Subject. The article considers smart contracts as digital financial instruments, their financial and economic essence, which is defined as digital instruments for the settlement of financial relations. Objectives. The aim is to introduce into scientific use such a system concept as digital financial instruments and mechanisms based on the consideration of their economic, legal and financial essence. Methods. The study rests on systems approach that enables to present a smart contract from a technological, economic, legal and financial position as a set of elements with their specific functions defining its complex concept. Results. We reveal the nature of financial relations, arising at the time when bilateral or multilateral transactions are concluded and smart contracts are presented as ways to automatically settle them. Completion of a smart contract is a confirmation of the completion of the transaction and the moment of termination of financial relationship. The article shows the fundamental possibility of using smart contracts in the system of budget relations as a tool for the settlement of a multilateral transaction. Conclusions. Currently, smart contracts are an essential element of a new stage in the development of financial technologies. Specialists in the financial and banking sector recognize the emerging opportunities for their use in the system of financial relations. The paper shows an example of possible use of smart contracts in the settlement of budget relations and in improving the utilization efficiency of budget funds.
Keywords: smart contract, transaction, digital financial instrument, financial relations, efficiency
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