Legal Aspects and Emerging Risks in the Use of Smart Contracts Based on Blockchain

  • Yeray Mezquita
  • Diego Valdeolmillos
  • Alfonso González-BrionesEmail author
  • Javier Prieto
  • Juan Manuel Corchado
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 1027)


Although the majority application of Blockchain Technologies (BT) are in the field of cryptocurrencies, they are gradually spreading to other services where a decentralized, reliable and immutable model makes sense. One of the fields where the use of Blockchain Technologies is spreading the most is in Smart Contracts, computer programs which are executed in the blockchains establishing a collection of clauses between the participating parties that agree to interact with each other and that are executed automatically at the moment in which these clauses are fulfilled. As it is a computer code, both the client and the service provider cannot misinterpret the agreed clauses, facilitating and verifying the agreement of the contract. This article will review existing applications and reviews the main vulnerabilities of Smart Contracts deployed within Blockchain Technologies. It also reviews the legal implications of the use of these technologies.


Smart contracts Blockchain Legal aspects Review 



This work is supported by the Salamanca Ciudad de Cultura y Saberes Foundation under the Atracción del Talento programme (CHROMOSOME project). The research of Yeray Mezquita is supported by the pre-doctoral fellowship from the University of Salamanca and Banco Santander.


  1. 1.
    Aitzhan, N.Z., Svetinovic, D.: Security and privacy in decentralized energy trading through multi-signatures, blockchain and anonymous messaging streams. IEEE Trans. Dependable Secure Comput. 15(5), 840–852 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Castor, A.: One of Ethereum’s earliest smart contract languages is headed for retirement., last accessed 2019/01/15
  3. 3.
    Anon, ERC20 Token Standard. ERC20 Token Standard-The Ethereum WikiGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Blockchain Oracles Explained. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  5. 5.
    Buterin, V.: CRITICAL UPDATE Re: DAO Vulnerability - Ethereum Blog. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  6. 6.
    Buterin, V.: A next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform. White paper (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Casado-Vara, R.: Blockchain-based distributed cooperative control algorithm for WSN monitoring. In: Rodríguez, S., et al. (eds.) DCAI 2018. AISC, vol. 801, pp. 414–417. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Casado-Vara, R.: New approach to power system grid security with a blockchain-based model. In: Rodríguez, S., et al. (eds.) DCAI 2018. AISC, vol. 801, pp. 418–421. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar
  9. 9.
    Casado-Vara, R.: Stochastic approach for prediction of WSN accuracy degradation with blockchain technology. In: Rodríguez, S., et al. (eds.) DCAI 2018. AISC, vol. 801, pp. 422–425. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Casado-Vara, R., Corchado, J.M.: Blockchain for democratic voting: how blockchain could cast off voter fraud. Orient. J. Comput. Sci. Technol. 11(1) (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Casado-Vara, R., Chamoso, P., De la Prieta, F., Prieto, J., Corchado, J.M.: Non-linear adaptive closed-loop control system for improved efficiency in IoT-blockchain management. Inf. Fusion 49, 227–239 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Casado-Vara, R., de la Prieta, F., Prieto, J., Corchado, J.M.: Blockchain framework for IoT data quality via edge computing. In: Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Blockchain-enabled Networked Sensor Systems, pp. 19–24. ACM(2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Casado-Vara, R., González-Briones, A., Prieto, J., Corchado, Juan M.: Smart contract for monitoring and control of logistics activities: pharmaceutical utilities case study. In: Graña, M., et al. (eds.) SOCO’18-CISIS’18-ICEUTE’18 2018. AISC, vol. 771, pp. 509–517. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar
  14. 14.
    Casado-Vara, Roberto, Prieto, Javier, Corchado, Juan M.: How blockchain could improve fraud detection in power distribution grid. In: Graña, Manuel, et al. (eds.) SOCO’18-CISIS’18-ICEUTE’18 2018. AISC, vol. 771, pp. 67–76. Springer, Cham (2019). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Casado-Vara, R., Prieto, J., De la Prieta, F., Corchado, J.M.: How blockchain improves the supply chain: case study alimentary supply chain. Proc. Comput. Sci. 134, 393–398 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chamoso, P., González-Briones, A., Rodríguez, S., Corchado, J.M.: Tendencies of technologies and platforms in smart cities: a state-of-the-art review. Wirel. Commun. Mob. Comput. (2018)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chavez-Dreyfuss, G.: Sweden tests blockchain technology for land registry. Reuters (2016).
  18. 18.
    DIRECTIVA 2000/31/CE DEL PARLAMENTO EUROPEO Y DEL CONSEJO de 8 de junio de 2000. Accessed 13 Jan 2019
  19. 19.
    González-Briones, A., De La Prieta, F., Mohamad, M., Omatu, S., Corchado, J.: Multi-agent systems applications in energy optimization problems: a state-of-the-art review. Energies 11(8), 1928 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Grincalaitis, M.: The ultimate guide to audit a smart contract + most dangerous attacks in Solidity. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  21. 21. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  22. 22.
    del Moral, I.L.: Blockchain en el ámbito registral. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  23. 23.
    Introduction to Smart Contracts—Solidity 0.4.23 documentation. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  24. 24.
    Mengelkamp, E., et al.: Designing microgrid energy markets: a case study: the Brooklyn microgrid. Appl. Energy 210, 870–880 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zuckerman, M.J.: Swedish government land registry soon to conduct first blockchain property transaction. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  26. 26.
    Nakamoto, S.: Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Nikolic, I., et al.: Finding the greedy, prodigal, and suicidal contracts at scale. arXiv preprint arXiv:1802.06038 (2018)
  28. 28.
    Oliver, A.: Colombia launches time-saving blockchain land registry pilot project. Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  29. 29.
    Oraclize Documentation. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  30. 30.
    Palladino, Santiago. “The parity wallet hack explained.”, Accessed 15 Jan 2019
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
    Script - Bitcoin Wiki., Accessed 11 Jan 2019
  33. 33.
    Szabo, N.: Formalizing and securing relationships on public networks. First Monday 2(9) (1997)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Szabo, N.: Secure property titles with owner authority (1998).
  35. 35.
    Szabo, N.: Smart contracts: building blocks for digital markets. EXTROPY: J. Transhumanist Thought (16), 18 (1996)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Zhang, Y., Wen, J.: The IoT electric business model: using blockchain technology for the internet of things. Peer-to-Peer Netw. Appl. 10(4), 983–994 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BISITE Research GroupUniversity of SalamancaSalamancaSpain
  2. 2.Air Institute IoT Digital Innovation Hub (Spain)SalamancaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Electronics, Information and Communication Faculty of EngineeringOsaka Institute of TechnologyOsakaJapan
  4. 4.Pusat Komputeran dan InformatikUniversiti Malaysia KelantanKota BharuMalaysia

Personalised recommendations