New York University School of Law professors Max Raskin and Jack Millman recently wrote in ” emerging technology magazine Discuss the legality of using blockchain-based smart contracts for the purpose of “personal growth bets.”
According to the pair, a personal growth bet is a one-sided contract that people make with themselves. The purpose of these contracts is usually for self-improvement—to start or stop a certain behavior by a given time period or date.
Researchers use the concepts of quitting smoking or losing weight to describe this concept. According to their paper:
“For example, the rough outline of such a bet is: If Max doesn’t lose 10 pounds in the next six months, he must pay Jack $1,000. However, if he does lose weight, Jack must pay Max Have a steak dinner.”
The paper’s central argument, the researchers say, is that incentives can have a positive impact on a person’s ability to succeed in a difficult personal career. However, without accountability, such incentives are unlikely to work.
Smart contracts can “act as executors and supervisors, allowing aspiring individuals to effectively constrain their future selves without the involvement of others,” the authors said.
Raskin and Millman proposed a scheme in which smart contracts are conceived on the blockchain using “contract software,” which is hardware used to measure or monitor betting conditions to enforce compliance with the terms of the contract.
Taking smoking cessation as an example, the researchers gave the example of a person investing $10,000 in a smart contract that required the user to remain smoke-free for 30 days before they could regain their funds. For example, if that fails, funds can be sent to a predetermined charity of the user’s choice.
To enforce the terms of the ‘bet’, researchers envision a system where users could confirm compliance by using a carbon monoxide breathalyzer – a gadget that detects cigarette smoke in the breath, much like an alcohol breathalyzer The instrument detects cigarette smoke. Blood alcohol concentration.
If the user misses the designated check-in or fails the alcohol test, the terms of the smart contract will be automatically executed and the user’s rights and interests will be forfeited.
While the concept is relatively simple, the legality of self-contracts and their enforceability are somewhat vague. The researchers claim that there should be no legal barriers preventing people from tying up their financial resources in their own betting schemes, and that as long as the terms are legally “considered”, such contracts should be ostensibly legally binding.
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“[T]“There is no law prohibiting individuals from donating their own money,” the researchers wrote. However, they went on to note that what people can use as shares should be limited, especially when considering the autonomous nature of smart contracts.
The paper also considers a hypothetical case in which an investor “is willing to plant a bomb in his skull” to prove that the person is willing to repay the loan, “so that if he misses a payment or attempts to remove the loan, the bomb It will explode.”
According to the study, this would be considered a “strong” smart contract – as its terms include “infinitely high costs of rescission by the debtor”. However, the document also states that such a contract may not be legal as a self-contract due to “many laws opposing and promoting suicide.”