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Chia Blockchain Security Intro

In this lesson, we learn the basic security implementations in Chia and how they protect users from bad actors.

Learning objectives

  • Decentralization: Understand how a decentralized network enhances security and reduces attack options for bad actors.
  • Coin Signatures: Learn how coin signatures protect the users ability to spend the coins.
  • Chialisp Security: Review the inherent security of Chialisp, the language used for coin puzzles.

Content


Script

Expand for the full script

00:00
The Chia blockchain uses several layers of security.

00:10 The first the inherent security that comes from decentralization. By following a consensus method that prioritizes decentralization,

00:20 the network ensures that the new blocks being formed are not manipulated by bad actors. There is no need to have a trusted third party to validate transactions, as the network as a whole will weed out anything non-valid.

00:30 To secure transactions, we use signatures to protect the coins. In order to make sure that a transaction hasn’t been altered,

00:40 every spend bundle (the packet of information about a transaction that gets sent out to nodes) contains an aggregated signature that will only match if the underlying information is unaltered.

00:50 In addition, a common condition included in the coin is a required signature to spend, preventing anyone but the authorized party from using the coin.

01:00 Additionally, the language used to create "smart coins" is a custom flavor of Lisp called "Chialisp" that is designed to be highly efficient, secure, and easily auditable

01:10 so you can be sure about what exactly a coin is going to do when it is spent.

01:20


Common gotchas

  • Decentralization: The true decentralization of Chia greatly increases the economic costs associated with performing various attacks on Chia, protecting it from all scales of bad actors.
  • Coin Signatures: Ensuring that a coins solution requires signing ensures that only the intended user can spend the coin, this is an essential part of securing coins on Chia.
  • Chialisp Security: Chialisp has been developed from Lisp to ensure Chia coins are highly efficient, secure, and easily auditable.

Knowledge check

Question 1 - Decentralization

Does Chia rely on a centralized third party to validate and secure the blockchain?

Answer (expand when ready to see the answer)

No, Chia is truly decentralized and its network ensures security and block validity through the established consensus mechanism.

Question 2 - Coin Signatures

Do all coin solutions require signatures to be secure?

Answer (expand when ready to see the answer)

No, while coin signatures are highly recommended for securing coins they are not required and Chialisp operators provide alternatives for securing coins. Note - if building coin puzzles that do not require signed solutions be very attentive to all possible exploits, some of which are documented here.

Question 3 - Chialisp

True or False: Chia uses the same on-chain language that is used for Bitcoin.

Answer (expand when ready to see the answer)

False, a custom-developed flavor of Lisp called Chialisp was developed to be used for the Chia blockchain.


Additional resources

  • General Security Overview: overviews of Chia security and a review of potential attacks.
  • Overview of Coin Signing: reviews the purpose of signing and when it should be used for coins.
  • Chialisp detailed documentation: detailed information on all aspects of Chialisp.
  • Support in discord: for further support join our discord server and ask in the #chialisp or #support channels.