The Digital Path: Smart Contracts and the Third World



Markets, Information and Communication. Austrian Perspectives on the Internet Economy Routledge 2003.

Research Areas

Smart Contracts

Publication Year


The Digital Path: Smart Contracts and the Third World


Inadequate and ill-adapted property institutions in the third world prevent the extralegal assets of the poor from serving as capital. In particular, the absence of credible systems of title transfer makes real estate holdings ineffective as collateral for loans. How can this barrier to wealth creation be surmounted? Country-by-country institutional reform is possible, but inevitably slow. New options based on computer networks and trusted computational agents may provide a shorter path. By leveraging trust in first-world institutions while enabling the evolution of contractual arrangements that fit local needs and traditions, this approach could bring advanced property systems to regions now paralyzed by their absence.