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Smart Contract Audits: Shielding Web3 Against Billion-Dollar Hacks

$4 Billion Lost in Web3 Hacks: Why Smart Contract Audits are Imperative

In a tumultuous year for Web3, nearly $4 billion vanished due to hacks, with decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms taking the brunt of the damage. The primary culprits? Bugs, vulnerabilities, and issues within the underlying smart contracts that power these services. But hope shines bright: Developers possess a potent weapon against these assaults—intelligent contract auditing. As this critical tool gains prominence, developers and regular investors should consider audits to make informed investment choices.

The Urgent Need for Smart Contract Audits

The cataclysmic outcomes of unaudited or partially reviewed code have become all too evident. Look no further than the Terra-Luna debacle, where auditors missed a comprehensive understanding of the system’s behavior under real-world economic conditions, leading to a catastrophic collapse. As DeFi and Web3 aim for global adoption by billions of users, the glaring issue arises: How can platforms managing billions in funds grapple with severe vulnerabilities? The answer lies in scrutinizing intelligent contracts—a blockchain’s code defining the interactions between assets and scaffolds. Given the immutability of blockchains, perfect code execution is paramount. Any lapses could result in massive value losses.

A Robust Shield: The Smart Contract Audit


To avert disasters, most Web3 projects adhere to a rigorous code audit process before deploying their systems. Experts meticulously dissect smart contracts, hunting for logic flaws, interaction problems, and potential vulnerabilities. Although internal audits are possible, a third-party assessment is preferred for impartiality and thoroughness.

Audits: Balancing Expertise and Automation

While audits are mainly manual processes, technology and automation bolster their effectiveness. Human experts take a comprehensive approach: understanding the project’s objectives and assessing specific code segments under diverse conditions. The audit findings are compiled, reviewed, and shared with the development team and the public.

Empowering Users through Audits

Audit reports are a safety net for developers, ensuring they don’t launch faulty services. However, their value extends to users and investors. By perusing these reports, users gain insight into inherent risks, gauge the platform’s transparency, and refine their investment choices. A lack of quality audits should be considered a red flag, as credible projects prioritize security and transparency.

Cracking the Audit Code: Key Components

When reviewing an audit, expect to find critical components like project details, intelligent contract addresses, compiler version info, blockchain details, and external assumptions. Monitoring the version of the audited code is crucial, as post-audit changes might introduce vulnerabilities.

The Heart of the Audit: Bug Findings

Audit results highlight bug discoveries, offer descriptions, and suggest fixes. Severity categories, ranging from minor to critical, help prioritize fixes. Some audits even rank the likelihood of exploitation, aiding developers in managing threats effectively. A user-friendly summary in plain English outlines the project’s health, catering to a broader audience.

The Common Threats Uncovered

Intelligent contract vulnerabilities can vary widely, leading to diverse issues. For instance, contracts granting token minting or burning authority must be meticulously coded to prevent attackers from generating or destroying assets. The Nomad Bridge exploit showcased how flawed transaction verification led to millions in losses.

A Safer Future with Audits

As the crypto industry strives to mend its reputation and thwart ongoing hacking trends, the value of trusted third-party audits is unmistakable. Developers, users, and investors stand to gain from this critical defense mechanism. Embracing smart contract audits is how the crypto world ensures a secure, trustworthy journey beyond 2023 and achieves the public’s trust.


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