Simon Gleeson, ‘Legal Considerations Around Smart Contracts: Contracts Between Computer Programs’

ABSTRACT
Algorithmic trading – where two computer programs deal directly with each other – is a commonplace of modern securities trading. However, in general such trading occurs subject to exchange rule books, or under framework contracts, which establish the legally binding nature of such interactions. When computer programs purport to deal with each other directly outside such a framework, the legal position becomes considerably more complex. This note examines two problems which can arise in such cases; first as to how a contract can be formed at all between two parties in the absence of any conscious act by either party, and second, the consequences for third parties of a finding that such a contract was void or nonexistent.

Gleeson, Simon, Legal Considerations Around Smart Contracts: Contracts Between Computer Programs (September 16, 2021).

First posted 2021-09-20 17:00:20

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