Best practices in smart contract development

Best practices in smart contract development

Ethereum’s introduction of smart contracts revolutionized the Web3 space, providing developers with ways to create applications for blockchain protocols. Ethereum has since established itself  as the leading platform for smart contracts, but there have also been other challengers for the smart contract throne.

This article offers a high-level exploration of good principles and smart contract development practices that every Web3 developer should strive to employ. 

Define smart contract purpose

The first thing we have to do is to have a very clear idea of what purpose the smart contract will serve. We have to define how the smart contract fits within the broader architecture of the dApp. This initial phase is crucial for enabling smooth and efficient smart contract development.

Simplicity and modularity

When it comes to writing smart contracts, simplicity is king. This is because any unnecessary complexity increases the risk of errors and inefficiencies in your code. So, try to keep it as simple as possible. In that sense, it’s best to have simple contract logic and use tried and tested methods to implement it. If you can, use already written code and tools. Where possible, try to keep your code clear and concise. Another good practice is to design your smart contracts to be modular.

Plan for failure

Writing smart contracts is not an easy task and even without added complexity, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong. Planning for such eventualities during smart contract development can help you avoid a catastrophic failure.

There are a number of measures that you can implement to mitigate the impact of potential bugs. For example,you can use ‘circuit breakers’ to pause the contract if things go wrong. It’s also a good idea to implement measures to limit the money that would be at risk in case of a failure.

Also, take advantage of upgradable contracts to have an easy way for implementing bug fixes and other improvements in your contacts. Popular tools like the OpenZeppelin library give you a way to have upgradable contracts on Ethereum.

Don’t forget about code optimization

Bugs and glitches are not the only risk factors that you need to consider. Keep in mind that poorly optimized code leads to efficient and costly smart contracts. You should always strive to optimize for gas cost efficiency and there a number of techniques that you can implement to achieve that. For example, writing to storage is typically very expensive, so it’s a good idea toonly do it once all computations have been performed.

Test rigorously and work with reputable auditors

We all know that coding is a tricky thing and errors can sneak up on you unexpectedly and despite our best efforts. That’s why testing is such an important part of smart contract development. External auditing is also a must – you need a reputable third-party auditor to evaluate the integrity of your smart contracts.

Stay up to date

Make sure to stay up to dates with the latest trends and practices in smart contract development. Make sure that your tools and libraries are up-to-date.

Work with experienced smart contract development company

Finally, in case you’re new to smart contract development, it’s a good idea to turn to a company that already has experience and an established reputation in this field. Working with an experienced smart contract developer with a proven track record can be a game changer for your project.

LimeChain is one such developer. We excel at smart contract development and, with more than 160 smart contracts deployed to Ethereum, we have plenty of experience. In addition, we have a good working relationship with some of the most prominent smart contract auditors out there. You can learn more about our process here.