Volt Protocol contest
Findings & Analysis Report


Table of contents


About C4

Code4rena (C4) is an open organization consisting of security researchers, auditors, developers, and individuals with domain expertise in smart contracts.

A C4 audit contest is an event in which community participants, referred to as Wardens, review, audit, or analyze smart contract logic in exchange for a bounty provided by sponsoring projects.

During the audit contest outlined in this document, C4 conducted an analysis of the Volt Protocol smart contract system written in Solidity. The audit contest took place between March 31—April 6 2022.


44 Wardens contributed reports to the Volt Protocol contest:

  1. cmichel
  2. rayn
  3. hyh
  4. IllIllI
  5. catchup
  6. georgypetrov
  7. robee
  8. Jujic
  9. Dravee
  10. Hawkeye (0xwags and 0xmint)
  11. 0xkatana
  12. 0xDjango
  13. rfa
  14. CertoraInc
  15. defsec
  16. kenta
  17. sahar
  18. Funen
  19. Meta0xNull
  20. TerrierLover
  21. Kenshin
  22. Sleepy
  23. 0xkowloon
  24. csanuragjain
  25. cccz
  26. teryanarmen
  27. pauliax
  28. kyliek
  29. hake
  30. Kthere
  31. hubble (ksk2345 and shri4net)
  32. danb
  33. async
  34. aysha
  35. BouSalman
  36. shenwilly
  37. berndartmueller
  38. saian
  39. 0v3rf10w
  40. 0xNazgul
  41. okkothejawa
  42. samruna

This contest was judged by Jack the Pug.

Final report assembled by liveactionllama.


The C4 analysis yielded an aggregated total of 7 unique vulnerabilities. Of these vulnerabilities, 1 received a risk rating in the category of HIGH severity and 6 received a risk rating in the category of MEDIUM severity.

Additionally, C4 analysis included 36 reports detailing issues with a risk rating of LOW severity or non-critical. There were also 25 reports recommending gas optimizations.

All of the issues presented here are linked back to their original finding.


The code under review can be found within the C4 Volt Protocol contest repository, and is composed of 17 smart contracts written in the Solidity programming language and includes 2,430 lines of Solidity code.

Severity Criteria

C4 assesses the severity of disclosed vulnerabilities according to a methodology based on OWASP standards.

Vulnerabilities are divided into three primary risk categories: high, medium, and low/non-critical.

High-level considerations for vulnerabilities span the following key areas when conducting assessments:

  • Malicious Input Handling
  • Escalation of privileges
  • Arithmetic
  • Gas use

Further information regarding the severity criteria referenced throughout the submission review process, please refer to the documentation provided on the C4 website.

High Risk Findings (1)

[H-01] Oracle price does not compound

Submitted by cmichel


The oracle does not correctly compound the monthly APRs - it resets on fulfill.
Note that the oraclePrice storage variable is only set in _updateCPIData as part of the oracle fulfill callback.
It’s set to the old price (price from 1 month ago) plus the interpolation from startTime to now.
However, startTime is reset in requestCPIData due to the afterTimeInit modifier, and therefore when Chainlink calls fulfill in response to the CPI request, the timeDelta = block.timestamp - startTime is close to zero again and oraclePrice is updated to itself again.

This breaks the core functionality of the protocol as the oracle does not track the CPI, it always resets to 1.0 after every fulfill instead of compounding it.
In addition, there should also be a way for an attacker to profit from the sudden drop of the oracle price to 1.0 again.

Proof of Concept

As an example, assume oraclePrice = 1.0 (1e18), monthlyAPR = 10%. The time elapsed is 14 days. Calling getCurrentOraclePrice() now would return 1.0 + 14/28 * 10% = 1.05.

  • It’s now the 15th of the month and one can trigger requestCPIData. This resets startTime = now.
  • Calling getCurrentOraclePrice() now would return 1.0 again as timeDelta (and priceDelta) is zero: oraclePriceInt + priceDelta = oraclePriceInt = 1.0.
  • When fulfill is called it sets oraclePrice = getCurrentOraclePrice() which will be close to 1.0 as the timeDelta is tiny.

The oraclePrice should be updated in requestCPIData() not in fulfill.
Cover this scenario of multi-month accumulation in tests.

