How to Develop Secure Smart Contracts: 5 Best Practices and Tips
As blockchain technology continues to evolve, so does the potential for smart contracts. These smart contracts are self-executing and can enforce the terms of an agreement without the need for a third party.
This makes them a very appealing option for businesses and individuals looking to conduct transactions in a secure and trustless manner. However, before you can develop your own smart contracts, you need to understand the best practices and tips for creating secure code.
Moving forward with this article, we'll discuss some best practices and tips for creating safe and reliable smart contracts. We'll even suggest some tips for testing your smart contracts safely.
Why is Smart Contract Security Important?
Smart contracts are often used to conduct transactions worth large sums of money. And so, it is imperative that they be developed securely and ensure that they cannot be tampered with.
If a smart contract were to be hacked, the funds could be stolen or diverted to an unintended recipient. This could cause serious financial damage to the parties involved.
Additionally, precise transaction categorization within smart contracts is necessary to guarantee proper cash allocation and avoid any unauthorized or unintended usage.
Risks Associated With Smart Contracts:
Smart contracts have a lot of advantages but are also prone to some risks. One of the biggest risks is that smart contracts are immutable and cannot be changed once they have been deployed. This implies that if the smart contract malfunctions after it is deployed, there is no way to fix it.
Some of them are:
- Indirect execution of unknown code
- Redundant transaction entries
- Miscalculations with the output token amount
- Dependency on the order of transaction execution
- Incorrectly handling exceptions
How to Secure Your Smart Contract?
- Follow best practices when coding your smart contract.
- Thoroughly test your code before deploying it.
- Perform smart contract audits
- Perform static code analysis and penetration testing
- Use automated tools, scanners and debuggers
Best Practices For Creating Secure Smart Contracts:
- Use a rigorous testing process: It is important to test your smart contracts thoroughly before deploying them. This includes security and functional testing.
- Deploy and test them on a testnet: Before uploading your smart contract on the mainnet, you should always deploy your smart contracts on a testnet first. This will allow you to catch any errors or bugs before they lead to any losses or perform unwanted actions.
- Use a solidity compiler with debugging capabilities: When writing your smart contracts in Solidity, it is important to use a good compiler. A quality compiler will help you catch any errors in your code and ensure that your contracts are safe and reliable as well as help you to catch any errors in your code.
- Add exception handling to the functions: All the functions in your smart contract should have exception handling. This will help to prevent any unforeseen errors from causing damage to your contract.
- Use secure libraries: When using a library, it is important to make sure that it is from a trusted source. You should also check the code of the library to ensure that it is secure.
Tips For Testings Smart Contracts:
Deploy them on the testnet first: It's critical to test your contracts on a test network before putting them live on the mainnet. This should enable you to detect any flaws or malfunctions with it before they become a serious issue.
Review the code (static code analysis): Always inspect the code of the smart contract to find insecure coding practices, bugs, and errors. This will help you to understand how the smart contract works as well as identify any coding errors.
Use testing tools: Tools like Mythril Manticore, Echidna, etc. are great for testing and debugging smart contracts.
Check for known vulnerabilities: The SWC Registry records any known vulnerabilities that have persisted. When testing, start with the flaws listed there and tests for each one.
Perform penetration testing: Once your smart contract is ready for deployment perform penetration testing. This can help you seek out vulnerabilities that may only be detected while the smart contract is running.
Use companies that specialize in development: By researching popular web3 development services you can learn about the nuances of smart contract development. This will allow you to consult with experts before you start testing smart contracts
Developing secure smart contracts is important for anyone looking to use this technology. By following the best practices and tips mentioned above, you can create safe and reliable code. Additionally, testing your code thoroughly before deployment is essential.
By doing so, you will be able to avoid any major blunders and secure your smart contract in every way possible.
November 7, 2023