Authors: Ronald D. Smith, Susan L. Ross and Carey G. Child with Norton Rose Fulbright; and
Wendy Callaghan, American International Group, Inc.
For several years, as cryptocurrency prices have periodically surged and pulled back, steady growth of interest in Blockchain, distributed ledgers and smart contracts has been unmistakable. Still, many observers have noted that there is no consensus about what a smart contract is (including whether one must involve Blockchain at all) and what the term actually means. Despite the ever-increasing discussion of smart contracts, many continue to search for real uses and to question whether there will be widespread adoption.
This article will attempt to make sense of what a smart contract is and provide clear, descriptive, and accurate terminology for smart contracts, with a focus on the insurance industry. It argues that smart contracts make real sense, have real uses, will lead to real change in the insurance industry, and can likely be enforced under existing law.
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