A lack of diversity in Ethereum smart contracts poses risks to the entire ecosystem, the report said
A lack of diversity in Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts poses a threat to the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem, according to a study by a group of analysts from Northeastern University and the University of Maryland published on October 31st.
The paper, titled “Analyzing Ethereum’s Contract Topology,” claims that most of Ethereum’s smart contracts are “direct or near-copies of other contracts,” which poses a potential risk if a copied smart contract contains vulnerable or flawed code.
The study, which is partially supported by the US National Science Foundation, analyzed the bytecodes of Ethereum’s smart contracts during their first 5 million blocks, covering nearly a three-year period since the cryptocurrency was introduced in 2015. The researchers also collected and modified data on Ethereum’s virtual machine, called Geth, to log all interactions between contracts and their users.
To date, Ethereum smart contracts are “three times likely to be created by other contracts” than by users, according to the study. In addition, over 60 percent of contracts were “never interacted” while less than 10 percent of user-supported contracts are unique. The investigation found that there is significant code re-use on Ethereum that allegedly can have a “far-reaching impact on the Ethereum user population”, although this is likely also a “driving force behind Ethereum’s success”.
Given the small variety of smart contracts on Ethereum as a potential risk to the entire blockchain ecosystem, the researchers mentioned that Ethereum has been the subject of “high profile bugs” several times, resulting in cryptocurrencies worth over $ 170 million were frozen. The study concluded that multiple implementations of the “core contract functionality” on Ethereum would eventually provide “a greater defense in depth for Ethereum”.
Ethereum was developed by Vitalik Buterin and is a public, open source blockchain-based platform that offers smart contracts as well as the native cryptocurrency Ether. Ethereum was launched on July 30, 2015 and is now the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization at around $ 20.6 billion, with a price of $ 200 at press time.
In mid-October, Cointelegraph reported a security breach involving Ethereum smart contracts that caused the adult entertainment platform SpankChain and its users to lose around $ 38,000.
In April 2018, OKEX, now the second largest crypto exchange, suspended all ERC20 token deposits after discovering a “new smart contract bug” that reportedly allowed hackers to “generate an extremely large amount of tokens and to deposit them at a normal address ”. . “