As follow-up of this question, should we rename the tag to ?

  • It's two words and should be seperated by a dash.
  • It should be plural, like .
  • It should be a synonym to .

Here is how.

3 Answers 3


Update: I'm leaving this answer for better understanding, but after Jeff's explanation, I think his suggestion is better.


I disagree about the last point. I'd turn it around: should be a synonym of . "Contracts" might get be mistaken for the meatspace usage of the word, so is less ambiguous.

  • I agree smart-contracts has less potential for being ambiguous. In general, you should try to default to the "more complete" version of a tag unless the abbreviated version has become soooo pervasive, that the full version sounds completely unnatural (For example: IBM (natural) vs International-Business-Machines (almost unheard of). Jan 24, 2016 at 19:33
  • There are some problems with this approach. For example, "smart contracts" is a term that predates the blockchain era and doesn't exactly match the "smart agents" that live in the ethereum blockchain. Even Vitalik wishes he hadn't originally called them contracts, but we're stuck with that terminology now, so there's no avoiding it. As a result, we have a situation where "contracts" is a term for a specific technical element in Ethereum, and "smart contracts" is a broad term for setting up self-enforcing business relationships, whether taking advantage of ethereum contracts or not. Jan 25, 2016 at 1:50
  • 1
    @RobertCartaino looks like the synonym went in backwards to what the group consensus was here. Can you either switch it or delete it so I can suggest the opposite direction for the synonym? Jan 26, 2016 at 8:23
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    @RobertCartaino: To make it explicit, contracts should be the main tag.
    – Murch
    Jan 26, 2016 at 8:37
  • @murch why suddenly? I agree with your original post that 'contracts' might be mistaken.
    – q9f
    Jan 26, 2016 at 9:43
  • @5chdn: I found Jeff's explanation more convincing than my own superficial understanding what the difference between a contract and a smart-contract is. But I get the feeling that I should perhaps abstain from this discussion then.
    – Murch
    Jan 26, 2016 at 10:39

My preferred solution is for the "smart contracts" tag to simply be removed. It's not a good tag anyways given its broad interpretation and complicated history. What would we lose by simply replacing any "smart contracts" tag with the "contracts" tag? Honestly I can't think of any disadvantage to doing that.

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    I was not aware of the history of the term. In that case I would rather go with Jeff's suggestion and explain it in the tag wiki of contracts. To make sure "smart-contracts" remains removed, I'd synonymize it into contracts.
    – Murch
    Jan 25, 2016 at 8:13

I was assuming "contracts" was going to be the tag and was surprised when the merge ended with "smart-contracts". I don't think there's much history being "damaged" by Ethereum's use of "smart-contracts". I'd say in this initial phase, keeping the word "smart" is helpful, as @RobertCartaino suggests.

There's also talk of potential terms such as "smart wallet" and "smart accounts" https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/42f8qk/new_people_remember_the_difference_between_a_mist/

So unimplemented ideas in history may have to give way to actual implemented technology.

  • I spend a lot of time consulting in industry, and the term "smart contracts" is right now being applied to a massive range of stuff besides Ethereum's "contract" concept. Regardless of what we may or may not want the term to be, I can assure you that in vast swaths of the market the term simply means something different than "piece of code that runs in the Ethereum blockchain". We need a term for the latter, whereas it's not clear to me this stack exchange needs a word/tag for the vague and confusing popular notion of "smart contract." Removing it will clarify the scope of myriad questions. Jan 26, 2016 at 15:16
  • To sum up, the entire problem with the adjective "smart" is that it's applied to almost everything, diluting it into basically a marketing term. It doesn't add meaning. Everyone calls their thing a "smart" thing. Jan 26, 2016 at 15:24
  • What do the "vast swaths of the market" associate a smart contract with? Are there any major parts of the market that don't associate a smart contract with a blockchain? A Google search for "smart contract" shows the majority are related to a blockchain. Other parts of the market diluting the term "smart contract" doesn't make it less relevant to Ethereum.
    – eth Mod
    Jan 26, 2016 at 19:33
  • At this stage, "smart contract" can still (and I'd argue does) add meaning. It seems informative for the market if it can see that there is one notion of "smart contract" that is relatively consistent and "strong", so that the term does retain meaning.
    – eth Mod
    Jan 26, 2016 at 19:40

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