Top 10 Smart Contracts Audit Companies: How To Make Use of Their Effective Services

Smart contracts, the self-executing digital contracts based on blockchain technology, have become a cornerstone of the digital world, promising to automate processes, reduce costs, and heighten security in various sectors. While these contracts bear significant potential, they are not impervious to bugs, vulnerabilities, or design issues, necessitating the role of professional auditing services. 

These specialized companies analyze and verify the security of smart contracts, mitigating potential risks and ensuring their smooth execution. In this Cryptopolitan guide, we delve into the top 10 smart contracts audit companies that are leading the way in delivering robust, secure, and effective audit solutions for blockchain-driven businesses across the globe.

Why is Smart Contract Auditing Important?

A smart contract audit is conducted to ensure security and trust. The process involves carefully examining the smart contract to identify any problems and making sure that the necessary measures are taken to fix any bugs or weaknesses that could compromise users’ funds. 

Although an audit doesn’t guarantee absolute security of a protocol, a competent smart contract auditor can perform a comprehensive review to uncover any potential issues. 

This helps to prevent any serious vulnerabilities from causing harm to users’ funds after the protocol launches. In addition to smart contract audits, some security firms also provide services such as penetration testing, bug bounty programs, vulnerability assessments, and threat modeling. 

Top smart contract auditing companies

Hacken

Hacken is a cyber security consulting company that specializes in blockchain security. It was founded by security specialists and white hat hackers in 2017. Hacken is well-known for educating and supporting the ethical hacker community. They have invested $1.5M in Cer.live and developed products like Hackenproof BugBounty platform, hVPN, hPass, and Hacken.ai to enhance blockchain security. 

The company has a portfolio of more than 700 projects and has earned a market cap of over $100 billion. It has collaborated with more than 80 projects, which includes top names like Avalanche, VeChain, Huobi, Kyber and others. Hacken is not just a blockchain security consulting company; it also offers various security services like web/mobile penetration testing, vulnerability assessments and coordination of bug bounty programs to its clients.

CertiK

CertiK is a company that uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to safeguard and oversee blockchain protocols and smart contracts. It was established in 2018 by professors from Yale University and Columbia University. Their aim is to ensure the security of the web3 world. CertiK employs state-of-the-art academic advancements in the business world, allowing crucial applications to expand while maintaining safety and precision.

CertiK has provided security services to more than 3,700 Enterprise clients, safeguarding digital assets valued at more than $364 billion. Their range of security measures include security audits, on-chain analytics, bug bounties, KYC, and penetration testing services, known for their end-to-end security. CertiK has worked with prominent projects, including Aave, Polygon, BNB Smart Chain, Terra, Yearn, and Chiliz.

Slowmist

SlowMist is a blockchain security firm that began operating in 2018. Their team has over 10 years of experience in network security and has collaborated with many projects like Binance, OKX, Huobi, Pancakeswap, and Crypto.com. Their services include security audits and other security-related products like MistTrack, Anti-money laundering (AML) software, Vulpush (Vulnerability monitoring), and SlowMist Hacked (Crypto hack archives). 

The company has formed alliances with several security firms, both foreign and domestic, including Akamai, Cloudflare, FireEye, BitDefender, and IPIP. They have added value to their services in this way. Furthermore, SlowMist provides a service called MistTrack that tracks the transfer of stolen funds. It has been utilized by more than 60 clients and has successfully retrieved nearly $1 billion in stolen funds since its inception.

Vee Finance, a protocol audited by Slowmist on Avalanche, lost $34M due to failed contracts. Slowmist reported that the attacker was able to manipulate the price of the Pangolin pool, which is used as the source of the price oracle for Vee Finance, causing the pre-swap slippage check to fail.

Quantstamp

Quantstamp is a top smart contract auditing company in the blockchain industry. They have conducted more than 200 audits and have helped secure over $200B in value since their inception. The team comprises security professionals and PhDs who have previously worked with well-known tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Ethereum Foundation. They have the expertise to offer their auditing services in any language, including languages that are specifically developed for blockchain applications. 

