Truth Bomb: Software is Hard and It Takes Time (But Let's Get It Right)

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By WaLLrus
Estimated reading: 8mins

Time and time again, the crypto landscape has suffered the consequences of projects launching too soon. To date, these consequences have amounted to billions of dollars worth of lost crypto.

Above all else, frequent DeFi exploits have made one thing clear: no protocol that has been rushed to market should ever handle real value.

In order to protect everyday users and help the crypto landscape fully mature, the crypto space needs project teams to take a more deliberate and cautious approach to DeFi development.

But first let’s take a look at the fundamental problem at hand, which is that software is hard!

Why Software is Hard

  • Complexity: Software can be incredibly complex, especially when it needs to perform multiple tasks, handle large datasets, or integrate with various systems. 
  • Constant Change: The technology landscape evolves rapidly. New programming languages, frameworks, and tools emerge regularly, and developers must keep up with these changes to remain relevant. 
  • Bugs and Debugging: Software inevitably contains bugs or errors. Finding and fixing these bugs can be time-consuming and frustrating. Even a small mistake in code can lead to significant issues in the software's functionality.
  • Requirements Uncertainty: Gathering and defining requirements for software projects can be a complex and sometimes vague process. 
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: Thorough testing and quality assurance are crucial for ensuring that software works correctly and reliably. Creating test cases, conducting tests, and addressing issues discovered in testing can be time-intensive.
  • Scaling Challenges: As software is used by more people or processes more data, it may need to scale to handle increased demand. Scaling software can be a complex task, requiring careful design and optimization.
  • Security Concerns: Security is a paramount concern in software development. Protecting against cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security threats requires ongoing vigilance and expertise.
  • User Experience (UX): Creating software that provides a positive user experience involves not only functional considerations but also usability, accessibility, and design principles. Balancing these aspects can be challenging.
  • Team Collaboration: Many software projects involve collaboration among developers, designers, project managers, and other stakeholders. Effective communication and coordination among team members are essential but can be difficult to achieve.
  • Legacy Code: Maintaining and updating existing software, often referred to as working with "legacy code," can be particularly challenging. Older codebases may lack documentation or be written in outdated languages or practices.
  • Time and Budget Constraints: Projects often have tight deadlines and budget constraints. Balancing the need for speed with the desire for high-quality software can be a constant challenge.
  • Customization: Tailoring software to meet specific business needs can be complex, as it requires a deep understanding of both the software and the organization's unique requirements.

DeFi Projects Must Get It Right the First Time

True DeFi projects are immutable. This means that their underlying technology cannot be changed after they launch.

When handled with the right care and caution, this is one of the best things about decentralized projects. 

By interacting with a decentralized finance protocol that you know to be reliable and immutable, you never have to worry about the rules being changed in a way that benefits someone else and harms you.

Immutability means getting to transact in a consistent landscape that is free from the trappings of centralized finance—such as censorship, fraud, and rigged financial systems.

However, immutability also means that project teams need to be incredibly meticulous in their approach. When an immutable project is rushed, it can have dire consequences.

In the DeFi landscape, projects run on smart contracts. These are simply pieces of software that are designed to execute specific functions once provable criteria has been met.

Since an immutable project cannot be changed, bug-ridden code can subject users to counterparty risk. For example, a smart contract could fail to execute correctly and cause you to not receive your funds in a decentralized trade.

Worse still, when smart contracts are not meticulously created and patiently audited, bad actors can find vulnerabilities in the code that allow them to steal funds and compromise the network’s integrity.

When DeFi Goes Wrong, Users Suffer

Public attention can be fickle. This means that whenever a trend takes off, hundreds—if not thousands—of teams begin working to solve a market need as quickly as they can.

In the world of business, strategists are often focused on a concept known as time to market (TTM). This is the amount of time that it takes a project to go from its inception to being delivered to users.

Whenever the crypto market receives increased public attention, we see project teams race to deliver their token or dApp to users as quickly as possible. As a consequence, many of these projects have equally quick lifespans. 

But rushed projects do more than just hurt their chances of longevity. They also take users, and the border reputation of decentralized finance, down with them.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of examples of this happening. 

One such case happened back in 2021, when a smart contract bug resulted in a DeFi founder accidentally distributing his own funds to users. According to CNBC’s reporting, he then had to beg users to return his $90 million USD worth of crypto.

Often, however, it is actually the users—rather than the project founders—who end up losing money as a consequence of avoidable errors.

Last year, many of the biggest financial losses in the DeFi space were due to vulnerabilities in smart contracts.

This includes the largest DeFi exploit to date: the $615 million USD heist on a popular EVM-based blockchain known as Ronin.

The multi-million dollar heist purportedly occurred as a consequence of an attacker finding a backdoor that they used to exploit the network.

Findings from ChainSec further emphasize the massive scale at which DeFi exploits impact users and the broader crypto landscape. The site currently lists 148 exploits that have taken place, with a total value of $4.28 billion USD.

DeFi Projects Need a Better Approach

People are tired of suffering at the hands of faulty code. They have learned the hard way that, when it comes to crypto, good things come to those who wait. 

In this regard, projects like Ethereum and Bitcoin can be thought of as the gold standard on the importance of patience in crypto development.

Developers supporting each of these projects only propose updates to the community once they are certain about the effects it will have. 

Ethereum's developers, for instance, were under significant pressure to release the long-awaited update—which transformed the network into a Proof-of-Stake chain.

But despite this growing pressure, the Shanghai update was not rushed to market. Rather, developers took their time to make sure that it posed no risk to the network or its users. 

As a result, the update was adopted near unanimously by the entire network of Ethereum miners. 

In addition to the consistent popularity of both of those tokens, this shows that there is a strong appetite right now for projects that take their time. A project or update should only ever launch once developers know that their code is perfect and unimpeachable.

One of the ways that this can be achieved is through crypto audits. Auditing is the practice in which code, and a network's infastructure, are thoroughly reviewed in order to call attention to vulnerabilities so that they can be corrected.

In the case of Liquid Loans, the Liquid Loans team has taken great care and time in making sure that the network is perfect before the mainnet launches.

LL dApp

While this has resulted in the mainnet launch being postponed in the past, this is actually a sign that developers are prioritizing perfection above everything else.

Liquid Loans has been audited by Halborn, a leading independent cyber security company in the crypto space. The results of this audit are being made available to the community prior to Liquid Loans' mainnet launch.

In addition, Liquid Loans has been allowing users to access a testnet prior to the mainnet launch. 

This testnet is essentially a practice version of the network. It allows users to fully understand the Liquid Loans ecosystem before they use it to access real value.

It has also given the Liquid Loans team the opportunity to further improve the network's security.

You deserve to have access to an ecosystem that is robust and truly secure. 

That's why Liquid Loans is setting out to be perfect from day one. While perfection can't be rushed, it's always worth the wait when it comes to keeping your digital assets safe.

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Disclaimer:Please note that nothing on this website constitutes financial advice. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided on this website is accurate, individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision. Before making any decision, we strongly recommend you consult a qualified professional who should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.

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WaLLrus is the Global Head of Growth and Partnerships at Liquid Loans, and host of The Weigh In With Wallrus podcast series. He has been in the crypto space since 2015, and is widely recognized as a DeFi thought leader and strategist.

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