In last years I have read a lot about "Smart contracts".
But I cannot understand why we need bitcoin for this? The old-fashioned US Dollar are not used in Smart Contracts?
I guess it depends on what precisely counts as "self-executing" but escrow transactions are very similar and quite common, particularly in real estate and certain kinds of online transactions.
An escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed or other instrument by one party for the delivery to another party upon completion of a specific condition or event. It is an independent neutral account by which the interests of all parties to the transaction are protected.