Prenup Built in Ethereum Smart Contract Rethinks Marriage Obligations

Two soon-to-be spouses published their wedding prenuptial agreement to the Ethereum blockchain in the form of an open-source smart contract.

AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2016 at 8:48 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:18 p.m. UTC

Thanks to a new prenuptial agreement uploaded to the Ethereum blockchain, your insistence on watching The Walking Dead could be a violable offense.

So, too, could the frequency at which you shop, the number of chores you do, and your preference to your mother’s spaghetti recipe over your spouse’s.

Designed by soon-to-be newlyweds Gaurang Torvekar and Sayalee Kaluskar, the open-source PrenupWithLove smart contract has been stored on the Ethereum network for anyone to see and use.

As Torvekar and Kaluskar wrote on their website:

"While talking about blockchains and its endless possibilities, we thought of using it to solve our day to day problems. As we are getting married this December, we immediately thought of a putting our pre-nup on the blockchain as a "smart" solution."

A prenuptial agreement effectively establishes the ground rules for a marriage before the ceremony takes place. Typically, couples use these agreements to dictate how shared assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.

How it works

To establish the arrangement, the couple uploaded a prenuptial template with the couple’s “covenants” onto the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). The contents of that document were then encoded into a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.

Before the contract is initiated, both parties must accept the terms and conditions by calling the method "accept" from their own personal IP addresses. Their acceptance is also stored within the contract.

The template agreement encoded in the contract lists a number of requirements to which the two must adhere.

These include the requirement that every 10 days, 100 minutes must be spent on a date night, that shopping sprees shall be limited to once per fortnight "unless it’s for food", and that Kaluskar must agree to watch The Walking Dead after Torvekar finishes watching every season of Seinfeld.

The future of smart contracts?

Over the past year, the idea of a smart contract that digitally triggers any number of events based on pre-agreed metrics has risen to prominence largely in the financial sector, where stock transfers could occur automatically based on criteria decided beforehand, for example.

But the legal status of these contracts is still largely debated. Ethereum Foundation advisor and author of Business Blockchain William Mougayar argued in April that smart contracts are currently not enforceable under the law, even if they do enable increased automation.

As the legal definition of smart contracts changes and entrepreneurs push the limits, other examples are also on the horizon, not just in finance, but in law and corporate governance.

Yet outside of those potential applications, for now, the technology is finding use in unlikely places, such as the forthcoming marriage for Torvekar, the co-founder and CTO of smart contracts startup Attores, and Kaluskar, who works as an art director at branding agency Ogilvy & Mather.

The couple wrote on their site:

"The next time when we have to decide which show to watch on Netflix, this is where we can find the tamper proof, single source of truth – that no coder or a photoshop master can manipulate."

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.