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Coinbase Explores Use of ChatGPT to Check Security of ERC-20 Tokens

ChatGPT has taken the internet by storm and while different people use it for different purposes, Coinbase is looking at using it to analyze the security of ERC-20 tokens.

The leading global crypto exchange conducted a test to see the suitability of the technology in verifying the security of Ethereum-based tokens. Results from the test show that ChatGPT has potential for use in this area if harnessed properly, although it didn’t quite hit the desired level yet.

Stating the goal of the test, Coinbase said “The goal of the experiment was to determine ChatGPT’s token security review accuracy by comparing the review results with the results of a standard review performed by a blockchain security engineer.”

Details of the Test

According to a blog published on 20 March, Coinbase conduted an automated token review using its own ERC-20 token review framework. Compared to the analysis done by its internal team using internal review tools, ChatGPT only hit 60% accuracy. The main issue was where the AI tool labelled high-risk assets as low-risk 50% of the time.

Another major concern as stated by Coinbase is that “ChatGPT is not capable of recognizing when it lacks context to perform a robust security analysis,” and that it may result in output instabilty if used.

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The exchange also reported that it “had to feed the tool more information. Specifically, we had to teach it how to identify risks defined by our security review framework” in order for ChatGPT to produce results similar to what the blockchain security team used.

Other ChatGPT Tests

Earlier this month, one of the exchange’s staff, Conor Grogan had used the technology to find bugs in smart contract. He reported that ChatGPT successfully detected bugs, which could be the most significant use of the technology in the crypto industry.

“In an instant, it highlighted a number of security vulnerabilities and pointed out surface areas where the contract could be exploited. It then verified a specific way I could exploit the contract,” he said.


Although Grogan reported excellent results from ChatGPT’s detection of vulnerabilities in smart contracts, some critics questioned how the tool detected such vulnerabilities. Some insinuated that it may have simply searched for the information on the internet, and should be tested with newer smart contracts since the one in question has been around since 2018.

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Indeed, ChatGPT has become a part of everyday life, being used to aid writers and professionals in all walks of life. It seems it may just be a matter of time before it is applied fully in the crypto industry. Coinbase has however set the pace, and more crypto startups may start looking into its use in their projects.

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Alexander Grayson

Alexander Grayson is a seasoned crypto trader with over a decade of experience in the industry. He has a reputation for his analytical approach to trading and his ability to anticipate shifts in the crypto landscape.

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