Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - High Dimensional Nonstationary Time Series

IRTG1792DP2021 004

Understanding Smart Contracts: Hype or Hope?

Elizaveta Zinovyev
Raphael C. G. Reule
Wolfgang Karl Härdle

Smart Contracts are commonly considered to be an important component or even a
key to many business solutions in an immense variety of sectors and promises to
securely increase their individual efficiency in an ever more digitized
environment. Introduced in the early 1990’s, the technology has gained a lot of
attention with its application to blockchain technology to an extent, that can
be considered a veritable hype. Reflecting the growing institutional interest,
this intertwined exploratory study between statistics, information technology,
and law contrasts these idealistic stories with the data reality and provides a
mandatory step of understanding the matter, before any further relevant
applications are discussed as being “factually” able to replace traditional
constructions. Besides fundamental flaws and application difficulties of
currently employed Smart Contracts, the technological drive and enthusiasm
backing it may however serve as a jump-off board for future developments
thrusting well in the presently unshakeable traditional structures.

Cryptocurrency, Smart Contract, Ethereum, CRIX

JEL Classification:
G02, G11, G12, G14, G15, G23