Safe Business Agreements: A Guide to Smart Contracts
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. What are smart contracts?
  2. How do smart contracts work?
  3. Benefits of smart contracts for business
  4. Risks associated with smart contracts
  5. How to create a smart contract
  6. How to ensure smart contracts are safe
  7. Legal considerations for smart contracts
  8. The future of smart contracts

Imagine sealing your business deals with an unbreakable promise, a promise that executes itself. That's the power of smart contracts. But you might be asking, "is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?" Well, let's dive into the world of smart contracts and explore this together.

What are smart contracts?

Smart contracts are like traditional contracts, only smarter! They are computer programs that help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, clash-free way, while avoiding the services of a middleman.

Just like a vending machine, you drop a bitcoin into the vending machine (i.e., ledger), and your escrow, driver's license, or whatever drops into your account. More so, smart contracts not only define the rules and penalties related to an agreement just like a traditional contract, but also automatically enforce those obligations.

Here are a few things to note about smart contracts:

  • Autonomy: You're the one making the agreement; no need to rely on a broker, lawyer, or other intermediaries to confirm. Incidentally, this also knocks out the danger of manipulation by a third party, since execution is managed automatically by the network, rather than by one or more, possibly biased, individuals.
  • Trust: Your documents are encrypted on a shared ledger. There's no way that someone can say they lost it.
  • Safety: Cryptography, the encryption of websites, keeps your documents safe. There is no hacking. In fact, it would take an abnormally smart hacker to crack the code and infiltrate.
  • Speed: You'd ordinarily have to spend chunks of time and paperwork to manually process documents. Smart contracts use software code to automate tasks, thereby shaving hours off a range of business processes.

Now, onto a big question: "is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?" The answer is not quite simple, but we'll get to that. First, let's understand how smart contracts work.

How do smart contracts work?

Smart contracts work much like a domino effect — once the first piece falls (or the first condition is met), the rest follow in a chain reaction.

Let's say you're renting your apartment to a friend. You can turn this agreement into a smart contract. Here's how:

  1. You create a smart contract on the blockchain. The contract holds a deed to the apartment.
  2. Your friend sends you the agreed rent in cryptocurrency.
  3. The contract acknowledges the transaction, and your friend receives the deed.

It's as simple as that. If your friend fails to send the rent, the smart contract returns the deed to you. It's like a self-executing agreement without needing a third party to enforce it.

However, it's important to note that the whole process is public and transparent because it's on the blockchain. This means that anyone can verify the transactions, but no one can manipulate them. This brings a level of trust and safety to the process.

But wait, you might be thinking, "That sounds great, but is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?" Well, like most things in life, smart contracts come with both benefits and risks.

Benefits of smart contracts for business

So, you're probably wondering, "what's in it for my business if I use smart contracts?" Well, they offer several advantages. Let's look at some of them:

  1. Speed and Efficiency: Traditional contracts can be time-consuming—think of all the paperwork and the back-and-forth. Smart contracts automate these processes, saving you precious time and effort.
  2. Accuracy: Human error is a thing of the past with smart contracts. Once set up accurately, the contract executes the agreement as per the coded terms. No typos, no miscommunications.
  3. Trust and Security: The transactions are encrypted and stored on a public ledger, creating a secure environment. This can be reassuring when you're asking, "is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?"
  4. Cost Savings: By eliminating the need for middlemen like lawyers or notaries, you can save a pretty penny. Money better spent elsewhere in your business, right?

These benefits seem pretty neat, don't they? But remember, no solution is perfect. While smart contracts can be a boon for businesses, they also come with their fair share of risks. But more on that later!

Risks associated with smart contracts

While the benefits of smart contracts are clear, it's also important to recognize the potential challenges. Let's be honest about the risks:

  1. Technical Issues: Smart contracts are built on code, and like all software, can be prone to bugs. Errors in coding could lead to loss of funds or other unexpected outcomes.
  2. Legal Concerns: As a new technology, the legal status of smart contracts can be murky in some jurisdictions. You might ask, "is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements in my region?" It's vital to keep abreast of the local laws and regulations.
  3. Difficulty of Change: Once a smart contract is live, changing its terms can be a real challenge. You need to ensure that the contract is perfect before launching it.
  4. Security Threats: While blockchain technology is highly secure, it's not completely immune to hacking. Security breaches, while rare, can cause significant damage.

So, is the juice worth the squeeze? Well, that depends on your individual business needs and risk tolerance. Understanding these risks will help you make an informed decision about whether smart contracts are right for your business.

