Smart contracts are computer programs intended to facilitate, ensure and enforce the agreements made between the parties, whether they are individuals or organizations. Smart contracts help negotiate and define agreements, which generate actions that “force” the parties to meet specific conditions.

Importance of verifying when signing the process of a transaction

There is a saying within the world of cryptocurrencies that says: do not trust, verify. This is due to the trust that users give to the messages shown by their Ethereum wallets, and even without understanding it, they sign them to process transactions. As it is a confusing and insecure practice for many users, this has motivated developers to simplify the programming language to improve the usability and experience of those who act through decentralized applications (dApps).

A new standard allowing readable descriptions on wallets

A new programming standard has been associated with Ethereum Enhancement Proposals (EIPs). This is the EIP 3224 standard, an initiative presented by a developer, which consists of a method for application developers to allow wallets to display descriptions that are readable by human beings, specifically about what the smart contract ensures happen.

This proposal was presented in January 2021, so it is still in the development and discussion phase before being added to the protocol. This project seeks to optimize other similar proposals previously presented, which proposed displaying the data in a structured and user-readable format.

In search of greater security for Ethereum users

The proposal is presented as a model that gives greater security to users, who will be able to verify the data once the information is received “before” proceeding with the approval of transactions. Its implementation will avoid signing the binary data strings that the dApps show “before” processing transactions in Ethereum.

The proposal’s true intention is that users receive a message with legible details of the smart contract of the Dapp will process. In this way, it will be possible to verify the address that receives the funds, the address that performs the operation, the operation’s amount, and if the fee for the operation corresponds to the requested order. If the user agrees, the signature is carried out to process it. Otherwise, the signature must be interrupted and discarded.

For greater understanding, suppose that a user enters a decentralized Exchange to carry out a transaction. To do so, he signs an order associated with his portfolio address. Still, this order is a hexadecimal string, difficult to understand for those who do not have technical knowledge about it. For this reason, many choose to “blindly” trust the data provided by the platforms on which they operate since they do not have the possibility to verify what they are signing. By not being able to verify this data, there is a security risk. Hence, the proposal is so that users are fully sure of what they are signing and approving.

A big step towards safety

This proposal represents a great step for the security and usability of the dress. At the same time, it represents a sample of the ecosystem’s evolution so that it is available to everyone. Something similar was tried to do in the past when the hexadecimal addresses that were used in the Ethereum blockchain became human-readable addresses.

What do you think about this topic? Do you think that with this proposal, it will be easier to understand Ethereum smart contracts?

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Image by Miloslav Hamrik via under Creative Commons license.

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