ElliotFriedman (Volt) commented:

Oracle price does compound per this line of code: https://github.com/code-423n4/2022-03-volt/blob/f1210bf3151095e4d371c9e9d7682d9031860bbd/contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol#L197-L198

ElliotFriedman (Volt) confirmed and commented:

This is the only valid critical finding we have seen so far! Great work cmichel!

Medium Risk Findings (6)

[M-01] vcon address change not persistent across protocol components

Submitted by rayn


vcon address is allowed to be updated by GOVERNOR in Core, however, this change will not be reflected in CoreRef._vcon. Moreover, since CoreRef._vcon cannot be updated due to contract design, it is also impossible to fix this manually. We are not yet sure how vcon will be used throughout the volt protocol, since details have not yet been made clear and code does not include related implementations. Consequently, it is impossible to estimate the exact impact. However, this desync between contracts seem dangerous enough to raise our attention, hence this report to inform the volt team about it.

Proof of Concept

In Core, vcon is allowed to be updated by GOVERNORs

    function setVcon(IERC20 _vcon) external onlyGovernor {
        vcon = _vcon;

        emit VconUpdate(_vcon);

But in CoreRef, a contract inherited by several other ones including NonCustodialPSM, GlobalRateLimitedMinter, ERC20CompountPCVDeposit and Volt, _vcon is fixed upon initialization and cannot be further updated

    IERC20 private immutable _vcon;
    constructor(address coreAddress) {
        _vcon = ICore(coreAddress).vcon();

Thus if GOVERNORS ever updated vcon in Core, the state between Core and all other Volt protocol components will mismatch.

Currently _vcon is not used in any place within the Volt protocol, but judging from the description in whitepapaer, future governance will be based on it, thus any potential desync will be devastating.

Tools Used

vim, ganache-cli

There are several possible solutions.

The first is to dynamically fetch vcon from the Core whenever CoreRef uses it, and avoid storing a static copy locally.

    function vcon() public view override returns (IERC20) {
        return _volt.vcon();

The second is to expose a public API to update _vcon in CoreRef, however, this approach might not be especially favorable since many components will require updates at once, and it is highly possible that future GOVERNORs miss some of them while doing updates.

ElliotFriedman (Volt) disagreed with High severity and commented:

Agreed this is an issue; however, if the VCON address is updated, contracts that need to reference the new value will need to be redeployed to cache this new address when CoreRef is instantiated.

Jack the Pug (judge) decreased severity to Medium and commented:

Based on the severity of the impact, I’m downgrading this to Medium.

[M-02] Setting new buffer does not reduce current buffer to cap

Submitted by cmichel, also found by rayn and catchup


The RateLimited.setBufferCap function first updates the buffer and then sets the new cap, but does not apply the new cap to the updated buffer.
Meaning, the updated buffer value can be larger than the new buffer cap which should never be the case.
Actions consuming more than the new buffer cap can be performed.

function _setBufferCap(uint256 newBufferCap) internal {
    // @audit still uses old buffer cap, should set buffer first

    uint256 oldBufferCap = bufferCap;
    bufferCap = newBufferCap;

    emit BufferCapUpdate(oldBufferCap, newBufferCap);

Update the buffer after setting the new cap:

function _setBufferCap(uint256 newBufferCap) internal {
-   _updateBufferStored();
    uint256 oldBufferCap = bufferCap;
    bufferCap = newBufferCap;

+   _updateBufferStored();

    emit BufferCapUpdate(oldBufferCap, newBufferCap);

ElliotFriedman (Volt) confirmed

[M-03] Div by 0

Submitted by robee, also found by georgypetrov, cmichel, and IllIllI


Division by 0 can lead to accidentally revert,
(An example of a similar issue - https://github.com/code-423n4/2021-10-defiprotocol-findings/issues/84)

    https://github.com/code-423n4/2022-03-volt/tree/main/contracts/utils/Deviation.sol#L23 a might be 0

It’s internal function but since it is used in another internal functions that are used in public and neither of them has this protection I thought it can be considered as medium (e.g. isWithinDeviationThreshold).

ElliotFriedman (Volt) confirmed

Jack the Pug (judge) commented:

It’s a real issue but just like many other findings, it’s unlikely to be triggered in practice.

Jack the Pug (judge) commented:

In the particular context of this project, which most of the findings won’t lead to a code update, I’ll keep this as a Med.

