How to build secure Smart Contracts with Rust on NEAR Protocol

Blockchain developers dream of creating smart contracts that do not fail. This requires secure and reliable programming. In this article, Blaize's experts share their secrets and tips to create secure smart contracts on NEAR Protocol with Rust.
Why NEAR Protocol?
This blockchain hosts 750 active projects, 125 DAOs, and 550 thousand community members. While it may not be the most widely used network for developing smart contracts with Rust language, it offers several advantages. NEAR protocol is a convenient and functional platform for smart contracts because it simplifies memory management with macros. It has no severe security flaws and uses sharding, which securely distributes data storage requirements.

Moreover, it has some unique features that set it apart from other protocols, such as:
Why Rust?

Rust, for its part, is a powerful and versatile language that is well-suited for smart contracts. Moreover, it offers security and performance that appeals to blockchain developers. And additionally, it is a low-level language capable of directly manipulating memory. Others benefits of this language are:

Strong safety guarantees that prevent common errors and vulnerabilities in programming.
Excellent performance that allows fast and efficient execution of smart contracts.
A supportive community and a rich ecosystem of libraries and tools.
We must remember that many blockchains (such as Solana, Terra, Aptos, etc.) are looking to save time and effort, so they don't care about giving developers a good API and offering them an incomplete interface.
NEAR, on the other hand, strives to provide a quality API. That's why working on NEAR with Rust language is a pleasure most of the time.
How to create a secure smart contract on NEAR with Rust?
If you want to make smart contracts with Rust on NEAR, these are the steps you should follow:

With these detailed steps, you will succeed in creating, testing, and deploying a smart contract on the NEAR Protocol. Remember to follow best practices for securing your smart contracts and use the Rust and NEAR Protocol tools to verify them. Remember that you can also use an external service to execute an audit and ensure the complete safety of your deployment.

Some extra safety tips
You must consider some specific issues to secure your smart contracts in the NEAR Protocol. This way, you can avoid errors and problems affecting your contracts. Here are some of the issues Blaize experts have encountered most often and the best ways they can be addressed:

Manage gas well in cross-contract invocations
If you do not allocate enough gas, the call may fail. Do not rely on local simulations, which can mislead you about the gas amount on a real node. Instead, calculate the gas you need well and put enough for each call.
Use unique storage prefixes for each container within a contract
If you don't, you may lose data or even have an asset stolen. The prefixes let the chain know which data belongs to which container.

Revert changes if there is an error in a call chain between contracts.

If you do not do this, the changes before the error will be maintained. Always check if a call fails and undo any actions you have done before.

Following these recommendations and best practices will ensure secure and reliable smart contracts in the NEAR Protocol.

You've just learned how to create secure smart contracts on the NEAR Protocol with Rust, a vital skill for developers in the blockchain space. This article has given you a comprehensive overview of the process, from the fundamentals to the best practices for security.
As a result, you now have the tools and knowledge to build secure and reliable smart contracts catering to your dApp and its users. But, if you want to delve deeper into this topic, Blaize experts are always ready to help you with educational material on their blog.
About Blaize

The advice described above is backed by Blaize's experience developing and auditing smart contracts on the NEAR Protocol. Blaize is a Ukrainian blockchain development and security company with a track record of success in the NEAR ecosystem, including auditing several Rainbow Bridge modules and creating a complex TradeFi platform for spot trading named OMOMO. In addition, the company holds two wins in the Near Hack 2021, with a lending protocol for NEAR and a DAO protocol for source reputation validation.
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