How to create a smart contract

Now that we've tackled the risks, let's dive into the process of creating a smart contract. If you're wondering, "Is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?", knowing how to create one might ease some of your concerns. Here's a step by step guide:

  1. Define the Terms: Just like a traditional contract, a smart contract starts with the terms. Be clear and specific about the rules of engagement. Remember, clarity is king.
  2. Code the Contract: This is where the magic happens. You'll need to translate those terms into code. If you're not a coding whiz, don't sweat it. There are platforms like Ethereum and dApps that can help.
  3. Test the Contract: Before you roll out your smart contract, test it rigorously. Check every line of code, and make sure it performs as expected. Remember the saying, "measure twice, cut once"? It applies here too.
  4. Launch the Contract: Once you're confident in its performance, it's time to launch your smart contract. Keep in mind that changes are challenging once it's live, so triple-check everything!

Congratulations, you've just created your first smart contract! It might seem daunting at first, but with practice, it becomes second nature. So, is it safe to use smart contracts for your business agreements? If you follow these steps, it sure can be.

How to ensure smart contracts are safe

Alright, you've got your smart contract ready to roll. But how do you make sure it's safe to use? After all, we're talking business agreements and money here, right? Here's the lowdown:

  1. Use Reputable Platforms: Stick with well-known, established platforms for creating your smart contracts. Think Ethereum or Hyperledger. They've got track records you can trust.
  2. Invest in Security Audits: Consider getting a smart contract audit from a reputable company. They'll check your smart contract for security issues and bugs. It's like a health check-up but for your smart contract.
  3. Keep Up with Updates: Technology evolves quickly, and so do potential threats. Make sure to stay on top of updates to your chosen platform and apply them promptly. It's a lot like updating your phone's software — annoying, but necessary.
  4. Limit the Power: Smart contracts can be powerful tools, but with great power comes great responsibility. Limit the power of your contract to only what's needed for the agreement. No need to give it the keys to the kingdom.

Ensuring the safety of your smart contracts doesn't have to be rocket science. With these measures in place, you can confidently answer "Yes!" when asked, "Is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?"

So, you're ready to dive into the world of smart contracts. But wait, is it all legally sound? Here's a quick checklist of legal aspects you should consider:

  1. Legal Framework: Smart contracts are relatively new on the legal scene. Many jurisdictions are still figuring out how to regulate them. Make sure to check the rules in your area.
  2. Contract Law: Remember, a smart contract is still a contract. It has to meet all the usual criteria — offer, acceptance, consideration, and so on. You know, like when you buy a car or lease an apartment.
  3. Privacy Concerns: Smart contracts rely on blockchain, which can mean public visibility. Make sure any private information is properly protected. It's like keeping your personal diary under lock and key.
  4. Dispute Resolution: What happens if something goes wrong? Have a plan in place for resolving disputes. It's like having an emergency exit in a building — you hope you never need it, but it's good to have.

These legal considerations are just as important as the technical ones. After all, when you're asking "is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements?" safety isn't just about code and security. It's about making sure you're on solid legal ground, too.

The future of smart contracts

Now that we've waded through the technical jargon and legal paperwork, let's talk about the future. What's next for smart contracts?

Well, just like your favorite TV show, the future of smart contracts is filled with twists, turns, and a whole lot of anticipation. Here's what we're looking at:

  1. More Automation: Smart contracts are already pretty automatic, but we're just scratching the surface. In the future, expect even more tasks to be automated. Kind of like how your smart fridge might one day order milk for you when you run out.
  2. Better Security: As smart contracts become more popular, they'll also become a bigger target. But don't worry—improved security methods are also on the horizon. It's like upgrading your home security system before you go on a long vacation.
  3. Widespread Adoption: Right now, smart contracts are mostly used by tech-savvy businesses. But in the future, they could become as common as email. Imagine a world where even your grandma uses smart contracts to sell her homemade jam!

So, is it safe to use smart contracts for my business agreements? The answer is an evolving 'yes'. As technology progresses and legal frameworks adapt, the safety and utility of smart contracts will only improve. But remember, just like with any new technology, it's important to stay informed and adapt as things change.

Who knows? In a few years, we might be looking back and wondering how we ever did business without smart contracts!

If you're eager to learn more about safe business agreements and smart contracts, don't miss the workshop 'A Contract For All Creatives' by Harry Vincent. This workshop will provide you with essential information on creating secure contracts for your creative business, ensuring that you're well-prepared for any collaborations or partnerships.