[M-04] OracleRef assumes backup oracle uses the same normalizer as main oracle

Submitted by cmichel


The OracleRef assumes that the backup oracle uses the same normalizer as the main oracle.
This generally isn’t the case as it could be a completely different oracle, not even operated by Chainlink.

If the main oracle fails, the backup oracle could be scaled by a wrong amount and return a wrong price which could lead to users being able to mint volt cheap or redeem volt for inflated underlying amounts.

Should there be two scaling factors, one for each oracle?

ElliotFriedman (Volt) confirmed and commented:

This is a good catch as it exposes some underlying assumptions made about backup oracles; however, we can assume that both oracles will use the same scaling factor and thus we will not need a second value for the backup oracle.

[M-05] Updating rate limit for addresses restores their entire buffer amount

Submitted by cmichel


When the bufferCap is updated for an address in _updateAddress, the address’s allowed buffer (bufferStored) is replenished to the entire bufferCap.

The address could frontrun the updateAddress call and spend their entire buffer, then the buffer is replenished and they can spend their entire buffer a second time.

Keep the old buffer value, capped by the new bufferCap:

+ uint256 newBuffer = individualBuffer(rateLimitedAddress);

  rateLimitData.lastBufferUsedTime = block.timestamp.toUint32();
  rateLimitData.bufferCap = _bufferCap;
  rateLimitData.rateLimitPerSecond = _rateLimitPerSecond;
- rateLimitData.bufferStored = _bufferCap;
+ rateLimitData.bufferStored = min(_bufferCap, newBuffer);

ElliotFriedman (Volt) confirmed and commented:

Good catch!

[M-06] NonCustodialPSM can become insolvent as CPI index rises

Submitted by hyh


NonCustodialPSM mints and redeems VOLT to a chosen stablecoin at the current market rate minus a fixed fee. It is assumed that the difference to be covered with pcvDeposit funds. That assumption is similar to one used in FEI protocol, but there no rate growth takes place as FEI to USD rate supposed to be stable, while VOLT to USD rate will rise over time.

VOLT market rate is tied to the off-chain published CPI index. The growth of this index can easily surpass the yield of the pcvDeposit used, so its interest cannot be guaranteed to be always greater than CPI index advancement. The contract can end up in the situation when no redeem be possible, i.e. NonCustodialPSM can become insolvent.

For example, let’s say the stablecoin is USDC, and now investors are worried about inflation and buy/mint 100m VOLT for 100m USDC. Fast forward 1 year, and investors were generally right, as due to rise of the oil prices happening simultaneously with logistics issues the CPI index growth end up being 30% APR for the year.

Then, inflation fears abated and, say, stocks become stronger, and investors want their funds now to put them there and sell/redeem 100m VOLT expecting 125m USDC in return (for simplicity say 5m USDC goes to mint and redeem fees combined). USDC deposit strategy used in pcvDeposit yielded 10% APR for the year. The contract cannot redeem all the funds due as it is 125 - 100 * 1.1 = 15m USDC short.

Putting severity to high as the contract serves requests sequentially and the last investors’ funds are lost this way, i.e. in the example above all the users, who came in to redeem when contract has 15m USDC in obligations and no funds, will lose their entire deposits.

Proof of Concept

Continuing the example, current low risk USDC deposit rates are circa 2.5 lower than US CPI:

AAVE: https://classic.aave.com/#/markets

Compound: https://compound.finance/markets/USDC

US CPI: https://www.bls.gov/cpi/

NonCustodialPSM.redeem uses current oracle price to determine what amount of stablecoins to be paid for 1 VOLT:



NonCustodialPSM.mint does the same:



For example, FEI protocol use a wide range of pcvDeposits, whose yields vary depending on the underlying strategy:


But there are no PCV deposits whose returns are linked to CPI of any country, so mismatch (basis) risk exists, which has to be addressed.

Consider providing a way to directly inject funds from a separately held stability fund (possibly shared across all the stablecoins and corresponding pcvDeposits) in addition to pcvDeposit as its strategy alone cannot guarantee the returns needed.

Ideally, the redeem and mint fees collected should go to this stability fund as well, with the possibility to retrieve them when there is a total surplus big enough.

More important, consider limiting the redeem amount to total user’s share of the pcvDeposit and its stability fund part, so the deficit be visible and shared between all the users. A user can then choose either to withdraw now, obtaining less than CPI index due to current liquidity situation, or to wait for stability fund to be filled up or for pcvDeposit yield to catch up. This way no user will lose the whole deposit.

