“Do I agree with Rick that nothing means anything? No I do not because the knowledge that nothing matters, while accurate, gets you nowhere. The planet is dying. The sun is exploding. The universe is cooling. Nothing is going to matter. The further back you pull the more that truth will endure. But when you zoom in on Earth, when you zoom in a family, when you zoom into a human brain and a childhood and human experience, you see all these things that matter. We have this fleeting chance to participate in an illusion called I love my girlfriend and I love my dog. How is that not better?”
A smart contract is a set of executable protocols through which two or more parties may engage in agreements and value will be exchanged automatically by the terms outlined in said protocols. No third parties required. No escrow services required. No arbitration required. No courts required.
“Smart contracts” are at the heart of the Ethereum blockchain. They are written by coders, so some people think of them as “apps”. But in reality, they aim to replace legal prose. Smart contracts can describe, for example, a set of conditions that will control who gets a pre-deposited amount of money. Or they can describe who will get to decide what happens with a pool of coins.