In recent years, after the creation of Bitcoin and the launch of its first version in 2009, there have been many interesting projects that have been appearing, bringing new ideas and decentralized solutions to many of the processes or centralized applications that we all use today. Do you read smart contracts?This time we will talk about them in depth, mechanisms that aim to eliminate intermediaries to simplify processes in order to save costs to the consumer.This new article will be divided into three parts. First of all we will talk about the origin of smart contracts, later we will analyze the current situation and in the third place we will present some of the most important alternative projects to Bitcoin that are fully focused on smart contracts.What is a smart contract?To understand a smart contract we must first remember what a contract means. A contract is nothing more than an agreement between two or more parties, an environment where what can be done is defined, how can it be done, what happens if something is not done … That is, some rules of the game that allow all the parties that accept it, understand what the interaction they will perform will consist of.Until now the contracts have been verbal documents or expensive written documents, subject to the laws and territorial jurisdictions, and sometimes requiring notaries, that is, more costs and time. Something not accessible to anyone. And this is not the worst: the contents of the contracts may be subject to interpretation. Hold on!On the other hand, an intelligent contract is capable of being executed and enforced by itself, autonomously and automatically, without intermediaries or mediators. They avoid the burden of interpretation by not being verbal or written in the languages ??we speak. Smart contracts are “scripts” (computer codes) written with programming languages, the terms of the contract being pure sentences and commands in the code that forms it.On the other hand, a smart contract can be created and called by individuals and / or legal entities, but also by machines or other programs that work autonomously. A smart contract is valid, without depending on authorities, due to its nature: it is a code visible by all and can not be changed by existing on the blockchain technology, which gives it a decentralized, immutable and transparent nature.Do you realize the potential of this?It is important to point out that, being distributed by thousands of computers, it is avoided that a large company keeps them, which eliminates bureaucracy, censorship and the great costs / implicit times of this process that, incidentally, up to now is the cuotidiano.If we combine the principles of a smart contract with the creativity of many developers on the planet, the result is never-before-seen possibilities, accessible to all and at costs bordering on gratuity. Ecosystems without authoritarian figures that subject their members to their will. We speak of a more just world.Imagine a self-driven Tesla car, bought in a group, capable of self-management and renting by itself but without a Uber-type company behind taking 10%. Welcome to the world of smart contracts.The first smart contractsIt was in 1997 when the jurist and cryptographer Nick Szabo, for the first time in the world, defined in detail the concept of smart contract. Unfortunately, despite defining the theory, it was impossible to make it a reality with the existing technological infrastructure. In order for smart contracts to be executed, there must be programmable transactions and a financial system that recognizes them, digitally native.Precisely, what Nick defined as nonexistent in 1997, in 2009 becomes reality with the appearance of Bitcoin and its technology, the chain of blocks (blockchain).Bitcoin has some smart contracts already created that run by default and transparently to the user. When we talk about distribution contracts we refer to one of the cases of Bitcoin use to form agreements between people through the blockchain. And it is that Bitcoin, among all its advantages, allows adding logic to money, something unique to this type of money: it is programmable money. This logic applied to money allows us to solve common problems that we may encounter today, but increasing the level of trust throughout the automated process in which the interaction takes place.Exemplifying, new products or applications could be developed such as:Distributed markets that allow P2P contracts and trading in the Bitcoin markets to be postulated as a complete competitor to the current financial system.Properties such as automobiles, telephones, houses or non-physical elements controlled through the chain of blocks make up the named smart property. Through the use of contracts and with smart properties, the level of trust is allowed to be much higher, reducing fraud, mediation fees for third parties and allowing operations to be taken to a new level.Inheritance automation establishing the allocation of assets after death. As soon as the death came, the contract would come into force and would be executed by distributing the funds in this case to the address established in the contract.Insurance: Accident parties, company payments for repairs, reduction of accident fraud, …And it is that smart contracts use Bitcoin technology to exist, something that is great for Bitcoin, because it is getting much more attention by bringing hundreds of thousands of new users to its ecosystem. In fact it is not difficult to find affirmations of the type: “Smart contracts are the bitcoin killer APP”This logic that can be applied to Bitcoin transactions is done through the use of a whole language of its own, allowing the blockchain itself to determine what to do based on the programmed indications. This means that we have a transaction with instructions in a distributed and immutable way, giving complete security and without interpretations.