The Economist reports about cyber thieves “outsmarting” a smart contract.
Well, what does that mean? Engaging with a code that runs in all states of the world is to engage with a complete contract. How can one outsmart a complete contract?
Previous post on smart contracts and commitment.
In the FT, Richard Waters reports about the advent of the automated company.
The DAO — an acronym of decentralised autonomous organisation, the name given to such entities — has been set up to invest in other businesses, making it a form of investor-directed venture capital fund. … The organisation is governed by a set of so-called smart contracts which run on the Ethereum blockchain, a public ledger designed to make its operations transparent and enforceable.
In other words, the code provides a commitment mechanism. Imagine a world where government interventions can be encoded in a similar way. This could open the way for solving a central problem of democratic societies: The time inconsistency of optimal government plans.