Much to the surprise of those who first learned about smart contracts and their use in blockchain technology, the idea of smart contracts was first thought of back in 1994.
Although they were a concept before Ethereum, Ethereum has played a big hand in making smart contracts the talk of the town. Their use in its blockchain has given birth to many new ideas and achievable functions.
However, along with new ideas and functionalities come myths and misconceptions held by even those who are quite close to this realm of technology.
We are here to bust the top 5 myths that surround smart contracts:
Smart Contracts Are Never Legally Enforceable
This is a pretty common myth about smart contracts and one that developers and users should be extremely careful about. Smart contracts are not always enforceable as there is no legislation that dictates that smart contracts are legal documents.
While smart contracts are not always legally enforceable, it does not mean they never are. If the smart contract you are dealing with meets the requirements of what is considered a contract in your state or country then you might be subject to legal action.
Be careful as you interact with them. Furthermore, just because a smart contract may not be enforceable, it does not mean that it cannot be used as evidence in legal proceedings.
Your interaction with a smart contract can mean that you have conceded to its terms and this fact can be used in court against you.
Smart Contracts Should Be Written By Advanced Developers
This may be true when it comes to the question of laymen versus developers, but it is certainly not true in all cases. Even a junior blockchain developer can write smart contracts that work well and do what they intend to.
A beginner blockchain developer might have some trouble understanding the impact of the smart contract or the impact of the blockchain on the overall system, but they can certainly write a simple smart contract to get started.
In order to write more complex smart contracts you will have to learn more about oracles and how they work. However, the Solidity language on which the Ethereum platform runs makes it pretty easy to get started with simple smart contracts after just attending a boot camp.
Nobody Can Edit Your Smart Contract
This tricky myth is partially true.
Smart contracts are famous for being immutable which means that they cannot be changed once they are deployed on the blockchain.
This would lead people to think that smart contracts are uneditable. However, this is one of the Solidity smart contract vulnerabilities that many are unaware of.
While someone cannot go in and change anything about your smart contract, it can be updated or modified using a new smart contract that replaces the previous one to execute whatever it is that you are trying to do.
Do you see that loopholes can be found with something that is considered immutable?
So this is exactly where your training in blockchain development will come in handy. Little mistakes like these can cost you millions of dollars which is why so many people think that only advanced developers should attempt to make smart contracts.
However, you should not let this stop you from your pursuit of gaining expertise in this field of technology. Someone’s hesitation to create smart contracts can be a job opportunity for you if you can learn the advanced principles.
Your Money Freezes Within A Smart Contract
While this is a very real possibility that arises from a poorly written smart contract, it does not mean that smart contracts inherently are designed to freeze your money.
Very rarely does the money end up becoming non-withdrawable because of an error in the code, but it is possible, to say the least. That’s why it is necessary that you educate yourself about these possible errors and try your best to avoid making them.
Some of these errors can leave your digital wallet empty if the smart contract continues to withdraw money from it.
This happens mostly when a developer tries to secure a smart contract with unreasonable restrictions. And when conditions allowing a withdrawal as mentioned under these restrictions can’t be met the smart contract can become non-withdrawable.
You Need Not Worry About Math To Write Smart Contracts
While this may seem like an unusual assumption, it is definitely one that is underestimated by many aspiring developers. Many people think that the computer is responsible for doing the calculations so they do not have to worry about their math skills.
This mostly has to do with the language smart contracts are written in as compared to the overall idea of smart contracts.
This means that the developer has to make the decision to round up or down depending on the math that they are trying to do. Even though it is coding on a computer, you still need to know basic math concepts to make sure your calculations are correct.
You need to still create your equations in a way that they follow the basic rules of mathematical equations such as PEMDAS or BODMAS.
While these were just some of the misconceptions surrounding smart contracts, there is a plethora of them when you dig deeper into blockchain technology, digital wallets, programming languages, and the Ethereum platform in general.
The best thing that you can do is to work hard on increasing your knowledge about these areas instead of taking these myths and misconceptions on face value.
Assuming these to be true can not only be harmful when you are trying to learn but can also harbor a lot of anxiety about what you do not know. Read, and take courses to inform yourself about the technologies out there.