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Characterizing Code Clones in the Ethereum Smart Contract Ecosystem

by   Ningyu He, et al.

In this paper, we present the first large-scale and systematic study to characterize the code reuse practice in the Ethereum smart contract ecosystem. We first performed a detailed similarity comparison study on a dataset of 10 million contracts we had harvested, and then we further conducted a qualitative analysis to characterize the diversity of the ecosystem, understand the correlation between code reuse and vulnerabilities, and detect the plagiarist DApps. Our analysis revealed that over 96 while a large number of them were similar, which suggests that the ecosystem is highly homogeneous. Our results also suggested that roughly 9.7 contract pairs have exactly the same vulnerabilities, which we assume were introduced by code clones. In addition, we identified 41 DApps clusters, involving 73 plagiarized DApps which had caused huge financial loss to the original creators, accounting for 1/3 of the original market volume.


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