Overview#Smart contracts are protocols that facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract, or that make a contractual clause unnecessary.
Smart contracts usually also have a user interface and often emulate the logic of contractual clauses.
Proponents of Smart contracts claim that many kinds of contractual clauses may thus be made partially or fully self-executing, self-enforcing, or both.
Smart contracts aim to provide security superior to traditional contract law and to reduce other transaction costs associated with contracting.
One real-world Smart contracts that gained mainstream coverage was The DAO, a Decentralized Autonomous Organization for venture capital funding, running on Ethereum, which was launched with US$250 million in crowdfunding in May 2016 and was hacked and drained of 3,689,577 ETH three weeks later.