Smart contracts are no problem for international law, but only when they behave like legal contracts.
Cryptocurrencies have been a headache (if not a nightmare) for the law. Ever since Ross Ulbricht launched the Silk Road online marketplace in February 2011, Bitcoin and its ilk have been disrupting the ability of authorities to police the globe, and to ensure that norms, regulations and laws are being observed. For a while, it was believed by some that smart contracts — essentially if-then instructions written into and executed by a blockchain — would do something very similar to the law itself, coming into potential conflict with the globe’s legal systems and their jurisdiction over our behavior.
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