Halborn

Rob Behnke and Steven Walbroehl founded Halborn in 2019. This organization has expanded to include over 80 skilled security engineers who specialize in assessing and testing blockchain applications for security flaws and design problems. Halborn conducts manual and automated testing to verify that the smart contract application is suitable for mainnet. The firm’s area of expertise includes Ethereum, Substrate, Solana, CosmWasm, Terra, Cosmos Tendermint, and Algorand protocols. Their clients include BlockFi, ApeCoin, Avalanche, THORChain, and Polygon. In addition to smart contract audits, the company offers cybersecurity consulting (Security Advisory As A Service), Advanced Penetration Testing, DevOps & Automation.

OpenZeppelin

OpenZeppelin is a cybersecurity technology and services company that has developed OpenZeppelin Contracts, its Solidity libraries. The company claims to be the standard for secure blockchain applications, and developers can easily integrate these libraries into their applications through OpenZeppelin’s native SDK. OpenZeppelin has helped protect assets worth over $10B in prominent organizations in the crypto sector, including Ethereum Foundation, Coinbase, Compound, Aave, and The Graph, since 2015.

OpenZeppelin was the pioneer in integrating gamification into identifying security vulnerabilities in smart contracts. Their game, “Ethernaut,” presents gamers with the task of uncovering and exploiting security weaknesses in smart contracts to advance to the next level. Also, it offers free services such as “Defender,” which enables secure and private transaction infrastructure, automated script creation, and smart contract administration automation for projects.

Trail of Bits

Founded in 2012, Trail of Bits is a cybersecurity industry giant with an extensive list of big-name customers such as Adobe, Microsoft, Stripe, Reddit, Zoom, Airbnb, etc. The firm has three main services: Software Assurance, Security Engineering, and Research and Development. Under its Software Assurance umbrella, the company provides security audits for blockchain, software hardening, infrastructure security, threat modeling, and cryptographic review. So far, the company has conducted smart contract audits for industry giants such as yearn.finance, LooksRare, Acala, Balancer, Nervos, and more. 

The Trail of Bits team not only specializes in blockchain security, but they also create helpful tools like Manticore, which can simulate multiple contracts and transactions to identify and solve crucial vulnerabilities. Other tools they provide include Ethersplay, Slither, and Echidna. In addition to bug-fixing, the company also offers an extensive collection of open source work and expert training courses for individuals to learn more about disciplines like reverse engineering, program analysis, penetration testing, and more.

Consensys Diligence

Unlike other companies on this list, Consensys specializes in creating advanced blockchain applications and software specifically for the Ethereum ecosystem. However, they also offer ConsenSys Diligence, a state-of-the-art cybersecurity product that provides a thorough analysis of smart contracts. By utilizing a team of seasoned auditors and various blockchain security analysis tools, ConsenSys Diligence ensures that Ethereum projects are secure and ready for deployment. 

Consensys Diligence has protected more than 100 blockchain companies and detected over 200 problems. They audited projects like 0x exchange, Aave, Balancer, and Uniswap. They also offer two additional services: Fuzzing, which allows users to detect bugs right after writing their first specification, and Scribble, a tool that translates high-level specifications into Solidity code for runtime verification.

Kudelski Security

Kudelski Security, a cybersecurity firm based in Switzerland, offers consulting services and innovative solutions to help organizations enhance their cybersecurity. Despite being founded only two years ago, Kudelski has already collaborated with top cryptocurrency companies such as Binance, Solana, Crypto.com, Input Output, Monero, and Zcash. The company has completed 200 security audits, secured $230 billion in market cap, and audited 500,000 lines of code. In addition to blockchain security services, the company also offers advisory services, technology optimization, managed security, managed detection and response, and incident response.

