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What are smart contracts?

All daily interactions between people, businesses and other organisations are underpinned by trust – each party trusts that the other will behave in a certain way.  Trust is central to the functioning of society and the economy. Technology has long played a part in informing trust in interactions, particularly in recent decades.

The latest set of emerging technologies that have been mooted as having the potential to play a role are distributed ledgers and, in particular, smart contracts. In this report, we examine the potential of distributed ledger technologies to inform trust, focusing on the role of smart contracts.

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