart contracts, other industries are now turning to this space.
Industries across the globe are looking at smart contracts as a way of revolutionizing how payment takes place. 68% of workers across America are impacted by wage theft, when a small part of their paycheck is skimmed away from them. If smart contracts were used, workers that put in their hours would be rewarded directly with what they were owed, removing the ability for middle management to enact wage theft.
This is also seen within any exchange deal, such as property, mortgages, retail, or general finance. By ensuring that parties must complete their end of the smart contract for a payment or product to be released, this would revolutionize how peer-to-peer payments are run. As we’ve already seen in blockchain, this technology is wildly useful, and could be put to use in any industry that deals with finances, trading, or exchanges.
Another exciting use of smart contracts would be due to their immutable nature. Within voting elections, the ability to have a ledger-protected record of how each person voted would create a definite history of a voting event. Instead of counting votes in person, this could bring the modern voting system into the digital age, vastly boosting voter turnout and protecting democracy against voter fraud.
One blockchain company, Metatime, is attempting to push the utility of smart contracts, expanding their utility to encompass entire industries. This would take peer-to-peer transactions to a whole new level, radically boosting the potential of where smart contracts could be used. Their strategy would allow contracts to be created between entire communities, not just 1-1.
Metatime is currently in its first phase of private funding, having launched its private token sale on the third of march. Although described as a private event, Metatime is committed to building up its community, opening their event out to absolutely anyone that wants a part of the Web 3 of tomorrow that they’re building.
Smart contracts have astounding utility, and with the additional capabilities that Metatime intends to install, the possibilities could truly be endless for this exciting technology.
Smart contracts are an incredibly powerful technology that have now been around for nearly three decades. Over this time, their central utility has expanded greatly, now being a core part of some of the world’s largest industries. That said, the core offering of what smart contracts can do for businesses and platforms hasn’t changed radically over this time.
Companies like Metatime are proposing more advanced blockchain-based smart contract functionality. Their vision, combined with the increased demand across various industries, could turn into a new center force for the production and distribution of smart contracts. Even despite these advanced, the central utility and functionality of smart contracts will be around long into the future.