«Smart contracts» are a stupid idea

In the Facebook comments on my last post on crypto currencies Kai Waßmuß said:

Smart contracts for example have the problem that in almost all cases you actually want to draw a contract with human language approximately outlining what it is meant to do and later have the possibility to have a neutral party like a court to decide on what should happen in the spirit of the deal in certain corner cases that nobody thought about when the contract was written.

The crypto hype is largely based on the false promise that you can solve complex social problems by replacing them with code.

You want a completely decentralized currency without central intermediaries because you don’t trust banks to look after your money, but then you give it to crypto trading websites who get robbed all the time and are often outright scams.

As Matt Levine likes to say, a large part of cryptocurrency seems to consist of travelling back in time to rediscover well known problems of finance in crude and inefficient ways.

And I could not agree more.