Reach Platform
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Reach Platform

One Question to Ask Everyone Building on Blockchain

You deserve better, so demand better.

Published on behalf of Reach Platform CEO, Chris Swenor (@chrisswenor).

Take out your phone. Find the last crypto app you used. If you don’t ask, “was this built in Reach?”, you’re putting your money at risk. Here’s why.

In 2021 alone, an estimated $13 billion (with a “b”) was lost to hackers exploiting vulnerabilities in blockchain apps. We don’t need to sell you on the benefits of crypto and Web3. Question is, “how do you get involved without getting rekt?”.

In theory, the inherent security of decentralization gives dApps a leg up on traditional applications. But the way most dApps are designed opens them up to a whole host of new attack vectors and vulnerabilities. Explorers of a new frontier always face risk, but members of the crypto and blockchain community are far too willing to accept their losses as the cost of participation.

That cost is too high a price to pay with mass adoption on the horizon. It’s time for you — you the user, the consumer, the gamer, the patron, the degen — to demand more from your decentralized apps. It’s time to demand the safety and security you shouldn’t have to ask for in the first place!

That’s why you ask: “was this built in Reach?”.

Here’s what it means: the app you’re using comes with a built-in layer of security designed to automatically detect and defend against some of the most common errors and exploits in addition to all the protections implemented by developers. This safety net is made possible by “formal verification”.

Formal Verification

Formal verification turns your program into a math problem and uses traditional math proofs to guarantee that it behaves correctly in every possible circumstance. For most programs it is impossible to thoroughly test every possibility because there are too many inputs.

Even a simple operation like addition on a modern computer has 2¹²⁸ (~ 3 x 10³⁸) different combinations of inputs. Formal verification requires a very niche set of skills to perform. It’s also time intensive and often exceeds 100 times the development costs of the program it’s verifying!

It makes sense, then, that formal verification is typically only used when there are millions of dollars at risk. As we like to say, “when the stakes are high, verify”. It’s used by hardware manufacturers and in financial algorithms. NASA even uses it for rocket launches.

Imagine having to verify every update or version of an application by hand — each subsequent update, rendering the previous verification incomplete. This is why formal verification is often completely impractical in software development…so we automated it.

Reach automatically verifies the entire app (not just the smart contracts and middleware) is free from entire categories of safety issues while allowing developers to implement additional checks by inserting simple assertions into their code. When developers build in Reach, the compiler creates multiple formal proofs to verify their app will behave EXACTLY as they intend. The knowledge of an army of PhDs is at the developer’s command the second they hit compile. This happens each time the code is compiled so verification stays up to speed with the latest release.

For Reach applications, safety doesn’t stop at the compiler. You’ll also be protected directly in your browser. Reach applications confirm that the contract you’re interacting with is exactly the contract your interface thinks it is. Without this check, it’s possible for rogue developers to sneak a bad contract into a pool of good ones or covertly upgrade smart contracts to steal your money.

“Traditional” blockchain developers require up to a year of training and practice before they’re ready to independently build safe smart contracts. Reach cuts that learning curve down to a matter of weeks. This enables developers to spend more time building out your favorite features and empowers them to take quick, decisive action should potential threats arise.

The Road Ahead

If you’re a current or prospective user of decentralized apps, get pumped. More exciting and innovative projects are being built in Reach every day. This includes the safest, most user-friendly DEX, HumbleSwap; the permissionless stablecoin, xBacked; the decentralized music licensing platform, Dequency; and the GameFi ecosystem, Zone. Reach is also being used in Yieldly’s new NFT Marketplace and future bridges from Algomint.

The marketing team at Reach aren’t superheroes (though they’d like us all to believe otherwise). They can only do so much to drive advocacy and awareness. This is where you, the user, is uniquely powerful. Raising your voices on Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Discord sends a louder and clearer message to founders than we ever could.

You deserve better, so demand better.

Demand that the founders you support, companies you follow, and projects you fund put user safety first. They owe you a clear, concise explanation of what they’re doing to protect your hard-earned cryptocurrency from the same threats and attacks that brought down others in the space.

Ask the question: “was this built in Reach?”. If they say “no”, you deserve to know why.

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Reach is the fastest, safest, and smartest way to build blockchain applications. Swag: http://swag.reach.sh Docs: http://docs.reach.sh

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Michael Pirovano

Michael Pirovano

Passionately-curious. I write like it’s a sport and read like it’s a science. Let me tell you a story.

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