Chain It Right: On-Chain Audits with ERC-7512

Chain It Right: On-Chain Audits with ERC-7512

Chain It Right: On-Chain Audits with ERC-7512

Chain It Right: On-Chain Audits with ERC-7512

Chain It Right: On-Chain Audits with ERC-7512

Read Time: 5 minutes

TL;DR

ERC-7512 is a groundbreaking standard that automates and standardizes audit report representation on Ethereum’s blockchain. It enhances transparency, enables trust in audits, and saves time. This standard can transform smart contract security by providing a structured, on-chain audit verification method.

The third quarter of 2023 has seen unprecedented financial losses, with an astonishing $800M worth of digital assets lost across 190 security incidents. Among these contract vulnerabilities was ranking third with a $93.27M loss spread over 22 incidents.

This stark reality underscores the importance of auditing smart contracts to uncover vulnerabilities.

However, as crucial as auditing is, manual verification of audit reports can be time-consuming and demands extensive effort.

But there’s good news – the ERC-7512 token standard!

This standard aims to reshape smart contract security by standardizing how audit reports are represented on Ethereum’s blockchain.

So, this article will take you on a journey to explore the emergence of ERC-7512 and its far-reaching implications in the blockchain ecosystem.

Emergence of ERC-7512

ERC-7512 addresses one of the persistent challenges of smart contract security in blockchain. Created by experts from organizations like Safe, Ackee Blockchain, OtterSec, ChainSecurity, OpenZeppelin, and more, ERC-7512 aims to bring standardization to the representation of audit reports directly on Ethereum’s blockchain.

At its core, ERC-7512 introduces a standardized, on-chain approach to verifying audits.

With ERC-7512, users and decentralized applications (dApps) can now independently verify audits conducted by reputable auditors, laying the foundation for an on-chain reputation system for auditors. 

What Exactly ERC-7512 Does?

  • ERC-7512 standardizes how audit reports are represented directly on Ethereum’s blockchain.
  • It defines a structured format for storing audit information on-chain, making it easily accessible and verifiable by smart contracts.
  • By this, it allows anyone to programmatically confirm that rigorous audits have been conducted by reputable auditors. 

As we emphasize the urgent need for smart contract security

As blockchain technology evolves, advancements such as bridges and tokenized assets increasingly rely on smart contracts. With the growing complexity of these innovations, ensuring a high level of contract security has become imperative.

This is where audits are instrumental in bolstering the security framework of smart contracts and ensuring compliance with established ERC standards like ERC-20 and ERC-721. 

Below are some of the components of blockchain that highly depend on smart contracts:

Bridges in blockchain facilitate cross-chain asset transfers and can be disrupted if their contracts contain vulnerabilities. Not to mention, since June 2016, $2.5M in assets have been stolen through bridge hacks. 

The next critical one is tokens in the Ethereum ecosystem, which functions using smart contracts. Applications interacting with these tokens rely on their adherence to known token standards. Deviating behavior in tokens can result in financial losses, erode user trust, and hinder the overall growth and innovation of the ecosystem.

So, as we see, the increasing role of smart contracts in decentralized apps insists on the need for concrete security guarantees and enhanced composability.

Imagine if there’s an on-chain verification method to confirm that a contract has undergone a thorough audit; this would undeniably be a valuable addition to improving the reliability of contracts. 

Core Components of ERC-7512

ERC-7512 standardizes the representation of audit reports on-chain and encompasses details, which include:

Audit Properties:

  • Auditor: This includes the name of the auditor, which is displayed to users.
  • URI: A URI is provided to retrieve more information about the auditor.
  • Authors: A list of authors who contributed to the audit, typically those who audited the contracts and generated the audit report.

Audit:

  • Auditor: Information about the auditor.
  • AuditedContract: This must include the chainId and deployment details of the contract related to the audit.
  • IssuedAt: This field contains information about when the original audit (identified by the auditHash) was issued.
  • ERCs: A list of ERCs implemented by the target contract is furnished here
  • AuditHash: The hash of the original audit, allowing on-chain verification of information related to a specific audit.
  • AuditURI: This should point to a source where the audit report can be retrieved.

Contract:

  • ChainId: This must be a bytes32 representation of the EIP-155 chain ID of the blockchain where the contract has been deployed.
  • Deployment: Representation of the contract’s deployment address.

All these components work harmoniously to provide a comprehensive and standardized representation of audit reports on Ethereum’s blockchain.

Benefits of ERC-7512: A Pathway to Transparency and Trust in Smart Contracts

Transparency: It enhances transparency and accountability by recording key audit details on-chain, leaving no room for doubts about the audit process.

Security Innovation: It lays the groundwork for security innovations like auditor reputation systems and facilitates secure interoperability between protocols and dApps.

Time and Effort Savings: ERC-7512 eliminates the need for manual audit verification, saving significant time and effort.

Auditor Reputation: It enables the creation of reputation systems based on verifiable audit history, enhancing trust in auditors.

Future-Ready: Designed for iterative enhancements, ERC-7512 can adapt to evolving blockchain needs, including support for more standards and improved audit handling for complex contracts.

Scope for future extensions

ERC-7512 is designed to lay the foundation for ongoing enhancements to meet the evolving needs of the blockchain ecosystem, which include:

1. Support for More Blockchain Standards and Networks: ERC-7512 could expand its support to encompass additional blockchain standards and networks, ensuring a broader range of smart contracts benefit from standardized audit representations.

2. Improved Handling of Polymorphic and Proxy Contracts: As smart contract complexity grows, addressing the unique challenges posed by polymorphic and proxy contracts will be essential for maintaining security.

3. Management of Signing Keys Associated with Auditors: Efficient key management for auditors can further enhance the security and trustworthiness of the audit process.

To Summarize,

ERC-7512 is not merely a token standard but a pivotal development in the realm of smart contract security.

At QuillAudits, we are at the forefront of web3 security, offering smart contract audits for various blockchains. Our mission is to secure your code from potential breaches and safeguard your assets in the web3 world. With standards like ERC-7512 and our commitment to security, the future of blockchain will grow safer and more resilient than ever before.

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