Ex-Ante Search Negotiation Commitment Ex-Post Performance Adjudication
Smart contracts often involve trusted third parties, exemplified by an intermediary, who is involved in the performance, and an adjudicator, who is invoked to resolve disputes arising out of performance (or lack thereof). Intermediaries can operate during search, negotiation, commitment, and/or performance. Hidden knowledge, or adverse selection, occurs ex-ante; hidden actions (moral hazards) occur ex-post.
Here are some examples of contemporary electronic commerce activities and the phases of contracting they deal with:
EDI commitment, performance Contract drafting negotiations Web surfing search Payment performance Online exchange search, negotiation, commitment "I agree" button commitment