Prenup Built in Ethereum Smart Contract Rethinks Marriage Obligations
PrenupWithLove is an open-source smart contract can be uploaded to and stored on the Ethereum Blockchain. Designed by a soon-to-be-newlyweds, Gaurang Torvekar and Sayalee Kaluskar, they hope that by putting their prenup on the Blockchain, they can solve their nightly Netflix conflict (and no, I am not joking, but I wish they were).
Firstly, for this to make news on CoinDesk I can only assume that this particular day was a slow news day.
A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is a legal agreement/contract undertaken by a couple before marriage, which establishes the property and financial rights of each spouse in the event of a divorce… okay, gotcha.
Out of curiosity (and if I’m honest, nosiness), I took a look at their prenup – I mean, this is history, right? The first ever prenup to be stored on the Etheruem Blockchain is kind of a big deal – and what I found was a half page document stipulating how long date nights should be and who will do the chores… not exactly a prenup and not exactly what I was expecting when I saw this “news”.
“While talking about blockchains and its endless possibilities, we thought of using it to solve our day to day problems. As we are getting married this December, we immediately thought of a putting our prenup on the blockchain as a “smart” solution.”
I’m no relationship expert, but personally I think a “smarter” solution would be couples counselling.
I honestly thought it was a joke. It’s definitely not a prenup – it’s what I would call a relationship agreement (think Sheldon and Amy from The Big Bang Theory) and whilst most couples will have something similar, they don’t go round storing it on the Blockchain. Apart from short-term publicity, it achieves nothing. Whilst an accessible-to-all prenup template on the Blockchain may seem like the solution to a (pretty small) problem, it actually creates a new, bigger problem: it won’t be a legal document until the Blockchain is acknowledged by the Government.
To establish the arrangement, the couple uploaded a prenuptial template with the couple’s “covenants” onto the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). The contents of that document were then encoded into a smart contract on the Ethereum Blockchain.
Before the contract is initiated, both parties must accept the terms and conditions by calling the method “accept” from their own personal IP addresses. Their acceptance is also stored within the contract.
The template agreement encoded in the contract lists a number of requirements to which the two must adhere.
Having read through the process of how it works, I can’t help but think that this is just another “great use case” for blockchain technology that is, in fact, making something that is already quite simple so much harder.
“The next time when we have to decide which show to watch on Netflix, this is where we can find the tamper proof, single source of truth – that no coder or a Photoshop master can manipulate.”
Why just not flip a coin or draw straws? They are merely trying to solve a problem with Blockchain that doesn’t exist.
2015 was the “Year of the Blockchain” with VC interest and investment shifting from Bitcoin (Bitcoin was so 2014) to Blockchain. I feel that along the way, people have gotten lost in the hype, confusing the Blockchain (public/open e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum) and blockchain technology (private/closed).
The term “blockchain” is thrown around a lot and yet it seems that nobody really knows what to do with it. Not only are prenups now stored on the Blockchain, but people are getting married on the Blockchain and registering the birth of their children on the Blockchain. Every week, a new blockchain concept appears in the news, but very few of these concepts actually progress any further. This technology really does has massive potential, but for now, cryptocurrency seems to remain the only real-world use case.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here represent those of the contributor, not necessarily those of CoinCorner.
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