A Safety Assessment of ERC20 Standards

Speaker:  RK Shyamasundar – Mumbai, India
Topic(s):  Security and Privacy


Tokens are blockchain-based assets which can be exchanged across users of a blockchain platform. ERC20 defines a standard for the creation of a specific type, called ERC20 token, one of the most widely adopted tokens on Ethereum. ERC20 tokens are transferred through dedicated transactions
among Ethereum addresses, and managed by smart contracts. Smart contracts that manage ERC20 tokens have exhibited nondeterministic behaviour that has lead to issues of trust on its usage. 

In this talk, we discuss issues of nondeterminism of ERC20 smart contracts and provide an overview of the various attempts to overcome possible exploitation of such vulnerabilities in the deployment of ERC20 smart contract. We also illustrate that the main reason for the nondeterministic behaviour of ERC20 is its innate requirement of strong synchronization as compared to those of classical crypto-currencies. Treating ERC20 smart contract as a set of asynchronous interacting processes executing on a blockchain, we describe an approach that is common in classical programming language specification, and derive a set of conditions that need to be satisfied to achieve the required synchronization. We shall further indicate how such conditions can indeed be enforced in ERC20 smart contract.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  60
Duration:  60 minutes
Languages Available:  English
Last Updated: 

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