ISSUES & CHALLENGES

Common Issues and Challenges with Smart Contract

Security

Smart contracts secure certain key elements in a business process that involves multiple parties. However, the technology is new, and hackers continue to identify new attack surfaces that allow them to compromise the intent of the businesses that specified the rules. In the early days of Ethereum, smart contract hackers managed to steal $50 million in cryptocurrency. The IEEE has also documented concerns about inconsistencies in the tools used to detect different vulnerabilities in smart contract security.

Integrity

One oracle (one of the streaming data sources that sends event updates) needs to protect against hackers faking events that trigger smart contracts into executing when they should not. It must be programmed to accurately generate events, which can be challenging for complex scenarios.

Alignment

Smart contracts can speed the execution of processes that span multiple parties regardless of whether they are in alignment with all parties' intention and understanding. But this capability can also magnify the impact of the damage that can occur when events spiral out of control, particularly when there is no way to stop or unwind unintended behavior. The Gartner research firm has noted that this issue poses challenges in smart contract scalability and manageability that have yet to be fully addressed.

Management

Smart contracts are complicated to implement and manage. They are often configured in ways that make them difficult or impossible to change. Although this could be considered a security advantage, the parties cannot make any changes to the smart contract agreement or incorporate new details without developing a new contract.