What Are Smart Contracts

What Are Smart Contracts

Introduction to Smart Contracts

Smart contracts represent a revolutionary step forward in digital transaction technology, rooted in the principles of blockchain. Conceived by cryptographer Nick Szabo in the 1990s, smart contracts were envisioned as digital protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract, effectively removing intermediaries. They’ve become a cornerstone of decentralized finance (DeFi), enabling trustless transactions between parties who may never meet in person.

How Smart Contracts Work

A smart contract is a self-executing code that operates on a decentralized blockchain network, such as Ethereum. The code contains the contract terms, and its execution depends on predefined conditions being met. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements of how smart contracts work:

  1. Triggering Events: Smart contracts activate when certain predefined conditions occur, such as a specific date, time, or the fulfillment of an action.
  2. Execution: Once activated, the smart contract executes the pre-programmed actions, which could include transferring funds, updating records, or triggering other contracts.
  3. Immutability: Once deployed on the blockchain, the contract’s code cannot be altered. This ensures that the rules outlined in the contract remain intact and tamper-proof.
  4. Transparency: The blockchain records every interaction with the contract, creating an immutable and transparent audit trail.

Key Features of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts offer several benefits that differentiate them from traditional contractual agreements:

  1. Autonomy: Smart contracts reduce reliance on intermediaries like banks or lawyers. Once coded, they operate independently, automatically executing actions based on pre-set conditions.
  2. Security: They operate on blockchain networks, which use cryptographic security to ensure data integrity. The decentralized nature of blockchain also makes it nearly impossible to alter or hack the contract.
  3. Accuracy: With their terms written in code, smart contracts precisely execute actions as programmed. This reduces the chances of manual errors often associated with traditional contracts.
  4. Cost Efficiency: By eliminating intermediaries, smart contracts cut down on associated fees, reducing the cost of transactions.
  5. Speed: Transactions execute quickly and automatically, reducing the delays inherent in traditional processes.

Applications of Smart Contracts

Smart contracts have wide-ranging applications across various industries:

  1. Finance: In decentralized finance (DeFi), smart contracts automate lending, borrowing, and trading processes. For instance, automated liquidity pools enable users to lend assets and earn interest, all without the need for traditional banks.
  2. Supply Chain: Smart contracts make tracking goods through a supply chain more efficient. The blockchain ledger records each step, ensuring authenticity and reducing the risk of fraud.
  3. Real Estate: The transfer of property can be streamlined through smart contracts. They can automatically execute the transfer of ownership once payment is confirmed, reducing paperwork and intermediaries.
  4. Healthcare: Smart contracts can help safeguard patient data by allowing only authorized individuals to access sensitive information, and they can automate insurance claims processing.
  5. Insurance: Claims processing can be streamlined through smart contracts. Once predefined conditions are met, such as verifying the occurrence of an insured event, the contract can automatically trigger payments.
  6. Gaming and NFTs: Smart contracts have facilitated the rise of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and blockchain-based gaming, ensuring secure ownership and transfer of digital assets.

Smart Contracts and Edelcoin

Edelcoin, a digital asset backed by real-world assets, exemplifies the potential of smart contracts in crypto. Its use of smart contracts brings several advantages:

  1. Asset Tokenization: Edelcoin uses smart contracts to tokenize tangible assets. Each token represents a share in a real-world asset, making ownership more accessible and transparent. The smart contracts ensure that tokens are securely minted and transferred, reflecting the value of the underlying asset.
  2. Automated Compliance: Regulatory compliance is crucial in the crypto space. Smart contracts automate compliance checks, ensuring each transaction adheres to relevant laws and regulations. For instance, KYC (Know Your Customer) checks can be programmed into the contract, automatically enforcing compliance.
  3. Efficient Transfers: Edelcoin tokens backed by smart contracts allow transfers to occur without intermediaries. The blockchain records every transfer, providing an immutable trail of ownership. This efficiency reduces transaction times and associated costs.
  4. Future Flexibility: Using smart contracts allows Edelcoin to adapt to future changes in technology and regulations. Smart contracts can be updated or replaced with newer versions incorporating improved features or adapting to changing regulatory requirements.


Smart contracts are a groundbreaking technology transforming how we understand and engage in digital transactions. Automating agreements through self-executing code offers unparalleled security, transparency, and efficiency. Their applications span across various industries, revolutionizing how we interact with contracts. Edelcoin’s integration of smart contracts showcases the potential of this technology in the world of asset-backed tokens, offering users a secure, transparent, and efficient way to invest in digital assets backed by real-world value.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. What benefits do smart contracts offer in cryptocurrency?
    a. Automation: Smart contracts execute transactions automatically, removing the need for intermediaries and ensuring efficiency.
    b. Security: Their decentralized nature and encryption make them resistant to tampering and fraud.
    c. Cost Efficiency: By eliminating intermediaries, smart contracts reduce transaction costs.
  2. How do real-world assets (RWAs) benefit from tokenization?
    a. Liquidity: Tokenization allows traditionally illiquid assets to be traded more easily on digital platforms.
    b. Fractional Ownership: It enables partial ownership, letting investors buy smaller shares of expensive assets.
    c. Global Accessibility: Digital tokens can be traded globally, opening access to new markets and investors.
  3. Why is blockchain transparency crucial for smart contracts?
    a. Trust: Transparent ledgers build trust among users by providing a public, unalterable record of transactions.
    b. Accountability: Smart contracts ensure agreed terms are followed, holding all parties accountable.
    c. Audibility: Anyone can verify the contract’s execution and transaction history, reducing the risk of disputes.

Correct answers: 1a, b; 2a, b; 3a, c.