Skynet Security Primitive #2: On-Chain Monitoring

CertiK | Nov 24, 2021

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Skynet is a scalable security solution that leverages automated technologies to check deployed smart contracts for vulnerabilities. There are six metrics – called Security Primitives – that Skynet uses to arrive at an overall security score, on a scale of 0-100. 

In this short series, we’re going to dive into each of these six primitives and take a look at the different areas they cover and data they provide. 

At the end of this series, you’ll better understand how Skynet stays ahead of the market to provide timely security insights. And you’ll gain knowledge of what to look out for when researching a project’s security, making your journey through the metaverse safer and more rewarding.

Primitive #1: Social Sentiment

On-Chain Monitoring

The second Security Primitive we’ll explore is on-chain monitoring. 

Crypto is a unique industry, as actions and transactions are not reported quarterly, if at all – like in traditional finance and commerce – but rather in real-time. 

Blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and others are public ledgers. This means that everything that happens on the network is publicly visible. However, with millions of transactions happening every day, it’s an impossible task for any one person to keep up.  

That’s where Skynet comes in. Skynet automatically monitors a project’s contracts and aggregates the data it collects into an easily-understandable dashboard.

AAVE’s entry on the Security Leaderboard

Here, there are a number of useful metrics all presented on one clear and concise page. Let’s go through what they are and what they mean.

Along the top row, you’ll see Total Transactions, Total Users, Total Events, and the number of Contracts Monitored. These raw figures can give a good indication of how healthy a platform’s usage is, both by the number of users and the times they’ve interacted with the application.

You can take the data analysis further, too. For example, there are 105,826 unique wallets that have interacted with AAVE, producing a total of 332,309 transactions. This means that each wallet, on average, interacts with the protocol 3.14 times. That makes sense for a lending platform such as AAVE, where people take out loans or deposit collateral relatively infrequently. On the other hand, wallets interacting with PancakeSwap – a decentralized exchange (DEX) – do so an average of 6.8 times.

When working with data like this, the sky is the limit. Rather than trawling through Etherscan for the raw data, just come to the Security Leaderboard and check out the clearly-presented statistics.

The transactions performed and events emitted are nicely graphed on the left-hand side of the dashboard. You can change the duration of time you’d like to examine by clicking on the drop-down menus.

On the right-hand side is a three-part menu, consisting of Top Callers, Top Events, and Top Function Calls.

Top Callers lists the wallet addresses that interact with the smart contract(s) the most. You can click on an address to go to its Etherscan page and find out which tokens it holds and which other platforms it interacts with.

Top Events shows you the most common events associated with actions in the application. For AAVE, that’s DelegatedPowerChanged, which may not mean that much to you unless you’re a smart contract developer. Still, all the information is here for when you need it.

Lastly, we have Top Function Calls. Again, it’s a bit technical, but it contributes to a complete picture of how the protocol functions, which is vital to an accurate overall Security Score.

Taken all together, these on-chain metrics give an indication as to the health and adoption of a DeFi platform. Skynet takes in millions of transactions and aggregates them into this dashboard, turning raw on-chain data into actionable metrics. 

On-chain monitoring is one of six Security Primitives, and the second in this series. Keep an eye out for the next installment.