In 2023, cryptocurrency users lost around $2 billion due to hacking attacks and scams, with Ethereum suffering the biggest losses because of its extensive ecosystem and high-profile projects.

Related: Vitalik Buterin and AI Will Save Everyone, But Not Yet

Co-founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, has suggested employing AI to enhance code auditing and reduce the number of errors in blockchain projects. Auditing code with artificial intelligence allows for adaptation and learning from new information, making it more effective than existing automated tools. According to developers, human oversight can be combined with artificial intelligence systems to create a robust vulnerability detection system.

In recent weeks, the artificial intelligence sector has once again become the apple of investors’ eyes, thanks to the release of new products from OpenAI and Nvidia (NVDA), boasting the market’s top-notch results. According to CoinGecko, prices of some AI tokens have more than doubled over the past week due to the frenzy.

One of the AI applications that I really dig is formal code verification and error hunting using AI. Right now, Ethereum’s biggest technical risk is probably code errors, and anything that could significantly change the game would be mind-blowing.

In broad strokes, artificial intelligence involves modeling human intelligence using programs that think and act like humans. Popular applications of this technology have so far been limited to chatbots, self-driving cars, optimizing online marketplace searches, and image generation software.

Buterin’s idea of using AI for code auditing could boost security in an industry known for exploits and scams, two developers focused on Ethereum told CoinDesk this week.

How can AI Help in Code Auditing?

Blockchain projects already conduct audits of smart contracts using various automated tools, but the main limitation of these programs is that they can’t adapt to new information as effectively as an artificial intelligence tool can, explained one developer.


“AI can be taught to recognize new information and context and adapt to them, which will make it more effective in identifying vulnerabilities that static analysis rules cannot cover,” a developer at TokenFi, a subsidiary project of the meme coin Floki, told CoinDesk in an interview, wishing to remain anonymous. TokenFi is creating a platform for code auditing using artificial intelligence.

“AI tools can be updated with new datasets and patterns, and this adaptability is crucial in the rapidly evolving smart contract security environment, where zero-day vulnerabilities may arise, and existing ones may be exploited in new ways,” they added.

“The ability of artificial intelligence to learn and improve over time, combined with its capacity for deep analysis and pattern recognition, makes it a powerful tool for expanding the limitations of human-involved auditing,” explained the developer.

Another developer believes that artificial intelligence systems can predict vulnerabilities based on historical and forecasted data. AI verification, alongside human verification, could ultimately create a reliable mechanism for system validation.

We can expedite this process by teaching AI systems what to look out for based on past experiences, allowing us to detect potential issues before they escalate. AI can assist in tackling complex technical challenges, such as ensuring expected code behavior under various conditions.

R.J. Ke, a developer at Ethereum Layer-2 Taiko, in a Telegram chat

“Such a combination of artificial intelligence and human oversight not only fortifies our code but also gives us hope for even more impressive achievements in the Ethereum ecosystem this year,” noted Ke.

Loss Size

Reportedly, cryptocurrency users lost about $2 billion due to hacking attacks and fraud in 2023, with the majority of these losses attributed to protocol exploits or attacks on poorly coded systems.

Ethereum, the largest blockchain by the number of active users and locked value, suffered the biggest losses: approximately $1.35 billion was wiped out in around 170 incidents.


More Info:

This figure speaks to Ethereum’s appeal to wrongdoers because of its extensive ecosystem and high-profile projects. The largest exploit was the July attack on the cross-chain platform Multichain, totaling $230 million.

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