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From Vulnerabilities to Victory: Scrypto’s Impact on Web3’s Security Landscape 

Recent headlines in decentralized finance (DeFi) have sparked vital discussions about its persistent security vulnerabilities. A recent incident involving a $69 million exploit on the Curve Finance protocol serves as a poignant reminder that security and risk management must ascend as top priorities in the development of blockchain protocols. As the Web3 landscape evolves at a rapid pace, a new asset-oriented paradigm aims to solve these issues by putting assets and their secure behavior as native first-class features of the programming environment.

The Challenge with Web3 Development Today

The domain of smart contract programming faces several serious challenges today:

(1) There is a steep learning curve preventing all but the best developers from building production-ready Web3. Why, after more than 15 years since the invention of Bitcoin, are there still there less than 30,000 full time Web3 developers out of 30 million globally.

(2) Redundant code is often replicated, resulting in inefficiencies and slow development. 

(3)  Security vulnerabilities are commonplace, leading to costly hacks and security breaches, and as a result developers spend most of their time attempting to secure their code rather than building something innovative, further slowing down the potential pace of development.

These shortcomings, embodied by smart contract programming languages like Solidity and Vyper emphasize the immediate requirement for a more intuitive, faster, and more secure solution. 

Scrypto: A Cornerstone for DeFi 

Amidst these challenges emerges Scrypto, an asset-oriented smart contract language conceived for Radix. 

Scrypto directly addresses the points above with an innovative asset-oriented approach, designed to simplify the creation of assets like tokens and NFTs and any smart contract that interacts with them.

What do we mean by asset-oriented? Scrypto, coupled with the Radix Engine virtual machine,  provides developers built-in tools to create and manage assets. The rules that govern how these assets behave and how transactions can move them is an integral part of the programming environment. This standardization not only simplifies the process but also enhances the transparency of what these assets can or can’t do, and improves security, because the assets are governed by the environment itself, not a developer’s smart contract (which is how most of DeFi functions today). 

This paves the way for more powerful and reliable DeFi dApps as developer productivity is vastly improved because they are no longer replicating the basic laws of finance inside custom-built smart contracts, with redundant sometimes buggy code. Assets being a first-class feature of the programming environment frees up developer time to focus on building new features, no longer beholden to having to check, validate, and audit the logic behind their tokens each and every time. It reduces the learning curve to building production-grade DeFi, because having tokens and NFTs at your fingertips, knowing that their behavior is guaranteed by the virtual machine, removes a lot of what you have to learn today. 

Going back to the start, would the recent Curve hack have happened if it were built in an asset-oriented way, using Scrypto? The answer is that it wouldn’t have, as the particular exploit in question – through “re-entrancy” – is disabled on the Radix Engine virtual machine.

This is the kind of step-change in security we need for DeFi to be taken seriously. And while Scrypto is a game-changer for Web3 and DeFi, it’s still today relatively under the radar.  That’s about to change with its production release as part of the Radix Babylon Mainnet upgrade scheduled for 27 September 2023, where smart contracts written in Scrypto, and dApps running on the Radix Engine virtual machine, will be executable on mainnet.

If you’d like to learn more about Scrypto, which is part of the Radix Full Stack, see the Scrypto Developer Hub.