The Ethereum Trust Alliance (ETA), a new initiative aiming to publicly record smart contract audit data, could help bridge the gap between regular users and an understanding of the risks smart contracts pose. Users that lack deep technical knowledge are at an acute disadvantage relative to technical persons who can understand solidity code, February 4, 2020.
Mitigating Smart Contract Risks for Users
After the DAO hack, nobody understood how someone had broken a smart contract. But everybody in the Ethereum community understood it was a technical experiment and anything could go wrong. The same risk exists today with the likes of DeFi and the rest of Ethereum’s smart contract stack.
While most protocols have undergone extensive audits to provide them with a clean bill of health, the results of this audit are binary for the average user: are there risks or are there not?
As a result, those without a deep technical understanding seem to write off these risks, or not even understand it from the get-go. Very few people knew Compound had a backdoor in their protocol until Ameen Soleimani’s article on the same. Investors in Oyster Protocol didn’t know the smart contractor didn’t have a director lock, leading to an exit scam by a founding member.
These risks are the biggest threat to smart contract adoption. Better tooling and intensive audits go a long way to mitigate these risks. The ETA’s goal of bringing that information to the average Joe can go a long way in streamlining the use of smart contracts.
Bringing Expertise to the Table
The ETA is not merely a group of Ethereum enthusiasts who want to provide this information to the public; they are members of Ethereum’s top auditors, highly skilled in their craft.
Representatives from Consensys, QuantStamp, MythX, and Runtime Verification are amongst the founding members.
Smart contracts are complex – especially for those without a coding background. So if these new-age applications want to scale for the real-world, the details of they run and the risks they possess need to be broken down for everyday users.
ETA’s proposed security ratings will bridge a much-desired knowledge gap for investors in the space.