ElliotFriedman (Volt) disputed, disagreed with High severity, and commented:

There is a risk of the system not being able to make everyone whole if the PCV grows too rapidly and onchain yields cannot keep up with or outcompete inflation; however, this is not a code issue, so marking as invalid.

Jack the Pug (judge) commented:

This is a valid concern. The warden explained why it’s possible to happen and how the current implementation handled it improperly, which can make some of the users suffer an unexpected and unfair loss.

The recommended fix is reasonable.

I’ll keep this as a High.

ElliotFriedman (Volt) commented:

There is a 10m FEI liquidity backstop provided by the Tribe DAO, so the system would need to be live for many years without earning any yield to finally become insolvent.

Jack the Pug (judge) decreased severity to Medium and commented:

With the new information provided by the sponsor, I now agree that the likelihood of the situation described by the warden is low. And therefore, I’m downgrading the issue from High to Medium.

Low Risk and Non-Critical Issues

For this contest, 36 reports were submitted by wardens detailing low risk and non-critical issues. The report highlighted below by rayn received the top score from the judge.

The following wardens also submitted reports: IllIllI, cmichel, Hawkeye, 0xDjango, georgypetrov, sahar, defsec, rfa, kenta, CertoraInc, cccz, robee, Jujic, Meta0xNull, pauliax, 0xkatana, hake, Dravee, teryanarmen, kyliek, danb, Kenshin, async, shenwilly, Sleepy, catchup, aysha, hubble, TerrierLover, BouSalman, Kthere, Funen, berndartmueller, 0xkowloon, and csanuragjain.


List of findings:

  • Roles management
  • oraclePrice will be imprecise
  • Unnecessary usage of init()
  • Using ecrecover is against best practice
  • valid in OraclePassThrough/read() always returns true
  • Use Address.sendValue() without import @openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Address.sol
  • setPublicChainlinkToken only called on chainId 1 and 42
  • Unused functions and modifiers

In summary of recommended security practices, complex role management easily creates confusions over the privilege of each role, it’s better to simplify the design of roles.
Also, it’s better to use a verified library like ECDSA, delete unused functions, set unused variables to private, and import contracts correctly for best practice.

[1] Roles management

After reviewing the entire volt protocol, we found that role management has been made unnecessarily complex.
While there are no immediate fatal flaws in the current role assignment, from our prior experience in dealing with privilege management, we worry that such a complex system will likely lead to future problems, especially when management gradually moves from the hands of few reliable developers to an open vcon based governance.
Due to this, we feel that there is a need to express our concerns as well as highlight a few role assignments that we find “strange”.

First. let’s review the roles included in Permissions and Tribes. The admin/members shown below are the ones explicitly assigned in contracts.

DEFAULT_ADMIN_ROLE							(native)

MINTER_ROLE/MINTER			"MINTER_ROLE"			(native) (tribe-major)

BURNER_ROLE				"BURNER_ROLE"			(native)			unused


GOVERN_ROLE/GOVERNOR			"GOVERN_ROLE"			(native) (tribe-major)
		init() caller

GUARDIAN_ROLE/GUARDIAN			"GUARDIAN_ROLE"			(native) (tribe-major)


ORACLE_ADMIN				"ORACLE_ADMIN_ROLE"		(tribe-admin)			unused



MINOR_ROLE_ADMIN			"MINOR_ROLE_ADMIN"		(tribe-admin)			unused

FUSE_ADMIN				"FUSE_ADMIN"			(tribe-admin)			unused

VETO_ADMIN				"VETO_ADMIN"			(tribe-admin)			unused

MINTER_ADMIN				"MINTER_ADMIN"			(tribe-admin)			unused

OPTIMISTIC_ADMIN			"OPTIMISTIC_ADMIN"		(tribe-admin)			unused

LBP_SWAP_ROLE				"SWAP_ADMIN_ROLE"		(tribe-minor)			unused

VOTIUM_ROLE				"VOTIUM_ADMIN_ROLE"		(tribe-minor)			unused

MINOR_PARAM_ROLE			"MINOR_PARAM_ROLE"		(tribe-minor)			unused


PSM_ADMIN_ROLE				"PSM_ADMIN_ROLE"		(tribe-minor)

Notice how a several of those roles are not used in any of the contracts (marked as unused). This is the first problem. While it is understandable that the protocol is incomplete yet, introducing redundant roles does not make management easier. AccessControl.sol allows introducing new roles post-deployment, so it might be a better idea to keep a list of dynamically introduced roles instead of listing a lot of unused ones upfront, especially since there are roles with similar names (PCVGUARDIANADMIN and PCV_CONTROLLER), between which the difference is not made clear.

