Smart contracts basics

What are they good for?

Martijn Dingeman Ardon
Jan 03, 2023

Smart contracts are digital programs that run on blockchain networks and automatically execute pre-programmed actions based on predefined conditions. They are designed to operate without the need for intermediaries, which allows for faster, cheaper, and more secure transactions.

Ethereum, Avalanche, Solana, and Cardano, among others, are well-known blockchain platforms that utilize smart contracts. However, Bitcoin is a notable exception to this trend. The Bitcoin community chose not to include smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain, as they preferred to keep the network small, decentralized, and free from bugs or critical vulnerabilities.

Smart contract platforms and applications that have been built on top of them are slowly disrupting traditional industries and taking the crypto world by storm. In this article, we'll take a bird's eye view of why this is happening, and explore the many advantages and opportunities that smart contracts offer.

Smart contracts offer numerous advantages over traditional legacy systems and outdated methods of conducting transactions. The benefits of smart contracts make them a promising tool for disrupting traditional industries and creating new opportunities for value:

  1. Accuracy: Smart contracts operate based on pre-defined conditions and execute automatically, eliminating the possibility of errors or mistakes that can occur when contracts are manually processed.

  2. Security: Smart contracts are executed on a blockchain network, which provides a high level of security and eliminates the need for intermediaries that can pose a risk to the transaction.

  3. Speed: Smart contracts can be executed within seconds or minutes, depending on the complexity of the contract, which can save time and reduce transaction costs.

  4. Cost-Effective: Smart contracts eliminate the need for intermediaries, which can reduce transaction costs and make transactions more affordable.

  5. Transparency: Smart contracts are executed on a public blockchain network, which allows all parties to view and verify the contract's code and execution. This can increase trust and transparency in transactions.

  6. Automation: Smart contracts are programmed to execute automatically based on pre-defined conditions, which can save time and reduce the need for human intervention.

  7. Efficiency: Smart contracts can be used to automate complex processes, which can increase efficiency and reduce the likelihood of errors or mistakes.

  8. Immutability: Once a smart contract is executed, it is stored permanently on the blockchain and cannot be altered, providing an immutable record of the transactions.

By harnessing the power of blockchain technology, smart contracts have the potential to disrupt a wide range of sectors in significant ways. From finance and insurance to supply chain management and real estate, smart contracts offer a secure, transparent, and efficient way to conduct transactions and exchange value. By eliminating intermediaries, automating processes, and providing immutable data storage, smart contracts can significantly reduce costs and increase trust in transactions.

As the technology continues to mature, we can expect to see even more innovative use cases emerge, transforming the way we do business and exchanging value in many different sectors. Overall, smart contracts are a disruptive force that has the potential to reshape many aspects of our economy and society.