This Law Society Gazette article reports on the recent UK Law Commission's findings that the UK's current legal framework can readily accommodate the boom in self-executing 'smart' legal contracts. For those unfamiliar with such contracts, they are "a legally binding contract in which some or all of the contractual obligations are defined in and/or performed automatically by a computer program". Given the automated nature of these contracts they are often secured by blockchain encryption to supply greater protection to the users.
As ever with rapid advances in one area of the law, subsequent cases going before the Courts, as to disagreements or ambiguities in such contracts, will fine tune the current law - but it is reassuring to see such an all encompassing embrace of digital contracts in the UK. Indeed the Commission goes further as to propose template clauses be included in such 'smart' contracts in the future in order to establish industry norms and provide greater legal certainty for all users. I understand the relevant drafting is in motion and so very much, watch this space.
I can only see the use of 'smart' contracts accelerating in the coming years and completely agree with Professor Sarah Green's comments highlighted below.
Smart legal contracts could revolutionise the way we do business, particularly by increasing efficiency and transparency in transactions. 'We have concluded that the current legal framework is clearly able to facilitate and support the use of smart legal contracts;