In April 2018, the now second largest crypto exchange by trade volume OKEX suspended all ERC20 token deposits after detecting a “new smart contract bug,” which reportedly allowed hackers to “generate an extremely large amount of tokens, and deposit them into a normal address.”
Developed by Vitalik Buteria, Ethereum is a public, open-sourced blockchain-based platform that features smart contracts as well as its native cryptocurrency Ether. Launched on July 30, 2015, Ethereum is now the second biggest cryptocurrency by market cap at around $20.6 billion, with its price standing at $200.
Partially supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the study has analyzed Ethereum smart contracts’ bytecodes during its first 5 million blocks, which covers almost a three-year time frame from the cryptocurrency’s inception in 2015. The researchers have also collected and modified data via Ethereum’s virtual machine, dubbed geth, in order to log all interaction between contracts and their users.
To date, Ethereum smart contracts are “three times more likely to be created by other contract” than by users, the study found. Moreover, over 60 percent of contracts “have never been interacted with,” while less than 10 percent of users-backed contracts are unique. The research stated that there is a significant reuse of code on Ethereum, which can allegedly have a “widespread impact on the Ethereum user population,” despite the fact that it is also likely a “driving force behind Ethereum’s success.”