ERC 7512

ERC-7512 aims to standardize how audit reports are represented directly on Ethereum’s blockchain.

What Is ERC 7512?

ERC-7512 has emerged as the token standard that can help address the current smart contract security problem in the blockchain space. Created by experts from Safe, Ackee Blockchain, OtterSec, ChainSecurity, OpenZeppelin and others, ERC-7512 aims to standardize how audit reports are represented directly on Ethereum’s blockchain.

The amount of money lost to hacks and scams in the blockchain ecosystem is staggering. And DeFi protocols have been the main target of these hackers. In the first half of 2023 alone, an estimated $479.4m was drained from DeFi protocols through various hacks and exploitation of vulnerabilities in smart contracts. These smart contracts that serve as the backbone for many dApps clearly have major flaws that can be exploited.
As critical infrastructure, like bridges and tokenized assets, increasingly rely on smart contracts, a high level of security is needed. Securely auditing all this novel code is a big challenge. There is a pressing need for solutions to help enhance smart contract security as the landscape grows exponentially.
While auditing contracts is critical for identifying vulnerabilities, verifying audit reports manually can require extensive effort. By defining an on-chain format to audit data, ERC-7512 will allow anyone to easily confirm programmatically that rigorous audits have taken place by reputable auditors. This enhances transparency in a major way.

Key Benefits of ERC-7512

When it comes to boosting smart contract security, ERC-7512 brings some major benefits to the table. For starters, it delivers more transparency and accountability around audits. By recording key audit details on-chain for anyone to verify, there are no more questionable claims that audits were done properly. We can follow the digital trail right there on Ethereum. And that’s just the beginning because this standard also lays the groundwork for more security innovation down the line. 

With audits verifiable on-chain, developers can build sweet features like reputation systems to track auditor performance over time. Not to mention how ERC-7512 facilitates different protocols and dApps actually working together securely, thanks to unified data formats. So, in a nutshell, this proposal means audits you can trust, new security tools we can barely imagine right now, and improved interoperability. That’s an exciting combo that could help harden smart contract defenses in a big way as we continue pushing blockchain frontiers.

Core Components of the ERC-7512 Standard

ERC-7512 contains core components that standardize on-chain audit representations:

  • Audit properties such as auditor, contract address, date, standards checked and an audit hash.

  • A signing methodology using EIP-712 for added security.

  • Defined data structures for properties like auditors, contracts, summaries and signatures.

Rationale Behind the Design Decisions

Several key design decisions shape ERC-7512’s thoughtful approach:

  • The initial focus on EVM contracts allows for clearer parameters before expanding the scope.
  • Specifying the contract instance address rather than just code, since behavior depends on the deployed state. 

  • Referencing one contract per summary provides clarity on what details like ERCs apply.

How ERC-7512 Strengthens Smart Contract Security 

ERC-7512 can strengthen smart contract security by:

  • Eliminating manual audit verification, which will save enormous time and effort.

  • Enabling programmatic checking of audit status before interactions.

  • Facilitating auditor reputation systems based on verifiable history. 

By addressing core obstacles around transparent and trustworthy auditing, ERC-7512 represents a huge advance for smart contract security.

Future Extensions To Enhance Capabilities

ERC-7512 is designed for iterative enhancements over time, including:

  • Support for more blockchain standards and networks.

  • Improved handling of audits for polymorphic and proxy contracts.

  • Management of signing keys associated with auditors.

This framework aims to evolve alongside the needs of the rapidly changing blockchain ecosystem.