Smart contract auditing is a critical step in ensuring the security and integrity of your protocol, and with billions of dollars lost to bugs in the last few years, it's more important than ever.
With the circulation of great information even the users are now accustomed to check if the smart contract audit of a protocol was done by a reputed company or not before using it.
But with so few companies offering these services, how do you choose the right smart contract auditing firm for your needs?
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the top smart contract auditing firms in 2023 and what makes them stand out.
Whether you're looking for the most comprehensive audit possible or the most cost-effective solution, we've got you covered.
Keep reading to learn more. 👇
Why should you Audit Smart Contracts?
A smart contract is programmed and deployed onto the blockchain. Once it has been deployed, there is no going back.
A minor bug can break an entire protocol and a malicious user can drain out its funds within a matter of minutes. In 2022 alone, $3.8 Billion have been stolen from de-fi protocols based on a recent 2022 Crypto Crime Report shared by Chainalysis.
Recently we also saw malicious intent through the introduction of a bug directly from the person writing the actual smart contract in the first place.
However, in most instances, it is human error.
Smart contract itself is a new concept that has been there only for a few years. Only a handful of developers are very experienced in this field.
It is difficult for a developer or even a team of developers to think of every possible edge case to secure their contracts like fort knox. It really pays a huge dividend to get a third set of eyes on your smart contracts in order to rule out possible issues with the code that could end up wiping all the funds inside.
Therefore, it is essential to get every piece of smart contract audited.
One of the ways to make sure your smart contracts are secure is by following a proper Web3 security journey such as the one Patrick Collins explained in his interview with us.
Right from private audits to competitive audits, everything has an important role to play in making a Web3 protocol more secure.
Let's rewind a bit: What is a Smart Contract?
A smart contract is a digital agreement that is programmed and enforced on a blockchain. This was initially popularized by Ethereum, which then made its way to various other blockchains.
Through a smart contract the developers can automate any digital contractual agreement with the right set of parameters.
Smart contracts are tamper-proof, transparent, and secure. However, as we discussed there are risks associated with using smart contracts.
Ok, so How to Choose a Smart Contract Auditor Firm?
When looking to hire a smart contract auditor, you should keep a few things in mind. The first is that not all auditing firms are created equal.
There are some firms that are more experienced in auditing smart contracts than others and have the best talent.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is your requirements.
While most firms audit smart contracts on the Ethereum chain, only some support other chains such as Solana or Binance Chain.
Also, you might have to choose your auditing firm depending on how thorough you want it to be.
The third is the cost of the audit. Getting the most-talented people to audit to review your smart contract is going to be very expensive.
Some of the top auditing firms charge six figures per audit. So you might have to choose your auditing firm depending on your budget.
Another factor that comes into play here is how valuable that audit is going to be from a user perception as well as the actual security perspective.
Choose an audit firm with not much experience and they might just miss a red flag in your contract or your users might even not trust that audit at all discouraging them from using the contract in the first place.
Who are the Top Smart Contract Auditing Firms in 2023?
In this section, we'll introduce you to some of the top firms in the industry. These firms have established themselves as experts in smart contract auditing, with a proven track record of delivering high-quality audits. Whether you're a startup in the NFT or DeFi space, or an established player in the blockchain industry, these firms can provide you with the peace of mind you need to deploy your smart contract with confidence.
Certik is probably the biggest name in the Smart Contract auditing industry.
Established in 2018, the company was founded by professors from Yale University and Columbia University and as of 2023 has conducted audits for over 3,500 projects, rooted out over 60,000 findings, and secured more than $300 billion of assets.
Certik is used by some of the largest DeFi protocols and exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, AAVE, Polygon and many more.
Certik performs one of the most comprehensive smart contract audits in the industry and even suggests recommendations when they discover vulnerabilities.
ConsenSys is a big name in the Ethereum industry. Founded by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin and offers various services on the Ethereum ecosystem.
Auditing smart contracts through diligence are one of their products.
ConsenSys Diligence does a thorough job of smart contract testing, audits, automated analysis, threat modeling, and much more. ConsenSys also offers various tools that are used for auditing smart contracts on Ethereum Chain.
Launched by blockchain YouTube educator Patrick Collins, the company is dedicated to the success of Web3 and helping push the security space forward.
The Cyfrin team have created some of the most watched educational videos of all time.
They are a team of super star engineers and auditors, like:
- Hans | #1 Ranked Auditor as of Writing on Code4rena
- Alex | Ex-Chainlink Labs Engineer in charge of $5B+ DeFi integrations
- 0Kage | Code4rena Top Finisher and Experienced FinTech Engineer
- Carlos | Code4rena Top Finisher & Expert Solidity Engineer
- Gio | Expert Solidity Engineer
- Patrick Collins | Most Watched Solidity Education Video(s) of All Time
They thrive on finding as many bugs as possible and finding ways to improve your codebase and test suite.
An audit is just part of the process, while leveling up your entire engineering team at the same time.
Web3 security needs a new narrative, and they are excited to push the security space forward.
You can find a list of notable audits (and skillsets) for Cyfrin here, including the Beanstalk Wells integration and LinkPool.
Having launched in 2023, Cyfrin is a new entrant to the industry but has already established a stellar track record. If you're looking for a reliable and professional smart contract audit firm, Cyfrin is an excellent choice.
Hashlock is Australia's leading independent blockchain cybersecurity and smart contract auditing firm. They are a highly specialised Blockchain Cybersecurity firm coming from manual analysis, community auditing backgrounds and differentiate by the quantity of findings and being maintaining a high level of collaboration with clients, both in Australia and globally.
Hashlock is a member of Blockchain Australia and Fintech Australia advocacy bodies which gives them additional credibility in the Australian market. The founding team has 20 years of combined cyber security and digital forensics industry experience.
Hacken is a cybersecurity ecosystem founded by cybersecurity experts, Big Four professionals, and white hat hackers.
Since its inception in 2017, Hacken has been educating and growing the ethical hacker community and building Web 3.0 cybersecurity startups.
Clients include Solana, VeChain, Gate.io, KuCoin, Huobi, 1inch, Avalanche to name but a few. Hacken has helped protect clients' and users' assets worth more than $10 billion.
Hacken certification is accepted as a Web 3.0 security standard by Coingecko and Coinmarketcap.
One-stop-solution service kit includes a smart contract security audit, KYC background check, pentests, and Bug Bounty program.
Slowmist is a smart contract auditing firm based out of China. It was founded by an experienced team of attack-defense experts who transitioned into the blockchain space.
They’ve been a part of participating and setting up national and international standards for blockchain systems.
SlowMist offers smart contract auditing, defense deployment, vulnerability scanning, etc.
They also offer crypto companies anti-money laundering (AML) services that regulators often require.
QuillAudits is another new smart contract auditing firm specializing in auditing on multiple blockchain platforms.
They perform both manual code reviews and automated testing for smart contracts before providing the final report.
An audit has become a hygiene factor in the web3 space, with several hacks and exploits in smart contracts every week.
In fact, the community demands that companies hire external parties to audit their smart contract before deploying it. The good news is that there are so many options to choose from.
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