Next, we carry on to see the design of Permissions.
We note that this contract is modified from the implementation of fei protocol, but on the other hand, disagree that the implementation is anywhere near optimal. To support our argument, we discuss the logic of role granting and revoking below.
So let’s look at the grantMinter function.

    function grantMinter(address minter) external override onlyGovernor {
        grantRole(MINTER_ROLE, minter);

The function specifies that it is a onlyGovernor function, which should expectedly mean that GOVERNOR, and only GOVERNOR have the privilege to add MINTER_ROLE members. However, if we dig a bit deeper, it is easy to see that this is not the case.

The grantRole function defined in AccessControl.sol is as below. Notice that it also has a modifier that specifies only admins of the specific role has privilege to add new members. Additionally, this function is public.

    function grantRole(bytes32 role, address account) public virtual override onlyRole(getRoleAdmin(role)) {
        _grantRole(role, account);

Combining this logic with the grantMinter one above, we can see that the workflow essentially becomes

  1. caller is allowed to add new users if it only has admin of MINTER_ROLE (call grantRole directly)
  2. caller is allowed to add new users if it has admin of MINTER_ROLE and GOVERNOR role (call grantRole or grantMinter)
  3. caller is not allowed to add new users if it only has GOVERNOR role (blocked by grantRole)

It is clear that the grantMinter function now becomes semi-useless, since callers with only GOVERNOR role cannot do anything without admin of MINTER_ROLE, and admin of MINTER_ROLE can always call grantRole directly even if it does not have GOVERNOR role.

Our best guess of the original intention is that GOVERNOR has full privilege over role management, while admin of roles are neglected. To realize this concept, it might be better to override the grantRole function and make it non-public, so that callers can’t circumvent the GOVERNOR check. Finally, change grantMinter to use the internal function _grantRole. Similar modifications should also be done to the revokeXXX series of functions.

Now we’ve gone through Permissions, time to look at CoreRef and OracleRef.
One of the more interesting design choice in CoreRef is the introduction of CONTRACT_ADMIN_ROLE. This allows an additional role to be granted admin over the specific contract. However, throughout the volt protocol, CONTRACT_ADMIN_ROLE does not serve any particularly useful purpose. Moreover, in some places, the usage of CONTRACT_ADMIN_ROLE does not make much sense.

For instance, let’s look at implementation of RateLimited and MultiRateLimited.
RateLimited defines a global limit to the bufferCap and rateLimitPerSecond, and MultiRateLimited defines the upper limit of individualMaxBufferCap and individualMaxRateLimitPerSecond. In our opinion, for the system to make sense, a user granted permission to change bufferCap and rateLimitPerSecond should also have permission to change individualMaxBufferCap and individualMaxRateLimitPerSecond. However, it can be seen that CONTRACT_ADMIN_ROLES are allowed to change the global limits through onlyGovernorOrAdmin modifier, while individual limits can only be changed by GOVERNOR since onlyGovernor is used. The flexibility introduced through CONTRACT_ADMIN_ROLE is not properly utilized in volt protocol, and as we see in the example above, leads to potential role privilege confusions, thus we deemed it more appropriate to remove the CONTRACT_ADMIN_ROLE mechanism altogether for simplicity.

The next aspect we would like to discuss is more of a design choice, and not really a management problem. Take it with a grain of salt.
Throughout the contract, there are several places that use the onlyGovernor modifier. However given that the roles already included controllers/admins for each specific component (PCV_CONTROLLER_ROLE, PSM_ADMIN_ROLE), it is probably more appropriate to limit GOVERNOR to only manage the Core contract. If a governor needs to modify stuff from other contracts, add the corresponding admin role to itself and use that role to authenticate further actions. This design can create a clean cut between metadata management, and actually protocol management, at the cost of slightly more gas spent in granting roles. From our limited experience, this kind of management is more robust and greatly lowers the probability of mis-management in the future.

