Jonathan Rohr, ‘Smart Contracts in Traditional Contract Law, Or: The Law of the Vending Machine’

ABSTRACT
Smart contracts are the new norm, yet state legislatures and courts have not developed set rules and answers to legal disputes that these contracts create. Is traditional contract law sufficient? Or should we create an entirely new legislative or common law scheme to deal with these disputes? The common law has proven to be successful in dealing with new technologies and contracts, particularly because of its flexibility. Although a major overhaul may be in the future, there are still solutions that we can find today with the current legal landscape given the state of contract law and its evolution over time. One particularly analogous body of case law is instructive: the law of the vending machine. In the end, thinking about smart contracts as vending machines may be fruitful for the future of this evolving area of the law.

Jonathan Rohr, Smart Contracts in Traditional Contract Law, Or: The Law of the Vending Machine 67 Cleveland State Law Review 67 (2019).

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