Making Blockchain Security a Priority: How Developer Relations Can Champion Safety

With billions of dollars on the line, security is paramount for blockchain platforms and applications. However, many projects relegate security to an afterthought rather than a foundational priority. Risky smart contracts get deployed without audits, vulnerabilities go unreported, and education on secure development lags.

While developer relations teams don’t control core engineering, they play a crucial role as liaisons to the broader community. By championing security as a top concern and facilitating best practices, they can substantially move the needle on blockchain safety.

Here are some ways developer relations teams can instill security into the culture and make it a priority:

Promote Audits as Standard Practice

All significant smart contracts should undergo professional audits prior to launch on mainnet. Developer relations should advocate for this best practice and help companies source reputable auditing services early in development.

Spotlight Projects that Audit

To motivate other teams to audit, developer relations should praise and spotlight projects conducting thorough audits in communications. Positive reinforcement for doing the right thing incentivizes emulation.

Require Bug Bounties

Bug bounties incentivize researching and responsibly disclosing vulnerabilities. Developer relations should push for bug bounty programs with sufficient rewards to attract white hat hackers to poke holes prior to mainnet deployments.

Educate on Disclosure Norms

Developer relations needs to spread awareness of responsible disclosure expectations, like providing reasonable timelines for fixes before making bugs public. Clear guidance avoids surly reactions that discourage future disclosures.

Create Security Resources

Developer relations can create security guides, checklists, videos, and other learning resources that teach best practices for smart contract development. Championing education makes security top of mind early on.

Host Secure Coding Events

In addition to general education, developer relations can organize training workshops, hackathons, and other collaborative events specifically focused on secure coding. Making security social improves retention.

Recognize White Hats

When researchers responsibly disclose vulnerabilities, developer relations should validate their service with acknowledgement across community channels. Thanking those who strengthen the ecosystem incentivizes further contributions.

Call Out Irresponsibility

While praise drives positive behavior, criticizing irresponsible actions also exerts pressure. Developer relations should constructively yet directly call out teams that act negligently around security for the betterment of the community.

Advise Protocol Developers

Developer relations can leverage insights from the broader ecosystem to advise protocol developers on designing architecture, APIs, documentation and tools in ways that encourage secure use. A wide lens provides a helpful perspective.

Measure and Report Progress

Tracking and broadcasting metrics like audits completed, bugs fixed, and disclosures rewarded demonstrate a project’s security posture improvements over time. Transparency around key performance indicators matters.

While security is an engineering responsibility, developer relations play an influential role as community stewards. Advocating for security, facilitating education, providing incentives, and celebrating successes can significantly move the needle on blockchain safety. With vigilance and care, we can foster an ecosystem that prioritizes its own protection.