Now we’ve discussed all general suggestions we have for role management, we finally note a few role modifier usage that we find “strange”, but are uncertain whether intended or not.

  1. NonCustodialPSM.withdrawERC20 uses modifier onlyPCVController. We find it strange that a function in the PSM module requires PCVController role. Shouldn’t this require PSM_ADMIN_ROLE instead?
  2. CompoundPCVDepositBase.withdraw uses the modifier onlyPCVController. This would require NonCustodialPSM to have the PCV_CONTROLLER_ROLE to call withdraw, and while it is not a problem strictly speaking, we find it strange to grant such a role. A more usual implementation would be to have CompoundPCVDepositBase do internal bookkeeping on the amount each address deposited, and allow withdraw with respect to those values (similar to implementation of ERC20). This avoids the introduction of an additional role (a.k.a potential point of failure due to mis-management).

Overall, complexity in role management easily creates confusions over the privilege of each role, and in the specific case of volt protocol, does not really introduce any benefits. We thus urge the developers to re-think the current role management system, and preferably simplify the design.

[02] oraclePrice will be imprecise

Public oraclePrice variable will be imprecise and confused. If other contracts try to get oracle price by calling oraclePrice() rather than calling getCurrentOraclePrice(), it will get wrong price.

Proof of Concept


Declare oraclePrice to private, and only use getCurrentOraclePrice() to get the price instead.

[03] Unnecessary usage of init()

Since Core contract does not go through a proxy, and the caller of init() is the same as the deployer in deploy script, it is unnecessary to use init functions.

Proof of Concept


Consider putting init() logic into constructor instead and stop inheriting Initializable.

[04] Using ecrecover is against best practice

Using ecrecover is against best practice. Preferably use ECDSA.recover instead. EIP-2 still allows signature malleability for ecrecover(). Remove this possibility and make the signature unique. However it should be impossible to be a threat by now.

Proof of Concept


Take these implementations into consideration



[05] valid in OraclePassThrough/read() always returns true

In OraclePassThrough.sol, valid is always true in read(). Since OracleRef uses valid to determine validity. There should be a invalid case. Otherwise, the validity check is meaningless.

Proof of Concept



Define the invalid case.

[06] Use Address.sendValue() without import @openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Address.sol

Although @openzeppelin/contracts/proxy/utils/Initializable.sol is imported in Core.sol. A good coding practice should import @openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Address.sol when using it.

Proof of Concept


Import @openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Address.sol in PCVDeposit.sol.

[07] setPublicChainlinkToken only called on chainId 1 and 42

ScalingPriceOracle checks chainId in contract constructor, it might be better to upfront reject construction if it is not intended to serve other chains.

Proof of Concept


It’s better to upfront check and reject construction if it is not intended to serve other chains.

[08] Unused functions and modifiers

These functions are noted as for backward compatibility, but not used anywhere, should probably be removed.

Proof of Concept


Unused functions:

  • _burnVoltHeld

Unused modifiers:

  • onlyVolt
  • hasAnyOfFiveRoles
  • hasAnyOfFourRoles
  • hasAnyOfThreeRoles
  • onlyGovernorOrGuardianOrAdmin
  • ifMinterSelf

Remove these unused functions and modifiers.

Gas Optimizations

For this contest, 25 reports were submitted by wardens detailing gas optimizations. The report highlighted below by IllIllI received the top score from the judge.

The following wardens also submitted reports: Jujic, Dravee, 0xkatana, CertoraInc, robee, rfa, catchup, Funen, defsec, georgypetrov, saian, kenta, Kenshin, TerrierLover, Hawkeye, samruna, 0v3rf10w, 0xNazgul, rayn, Sleepy, okkothejawa, 0xkowloon, csanuragjain, and Meta0xNull.

[G-01] Store the timestamp endpoint rather than re-calculating it every time

The isTimeEnded() function does a lot of calculations every time it’s called. It’s called from multiple modifiers so it’s important for it to be efficient. Rather than storing the duration, the code can calculate and store the ending timestamp, so isTimeEnded() can just be a direct comparison of two uint256s. The duration can be calculated by subtracting the start timestamp from the ending timestamp.

