Quantstamp: Securing Smart Contracts

  • Episode 1

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Richard Ma and Don Ho from Quantstamp joined Zach DeWitt to discuss scalable smart contract security auditing.

A recent admit into Y Combinator’s Winter 2018 batch of startups, Quantstamp is building an automated protocol to audit smart contracts along a blockchain. It does this by using blockchain technology itself, in a manner akin to how Ethereum nodes provide for transactional authentication.

Here’s what we learned from them about smart contract security:

Most blockchains are secure, but smart contracts are not. 

There have been major hacks in the past, like the 2016 attack on The DAO that stole a third of the Ether from the organization. Quantstamp anticipates more attacks on smart contracts in the future; according to recent research, there are at least 32000 smart contracts with known security vulnerabilities in the wild right now.

Ethereum and other smart contract platforms are also growing exponentially. 

The ability of smart contracts to reduce transaction and enforcement costs for contractual agreements is very attractive. That feature will only draw more interest into smart contracts across the world.

The potential cost of smart contract failure is also growing. 

Greater adoption of smart contracts means a greater potential for higher losses from hacks. This means that building blockchain technology for smart contracts has to begin with security in mind, not with only scalability as a concern.

Security and reliability are crucial for the crypto ecosystem to continue growing. 

Quantstamp wants more people in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space to talk about security. There are so many promising possibilities for blockchain technology - imagine online video games running on blockchain - but if we don’t build them securely, we will lose interest from the general public.

Key takeaways:

  • Most blockchains are secure, but smart contracts are not
  • Ethereum and other smart contract platforms are also growing exponentially
  • The potential cost of smart contract failure is also growing, and
  • Security and reliability are crucial for the crypto ecosystem to continue growin