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This article does not constitute legal advice.

Smart contracts in Austria

Fintech Software

There is no specific regulation of blockchain technology in Austria. The FMA considers the current legislation to be technology neutral.1

There is currently no special legal framework in place for self-executing contracts ('if this then that' (IFTTT)). Any such smart contract would therefore need to fit into existing Austrian civil law rules on contract formation, rights and remedies, enforcement and potential termination or dissolution. When using smart contracts, various legal uncertainties will exist: from the choice of law, to jurisdiction in the case of conflict, to questions of warranties and potentially the need to reverse a transaction.1

Bearing in mind the above, smart contracts appear as suitable instruments to execute certain transactions that have been agreed off-chain (e.g., a smart contract to execute a sale and purchase of tokens). In this case, the smart contract itself does not establish the obligation but rather the automation of the smart contract (IFTTT) enables automatic settlement.1

Like any other form of contract, if one party wishes to enforce its rights under the contract in Austria, it will need to prove that the other party in fact entered into it. It is largely unclear how such evidence capable of standing up before an Austrian court could be produced in the case of self-executing contracts (smart contracts), but this is ultimately a question about what is technically feasible to prove the identity of the contracting parties; for example, the implementation of an authentic electronic signature.1

Client identification in Austria

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Austrian Fintech Lawyers

Silvia Calls

Silvia Calls

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Denis Polyakov

Denis Polyakov

Comprehensive legal services for businesses on corporate, tax law, cryptocurrency legislation, investment activities

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Kristina Berkes

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  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/austria
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