One of the most talked about benefits of smart contracts, which automatically execute the terms of an agreement, such as a transfer of funds, on the blockchain, is that they do away with the need of intermediaries. But lawyers at the “Getting Into the BlockTech Game” session at Legalweek 2020 in New York, pushed back against that idea, arguing that such a level of independence is not happening today, and likely won’t happen in the future.

Moshe Malina, associate general counsel at Citigroup, said the “grand theme of smart contracts” is that they are an entirely automatic, robotic process. But, “I haven’t seen that been implemented,” he said, adding, “In all the instance I’ve seen so far, there is a traditional natural language contract that sits on top” of a block chain-based process.

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