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Summing Up Smart Transitions

by   Neta Elad, et al.

Some of the most significant high-level properties of currencies are the sums of certain account balances. Properties of such sums can ensure the integrity of currencies and transactions. For example, the sum of balances should not be changed by a transfer operation. Currencies manipulated by code present a verification challenge to mathematically prove their integrity by reasoning about computer programs that operate over them, e.g., in Solidity. The ability to reason about sums is essential: even the simplest ERC-20 token standard of the Ethereum community provides a way to access the total supply of balances. Unfortunately, reasoning about code written against this interface is non-trivial: the number of addresses is unbounded, and establishing global invariants like the preservation of the sum of the balances by operations like transfer requires higher-order reasoning. In particular, automated reasoners do not provide ways to specify summations of arbitrary length. In this paper, we present a generalization of first-order logic which can express the unbounded sum of balances. We prove the decidablity of one of our extensions and the undecidability of a slightly richer one. We introduce first-order encodings to automate reasoning over software transitions with summations. We demonstrate the applicability of our results by using SMT solvers and first-order provers for validating the correctness of common transitions in smart contracts.


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