The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade association dedicated to promoting the understanding, acceptance and use of digital assets and blockchain technology, has announced the launch of the Smart Contracts Alliance (SCA), an industry initiative to promote the real-world application of smart contracts, educate and enhance the understanding and adoption of smart contracts, provide a forum to develop industry standards and help shape a pro-growth policy framework.
“This initiative will be key in bridging the gap between concept and reality, and making smart contracts accessible across the board,” said co-chairman Mark Smith.
“With real-world applications of any major advance in technology like smart contracts, regulation and policy play a pivotal role,” added Co-Chairman, Sean Murphy, who is convinced that the Alliance will help foster the right legal environment for smart contacts to flourish.
The SCA, which in fall 2016 will hold its first event focusing on policy implications and the legal and regulatory challenges of smart contracts, wants to to be an authoritative resource and shape how smart contracts are understood, developed and adopted by integrating the contributions of thought leaders and innovators in the technology, legal and financial services industries. The Alliance’s mission includes educating business decision-makers and consumers and shaping relevant policy.
“Smart contracts have the potential to change the landscape of modern business,” said Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. “The Smart Contracts Alliance is another facet in the Chamber’s growing repertoire of industry initiatives to accelerate the growth of blockchain technology.”
Bitcoin Magazine reached out to Boring, a former congressional adviser, financial services journalist and thought leader in the digital currency industry, to find out more about how smart contracts could change the landscape of modern business, as well as the short-term applications of smart contracts, the long-term vision of the Alliance and current plans.
“Smart contracts provide the business logic needed to maximize the potential of blockchain technology,” Boring told Bitcoin Magazine. “Automating the most manual of processes within businesses reduces costs and frees up resources. Automation of a legal contract from start to finish will enable investment in new business models or services. Longer term smart contracts will benefit all stakeholders within an industry, empowering businesses, regulators and consumers in each of their respective roles. Businesses will improve profitability, regulators will have unprecedented transparency and auditability and customers’ data and identity will be secured like never before.”
Boring noted that some of the most near-term applications of smart contracts under development by SCA members are at the state government level, such as the Delaware Blockchain Initiative.
“One of the Delaware Initiative’s goals with blockchain is for the Delaware Public Archives to store state archival records on a distributed ledger,” she said. “For other short-term applications of smart contracts, there are great opportunities in both the copyright management of music and film and complex financial products such as syndicated loans and insurance that currently require significant manual intervention.”
Boring explained that the SCA focuses on three key areas:
Education: “The SCA will educate businesses, the media and public policymakers as to the benefits of smart contracts, key terminology and relevant use cases to increase the baseline understanding of smart contracts technologies.”
Technology: “The SCA will promote the acceptance and adoption of smart contracts across multiple vertices while fostering conversation and encouraging open standards for interoperability.”
Policy: “SCA will proactively engage key public policymakers and regulators to help develop frameworks that address the unique challenges of smart contracts.”
The founding members of the SCA include high-profile companies such as Deloitte, IBM and Microsoft, as well as next-generation blockchain operators such as Gem, Symbiont and Overstock’s t0.com. The Alliance will be co-chaired by Mark Smith, CEO of Symbiont and Sean Murphy, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright.
Besides the Smart Contracts Alliance, the Digital Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has also founded the Blockchain Alliance, the Global Blockchain Forum and other industry initiatives.
Image via the Chamber of Digital Commerce