Research: Ethereum’s smart contracts lack diversity, and most contracts are generated through “replication”, which will cause potential risks to the ecosystem.

Ethereum's smart contract

A study pointed out that the lack of diversity in smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain may constitute a potential risk in the current booming blockchain ecosystem.

According to a report from the Northeastern University and the University of Maryland on October 31, a report entitled "Analysis of Ethereum Smart Contract Topology" claims that most Ethereum smart contracts are "direct or near direct replication of other intelligence. Contracts, if the copied smart contract contains vulnerable or flawed code, may expose the Ethereum ecosystem to potential risks.

Topology refers to the specific arrangement of members of the network and the form of network growth. The Ethereum blockchain belongs to a network, and the impact of smart contracts on the growth of the Ethereum network is also crucial.

Part of the research, supported by the National Science Foundation, analyzes the top 5 million blocks of the Ethereum network, which is the byte code of the Ethereum smart contract for nearly three years.

The researchers also collected and modified data through Ethereine virtual machines called geoth to find out the interaction between users and smart contracts, and to measure the importance, connectivity and contract failure of Ethereum smart contracts. .

Research: Ethereum smart contracts lack diversity

  • In terms of the importance of smart contracts, research indicates that although the cryptocurrency market has experienced a lot of speculative skyrocketing, its market capitalization and transaction pricing have grown more than 1000 times during the research period, but smart contract stability still accounts for one-third of the ether. Square trading.
  • The more research found that so far, the Ethereum smart contract "is created by other contracts three times the user's own creation." Many of these contracts are sub-currency contracts or are used to create new token contracts based on Ethereum.
  • In addition, more than 60% of smart contracts “have never interacted”, which means that there are a lot of dormant codes and tokens, and less than 10% of users create contracts that are unique, with 1.2 million user-created contracts. It can be divided into nearly 5,877 highly similar "groups". This high level of code reuse can easily affect thousands of other contracts.
  • The study shows that Ethereum's code is heavily reused, although copying the contract code is a simple way to participate in the Ethereum ecosystem, which may also be the reason for Ethereum to flourish today, however, if you want to copy errors or The attacked code also poses a potential risk, which may also have a "widespread impact" on Ethereum users.
  • "Intelligent contracts need more diversity" is the conclusion of this study. Considering the low diversity of Ethereum smart contracts is the potential risk of its entire blockchain ecosystem. The researchers mentioned that Ethere has been repeated many times. High-profile has become the protagonist of "security loopholes", and contract vulnerabilities have caused more than $170 million in cryptocurrencies to be frozen.
  • The study concluded that Ethereum's diverse implementation of the "core contract function" would provide "Ethernet with a deeper defense capability".
  • In addition to the most famous The DAO contract loophole caused by Ethereum hard fork, the recent large-scale exchange OKEx also had a serious contract loophole caused a lot of losses, Cai Wensheng's Mito cooperation company BEC smart contract? The hacker found the "BatchOverFlow" integer overflow vulnerability to attack, and transferred a large number of BEC tokens, resulting in a large number of BECs being sold in the market, causing heavy losses.

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