Documentation and Procedures

When launching a contract that will have substantial funds or is required to be mission critical, it is important to include proper documentation. Some documentation related to security includes:

Specifications and Rollout Plans

  • Specs, diagrams, state machines, models, and other documentation that helps auditors, reviewers, and the community understand what the system is intended to do.
  • Many bugs can be found just from the specifications, and they are the least costly to fix.
  • Rollout plans that include details listed here, and target dates.


  • Where current code is deployed
  • Compiler version, flags used, and steps for verifying the deployed bytecode matches the source code
  • Compiler versions and flags that will be used for the different phases of rollout.
  • Current status of deployed code (including outstanding issues, performance stats, etc.)

Known Issues

  • Key risks with contract
  • e.g., You can lose all your money, hacker can vote for certain outcomes
  • All known bugs/limitations
  • Potential attacks and mitigants
  • Potential conflicts of interest (e.g., will be using yourself, like did with the DAO)


  • Testing (including usage stats, discovered bugs, length of testing)
  • People who have reviewed code (and their key feedback)


  • Action plan in case a bug is discovered (e.g., emergency options, public notification process, etc.)
  • Wind down process if something goes wrong (e.g., funders will get percentage of your balance before attack, from remaining funds)
  • Responsible disclosure policy (e.g., where to report bugs found, the rules of any bug bounty program)
  • Recourse in case of failure (e.g., insurance, penalty fund, no recourse)

Contact Information

  • Who to contact with issues
  • Names of programmers and/or other important parties
  • Chat room where questions can be asked