Here, you will get a short introduction to smart contracts.
Smart contracts (also known as cryptocontract) are often referred to as a threat towards the traditional legal industry, because it is a contract that can automatically execute its content online. It can be used when e.g. entering a contract with a media outlet regarding payment per click generated by your homepage. This way, you can enter a number of data points into the contract to implement automatic payment for every click generated by you.
In other words, smart contracts is a protocol that verifies, facilitates and executes a contract digitally and with nearly no human involvement. This way, you can avoid having to use a lawyer or a notary as middle man.
There are numerous ways to use smart contracts. You can integrate them into code to be replicated and supervised as part of a blockchain network. It is very common when trading with cryptocurrency. One benefit is, that it is very difficult to change or manipulate a smart contract simultaneously verified by many. On the other hand, the visibility of the smart contracts in question to anyone is a drawback.
You can also use a simpler automatic setup, such as Contractbook’s API-solution, but that is not a smart contract, technically speaking.