Design Considerations For Blockchain Smart Contracts
We are residing in a fast-evolving and dynamic age, where technology is drastically moving forward. A lot of technologies exist out there, but blockchains are expected to transform businesses across the world. The explanation of the blockchain mechanism is incomplete without smart contracts.
Smart contracts are computer codes that run on the blockchain stack’s top. Smart contracts can be considered as the step towards progressing blockchain apps. This article will showcase the design considerations for blockchain smart contracts development.
The process to create smart contracts:
For creating smart contracts, follow the given below steps:
A smart contract needs to be defined: The agreement needs to be defined at first, and the agreement’s terms must be established by the stakeholders., just like Ethereum contract creation.
Then you will have to define the parties included in contract execution, and then the consensus strategy needs to be determined. Also, you must prioritize future smart code change/upgrading scenarios so that scope is established for such situations.
The design of smart contracts: Then, you need to design the contract. Start with determining the events having potential for triggering the contact’s implementation.
In case the execution feasibility is impacted by input, it needs to be examined.
The underlying blockchain platform’s limitation (s) needs to be identified. The data elements need to be defined, and according to the logic of the business, the conditions of execution must be set.
The business logic needs to be coded: For representing the intended contract of the business, the codes’ set is tested and developed. And the secure authentication and messaging’s protocol will be established between all the parties within the contract.
Execution: The value’s flow is determined by the contracts’ terms. And on an immutable blockchain ledger, the output is stored.
The network is to be updated: After the execution of the contract, each of the ledger nodes will get updated inside the newly acquired state. And a new update can be appended.
The key principles for designing smart contracts:
Every reputed smart contract development company recommends following the below-given key principles for designing smart contracts.
Coherent and simple code of smart contract:
Make sure that your contract within the question can solve the problem of an individual. This will simplify things and will help to prevent code and design errors.
The necessary data must only be kept:
Only for the system that needs decentralization, blockchain smart contracts are to be used. The application data needs to be analyzed, and they need to be separated into off-chain and on-chain data.
The state variables need to be designed well for making the storage of smart contracts much more efficient, particularly for on-chain data. The top-level applications will manage the off-chain data.
However, the smart contract service provider must ensure not to allow the smart contract to store confidential information.
Gas-costly patterns are needed to be avoided:
The users and creators of under-optimized smart contracts will always be overcharged while running and deploying because more gas is consumed than needed.
Preparation for failure:
Your smart contract must be capable enough for responding to vulnerabilities and errors.
So, you need to insert code/rules for pausing the contract during an observed deviation. A limit must be set on how much money is handled by the contract, and the risks are confined.
A provision for bug fixes, improvement, and upgrades must be there.
Focus on Oracle:
The contract can amend itself with the help of Oracles by considering external feeds from reliable sources. But you need to stay cautious for the external contract calls.
Design for preventing the re-entry of an attack:
Whenever possible, external calls need to be avoided because untrusted calls can come up with multiple unexpected errors and risks. The internal works need to be finished first before calling the external functions.
Design for DOS attack:
Make use of pull for external calls to avoid DOS attacks. Create a withdrawal or pull mechanism for obtaining funds to circumvent the DOS attack.
Timestamps are imprecise:
Timestamps must not be utilized because timestamps are not incidental. And when it comes to contract expiration time, it needs to be avoided.
Select data type appropriately:
Before opting for smart contract development services, an examination of the type of data needs to be done, and only the suitable ones are to be chosen.
The visibility modifier needs to be understood:
Anyone can view any variable residing on the blockchain independent of any visibility modifier.
Focus on the order of statements:
Attention must be paid to the statements’ order inside a function.
To protect the data, make use of secure hash:
As the data can be viewed by everyone, a secure hash needs to be put to use for protecting visibility.
Make use of access modifiers:
For defining the accessibility rules, you must use the access modifiers. It makes sure that only the correct authority is doing critical functions that affect any of the smart contracts. Implement the policies, regulations, and rules. The function’s accessibility needs to be defined, and the auditable components of the smart contract need to be declared.
We can develop the latest business models with the help of smart contracts, and it also fosters the business relationships established on the tech-based trust. As smart contracts are based on blockchain mechanisms, it offers immutability, transparency, and security inherently. With the above design considerations, any developer can develop a better smart contract.