Ethereum Developer Offers Reward For Engineering an ICO Scam
Ethereum developer, Nick Johnson, has announced a contest to create the most deceitful ICO scam using Solidity, Ethereum’s primary programming language.
The Underhanded Solidity Coding Contest
“The Underhanded Solidity Coding Contest,” inspired by the similarly-named Underhanded C Coding Contest, pits people against each other to basically create fake-scams disguised as normally-functioning smart contracts.
The contest provides contestants with a theme and a prompt, telling them that they are the lead developer of an imaginary cryptocurrency that soon plans to announce their ICO.
It goes on to say that investors have become more demanding, requiring assurances and constraints that will make the scam more difficult to execute. However, according to the prompt, despite these constraints you’re “confident you can come up with a token sale contract that will pass the most careful audit.”
Entrants must write a contract that somehow relates to an ICO — such as an ERC20 token contract, a contract for selling tokens, or one that conditionally pays funds out to project creators.
Additionally, this contract must contain some critical vulnerability that can be exploited to enrich the project’s creators.
Submissions opened on July 1st and will close by the end of the month, with winners being announced by September 1st.
Avoiding Ethereum ICO Scams
Scoring will be based off how plausible the scam looks to a human auditor, as the goal is to pass inspection without seeming too suspicious.
Submissions that are shorter and cleaner will be scored higher than those that are more complex and lengthy because it is “easy to hide a vulnerability in complex and poorly written code; [it’s] far harder to hide it in clean and simple code.”
Furthermore, bugs will be awarded more points if, once discovered, can be reasonably dismissed as coding error.
The goal of this contest, according to the organizers, is to highlight anti-patterns in smart contract development, so people are more aware of and can avoid the pitfalls when writing and reviewing smart contract code
Judging the contest will be Solidity lead developer, Christian Reitwiessner, with the help of others such as Rain Revere, Reto Trinkler, Yudi Levi, and Matthew Di Ferrante.
Prizes include a pass to Devcon 3 in Cancun and an opportunity to present your winning entry, courtesy of the Ethereum Foundation. Second place will receive 10 MLN tokens from Melonport.
What do you think of The Underhanded Solidity Coding Contest? Let’s hear your thoughts below.
Images via Ethereum, Solidity