From the moment it became apparent that blockchain technology had applications outside of virtual currencies, potentially replacing traditional contracts with “smart” contracts in domains like law, banking, voting, insurance or corporate governance, people have been struggling to understand how the technology would concretely work.
With the introduction of Ethereum “smart” contracts, created late in 2013 by 21-year-old Torontonian Vitalik Buterin, with a full public version of the platform finally arriving this past February, hype around uses of the blockchain, particularly Ethereum, has been breathless, even while most people wonder what it actually does.
One couple in Singapore, Gaurang Torvekar and Sayalee Kaluskar, have decided to draw up a template of their own prenuptial agreement that anyone can download and use for their own marriage.
Torvekar is co-founder and CTO for a start-up called Attores, which offers “Smart Contracts as a Service”, while Kaluskar is an Art Director at Ogilvy/Geometry Global’s Singapore branch.
“While talking about blockchains and its endless possibilities, we thought of using it to solve our day to day problems,” writes the couple on their website. “As we are getting married this December, we immediately thought of a putting our pre-nup on the blockchain as a ‘smart’ solution! So 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.”
The prenuptial template was uploaded to the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and has built-in “covenants”, including “that both parties should spend at least 100 minutes every 10 days on a date-night”, “that either party can go only on one shopping trip every fortnight unless its for food”, “that no party to this agreement shall claim that their recipe is better than that of the other party’s”, and that Kaluskar “acknowledges that she would watch Walking Dead with the husband after the husband completes watching all seasons of Seinfeld.”
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This may seem like a completely frivolous illustration of how blockchain Ethereum contracts are supposed to work, but the fun aspect of it appears to be the point for the couple.
“I and my fiance, Sayalee Kaluskar are getting married on 10th December 2016, and thought that this was a funny way to prove a point!” writes Torvekar.
“The architecture of this is simple,” he says. “I have put a document on IPFS which serves as a templates and has all the covenants of our prenup agreement. Then I have put all the variables from that document in a Smart Contract on the Ethereum blockchain. In the smart contract, both I and my fiance need to ‘accept’ the terms and conditions by calling the method ‘accept’ from our own personal addresses, which are again stored in the smart contract.”
— sayalee kaluskar (@sayaleekaluskar) May 31, 2016