The Ethereum Foundation grants a research grant Columbia and Yale to help them compile a new smart-contract programming language into the Ethereum Virtual machine (EVM).
Cointelegraph received a press release on March 6 that announced the announcement. The grant will go to DeepSea, a smart contract R&D company. The project is being led by Professor Ronghui Gu (an assistant professor of computer science at Columbia) in collaboration with Yale researchers.
Gu is also co-founder of CertiK, a blockchain security company. He was also one of the participants in the project which raised “several millions” in a Binance Labs funding round last October.
This grant, which is part of the fifth wave of funding, falls under the auspices of the Ethereum Foundation Grants program. This programme supports Ethereum 2.0 and Layer 2 scaling efforts.
Named after a new programming language for smart contracts that was created at the research laboratory of Professor Shao, Yale’s department chair in computer science and Gu’s co-founder at CertiK.
Although the language was originally intended for the implementation system software, the press release highlights that smart contract vulnerabilities pose high risks and have given DeepSea a new impetus to expand its “protective features”. Professor Gu has explained:
“Smart contracts can be self-executable, and are therefore permanent. It is important that smart contracts work as intended. Programmers will be able to use Formal Verification to add safeguards in the DeepSEA language to ensure that code conforms to specifications.”
“Formal Verification” refers to the “The process of using mathematical proofs to confirm the correctness and implementation of code.It was reported that it was first implemented in NASA’s Mars Rover and other hardware system, which the press release describes as “mission critical”.
The process can now be extended to software systems as CertiK’s auditing smart contracts and Blockchain protocols. This can be used to prevent bugs from being introduced while compiling DeepSea into EVM.