Skip to content

WAX Token Audit

The WAX team asked us to review and audit their WAX Token contract. We looked at the code and now publish our results.

The audited code is located in the waxio/wax-erc20-delivery-contract repository. The version used for this report is commit 6c7098dd2522630d74c9600f678b3b28d58fa9aa.

Here is our assessment and recommendations, in order of importance.

Update: The WAX team has followed our recommendations and updated the WAX Token contract. The new version is at commit b545b4adb093daa23c2bb013b2ac8fe91753739a.

Critical severity

No critical severity issues were found.

High severity

No high severity issues were found.

Medium severity

No medium severity issues were found.

Low severity

Install OpenZeppelin via NPM

Pausable, SafeMath, Ownable, ERC20Basic, ERC20, BasicToken, and StandardToken were copied from the OpenZeppelin repository. Moreover, they appear to have been copied from the master branch, instead of the release. This violates OpenZeppelin’s MIT license, which requires the license and copyright notice to be included if its code is used, and makes it difficult and error-prone to update to a more recent version.

Consider following the recommended way to use OpenZeppelin contracts, which is via the zeppelin-solidity NPM package. This allows for any bugfixes to be easily integrated into the codebase.

Update: Impoted OpenZeppelin as NPM dependency in 57d8603.

OpenZeppelin standard contracts were modified

Additionally to copying OpenZeppelin’s contracts instead of installing them via NPM, some of them were modified.

The contract BasicToken was modified to add a state variable contractAddress, and the functions transfer, and transferFrom in StandardToken were modified to require that the receiver of tokens is not the WaxToken contract itself.

This is not the way OpenZeppelin standard contracts should be used. Making changes to open-source libraries, instead of using them as is, can be dangerous and won’t allow you to integrate bug-fixes into the codebase easily.

Add these additional preconditions to the WaxToken contract, instead of OpenZeppelin’s contracts. For example, override the transfer function adding the additional restriction and call super.transfer(…) within it. (Note: this has actually already been done, so it’s a matter of removing the modifications to OpenZeppelin’s contracts.)

Update: Fixed in 57d8603.

Token allowances may be increased or decreased when paused

The StandardToken contract defines an increaseApproval and decreaseApproval methods that could be called and executed even when the WaxToken contract is paused.

Consider overriding in WaxToken the increaseApproval and decreaseApproval methods of the OpenZeppelin StandardToken contract, adding the whenNotPaused modifier.

Notice that this is already implemented in OpenZeppelin as PausableToken. Consider using it instead.

Update: Fixed as suggested in fb1d356.

Notes & Additional Information

  • The added fallback function with a manual revert is not necessary, since this is the default behavior of Solidity contracts. Consider removing it.
  • The WaxToken contract is requiring that the receiver is not the zero address in transfer and transferFrom. OpenZeppelin’s BasicToken and StandardToken already have this precondition. Consider removing those validations from the WaxToken contract.
  • In the WaxToken constructor, a reference to this (the address of the contract) is stored in a variable called contractAddress. We see no reason why this variable is used instead of directly using the value of this throughout the contract.
  • The functions transfer and transferFrom have a precondition to reject a transfer of tokens to the WaxToken contract itself. It would be good to define a modifier that ensures this condition to avoid code duplication.
  • The WaxToken contract defines all its public functions without the public keyword explicitly. It’s important to mark public functions as such, even though Solidity functions are public by default, to avoid confusion. Moreover, since version 0.4.17 of Solidity, the compiler will show a warning if the visibility specifier (public) is not explicitly given.
  • The INITIAL_SUPPLY variable is initialized multiplying 1000000000 by the corresponding amount of decimals defined for the contract. Such a long number is hard to verify manually. It would be better to use the notation 1e9 to represent this kind of number in order to avoid typos.
  • Keep in mind that there is a possible attack vector on the approve/transferFrom functionality of ERC20 tokens, described here. Consider using the mitigations implemented in OpenZeppelin’s StandardToken.

Update: Suggestions were implemented in 841b4f9, 72686ef, d597238 and 2d9ffbc.


No critical or high severity issues were found. Some changes were proposed to follow best practices and reduce potential attack surface.

Note that as of the date of publishing, the above review reflects the current understanding of known security patterns as they relate to the WAX Token contracts. We have not reviewed the related WAX project. The above should not be construed as investment advice. For general information about smart contract security, check out our thoughts here.