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Web3 Protocol Design Advisory Services

Dedaub's design advisory services let you leverage our team's collective knowledge. Our team consists of PhD-level blockchain experts, who collectively authored over a hundred high-impact academic papers (gaining at least 15,000 citations). Our team provides deep Web3 protocol design advisory services (also known as design audits) to a variety of large clients, with the aim of maximizing a protocol's financial & code security by design. These kinds of engagement require a wide spectrum of expertise, including quantitative finance, advanced cryptography & computer science.

As with other kinds of audit engagements, if we have not had prior communication, the best first step is a request through our contact page.

Design Audit Process Steps

1. Engagement Scoping

Scoping a design audit engagement requires good communication between your team and ours, and clear expectations should be set by your team. In this step, we need to understand what kinds of expertise we need to bring in. Examples of design audit engagements include checking the cryptographic soundness of the design, checking that the economic incentives are aligned and sound, or also checking that the software architecture of the protocol is optimal. A design audit can be as short as a week, and is also an opportunity for our team to become intimately familiar with the details of your protocol.

2. Data Collection and Preliminary Review

Once the scope of the engagement is well-defined, your team will need to provide all relevant materials, documentation, whitepapers, and any initial prototype code. This will enable our team to conduct a preliminary review to identify any immediate issues or concerns. This step may also involve interviews or Q&A sessions with your technical and leadership teams to gain a deeper understanding of the protocol's design and goals.

3. In-depth Analysis

This is the core phase of the design audit. Here, our experts dive deep into the design of the protocol. Depending on the engagement involved, they may:

  • Evaluate the cryptographic algorithms and protocols to ensure they are secure and resistant to known vulnerabilities.
  • Analyze the economic model to ensure that incentives are properly aligned and sustainable.
  • Assess the software architecture for security, efficiency, and adaptability.

Throughout this process, we use a combination of manual review, proprietary simulation, and formal method techniques to ensure the highest level of scrutiny.

4. Feedback and Recommendations

After the in-depth analysis, we provide a comprehensive report detailing our findings. This report will highlight areas of strength as well as areas of concern, providing actionable recommendations on how to improve the protocol design. We believe in constructive feedback, and our goal is to help your project succeed by identifying and mitigating potential risks.

5. Review Meeting

A review meeting is set up to discuss our findings with your team. This collaborative session allows for clarifications, discussions, and planning for next steps. Our experts are available to answer questions and provide insights on the recommended changes.

6. Follow-Up and Support

After the design audit, our engagement doesn't end. We believe in building lasting relationships with our clients. As you implement the recommendations from the audit, we are available for follow-up consultations to ensure the changes are correctly implemented and to address any new concerns that may arise.

Examples of Dedaub Design Audits

Several of our regular code audits include a significant design component (e.g., for Muffin Finance or Liquity Chicken Bonds). There are also examples of pure design audits:

  • Most impact studies conducted for the Ethereum Foundation, e.g., the Verkle trees impact study.
  • Upcoming Liquity products (unpublished, since functionality under development).
  • Chainlink products (unpublished).

Benefits of a Design Audit

  • Expertise: With our rich academic background and vast experience in the Web3 space, you get access to unparalleled expertise.
  • Security: By identifying and addressing design flaws early, you can prevent costly re-designs in the future.
  • Trust: A rigorous design audit by a reputable firm like Dedaub enhances trust among stakeholders, investors, and users.
  • Optimization: Beyond security, our audit can help optimize your protocol for efficiency, scalability and optimal incentives, ensuring long-term success and adaptability.
  • Partnership: Engaging with Dedaub is not just a one-time service. It's the beginning of a partnership where we continually support and advise you in your Web3 journey.y