ChainSecurity

ChainSecurity, a company that specializes in security, is run by experts from ETH Zurich. The company has provided assistance to over 85 different crypto organizations and established companies, including yearn.finance, Maker, Compound, Rarible, Curve, Kyber network, and even helped PwC Switzerland with its smart contract audits. Currently, they have secured assets worth over $17B. In addition, ChainSecurity has developed an automated audit platform which enables various projects to safeguard their assets by analyzing smart contracts. ChainSecurity offers security assessments for smart contracts and blockchain projects. This includes identifying vulnerabilities and verifying functional correctness. 

PeckShield

PeckShield is a security and audit company founded in 2018 and based in China. Their team members are spread across the globe, and they have experience in different areas of blockchain and security. They gained recognition for uncovering the Ethereum smart contract BatchOverflow loophole and are currently ranked in the Top 3 globally for the Ethereum Bounty Program. 

PeckShield is a top provider of security solutions for blockchain users and has audited major industry players like Aave, EOS, and Tron. To ensure complete protection for blockchain users, the company offers various services like penetration testing, threat monitoring, DAppTotal, and CoinHolmes.

Conclusion

Smart contract audits are crucial, but they do not guarantee protection against all types of hacks. They should be considered as a part of an ongoing process for improvement. After a project has been audited, developers should actively address the issues discovered and implement appropriate security measures to minimize potential vulnerabilities in the future.

To gain user trust, developers must ensure that smart contracts work as intended and undergo protocol-specific security tests. Security audits are highly recommended as they help weed out potential issues and increase confidence in a project. It’s important for users to select auditors with a good reputation and proven track record.

What is a smart contract audit?

A smart contract audit is a thorough review of a smart contract’s code by experts to identify and rectify potential vulnerabilities, errors, and inefficiencies before it's deployed on a blockchain network.

Why is a smart contract audit important?

Smart contract audits are critical to ensure the security and efficiency of the contract, minimize the risk of loss due to flaws or attacks, and build trust among users or participants in the network.

What does a smart contract audit company do?

A smart contract audit company evaluates and tests the smart contract's code for any vulnerabilities, bugs, or logic errors, provides recommendations for improvement, and often assists in the implementation of those improvements.

How does a smart contract audit process work?

The process involves analyzing the contract’s code, checking for known vulnerabilities, validating the logic of the contract, testing the contract under various scenarios, and reviewing the system's overall security.

What factors should be considered when choosing a smart contract audit company?

Considerations should include the company's reputation, expertise, methodology, turnaround time, past audit reports, and the transparency of their process.

How long does a smart contract audit take?

The duration of a smart contract audit varies depending on the complexity of the contract, but it can range from a few days to several weeks.

Can a smart contract be audited after it's deployed?

Yes, but it's best to audit a smart contract before deployment to prevent any potential exploitation of vulnerabilities. Post-deployment audits are more about damage control and rectification.

What skills should a smart contract auditor possess?

A smart contract auditor should have strong expertise in blockchain technology, a deep understanding of smart contract development languages like Solidity, and proficiency in cybersecurity principles.

Can a smart contract exist without errors after an audit?

An audit significantly reduces the risk of errors but doesn't guarantee a completely error-free contract, due to the evolving nature of threats and the potential for undiscovered vulnerabilities.

What happens if a vulnerability is discovered during the audit?

If a vulnerability is discovered during the audit, the audit company will typically provide recommendations for fixing the issue. The contract's code will then be adjusted, and the audit process may be repeated.

Our content is derived from a thorough research, yet we acknowledge the potential for deserving businesses to be overlooked. If you’re a business owner or a reader who believes a valuable business is missing from our list, write to us at lists@cryptopolitan.com.

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Micah Abiodun

Written by Micah Abiodun

Micah is a crypto enthusiast with a strong understanding of the crypto industry and its potential for shaping the future. A result-driven Chemical Engineer (with a specialization in the field of process engineering and piping design), Micah visualizes and articulates the intricate details of blockchain ecosystems. In his free time, he explores various interests, including sports and music.
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