  1. File: contracts/utils/Timed.sol (lines 38-59)
    /// @notice return true if time period has ended
    function isTimeEnded() public view returns (bool) {
        return remainingTime() == 0;

    /// @notice number of seconds remaining until time is up
    /// @return remaining
    function remainingTime() public view returns (uint256) {
        return duration - timeSinceStart(); // duration always >= timeSinceStart which is on [0,d]

    /// @notice number of seconds since contract was initialized
    /// @return timestamp
    /// @dev will be less than or equal to duration
    function timeSinceStart() public view returns (uint256) {
        if (!isTimeStarted()) {
            return 0; // uninitialized
        uint256 _duration = duration;
        uint256 timePassed = block.timestamp - startTime; // block timestamp always >= startTime
        return timePassed > _duration ? _duration : timePassed;

[G-02] Lots of duplicated code between RateLimited.sol and MultiRateLimited.sol

The functionality of RateLimited.sol can be achieved by using either address(0) or address(this) as the rateLimitedAddress so having a separate RateLimited.sol contract is a waste of deployment gas.

  1. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  2. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (Various lines throughout the file)

[G-03] require()/revert() strings longer than 32 bytes cost extra gas

See original submission for instances.

[G-04] Use a more recent version of solidity

Use a solidity version of at least 0.8.10 to have external calls skip contract existence checks if the external call has a return value

  1. File: contracts/pcv/PCVDeposit.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/oracle/OraclePassThrough.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/utils/Timed.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/utils/Deviation.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/utils/GlobalRateLimitedMinter.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/volt/Volt.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/refs/OracleRef.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/refs/CoreRef.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/core/Core.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/core/TribeRoles.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;
  1. File: contracts/peg/NonCustodialPSM.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.4;

[G-05] Use a more recent version of solidity

Use a solidity version of at least 0.8.2 to get compiler automatic inlining Use a solidity version of at least 0.8.3 to get better struct packing and cheaper multiple storage reads Use a solidity version of at least 0.8.4 to get custom errors, which are cheaper at deployment than revert()/require() strings Use a solidity version of at least 0.8.10 to have external calls skip contract existence checks if the external call has a return value

  1. File: contracts/pcv/compound/CompoundPCVDepositBase.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.0;
  1. File: contracts/pcv/compound/ERC20CompoundPCVDeposit.sol (line 2)
pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

[G-06] Using bools for storage incurs overhead

    // Booleans are more expensive than uint256 or any type that takes up a full
    // word because each write operation emits an extra SLOAD to first read the
    // slot's contents, replace the bits taken up by the boolean, and then write
    // back. This is the compiler's defense against contract upgrades and
    // pointer aliasing, and it cannot be disabled.


  1. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (line 23)
    bool public doPartialAction;
  1. File: contracts/refs/OracleRef.sol (line 25)
    bool public override doInvert;
  1. File: contracts/peg/NonCustodialPSM.sol (line 52)
    bool public redeemPaused;
  1. File: contracts/peg/NonCustodialPSM.sol (line 55)
    bool public mintPaused;

[G-07] internal functions only called once can be inlined to save gas

  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 171)
    function _updateCPIData(uint256 _cpiData) internal {
  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 218)
    function _addNewMonth(uint128 newMonth) internal {
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (line 211)
    function _setupGovernor(address governor) internal {

[G-08] State variables should be cached in stack variables rather than re-reading them from storage

The instances below point to the second access of a state variable within a function. Less obvious optimizations include having local storage variables of mappings within state variable mappings or mappings within state variable structs, having local storage variables of structs within mappings, or having local caches of state variable contracts/addresses.

  1. File: contracts/pcv/compound/CompoundPCVDepositBase.sol (line 32)
        require(cToken.isCToken(), "CompoundPCVDeposit: Not a cToken");
  1. File: contracts/pcv/compound/CompoundPCVDepositBase.sol (line 57)
            (cToken.balanceOf(address(this)) * exchangeRate) /
  1. File: contracts/pcv/compound/ERC20CompoundPCVDeposit.sol (line 31)
        token.approve(address(cToken), amount);
  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 124)
        percentageChange = (delta * Constants.BP_INT) / int128(previousMonth);
  1. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (line 344)
        rateLimitPerAddress[rateLimitedAddress].lastBufferUsedTime = block
  1. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (line 110)
        emit BufferUsed(usedAmount, bufferStored);
  1. File: contracts/refs/OracleRef.sol (line 104)
            (_peg, valid) = backupOracle.read();
  1. File: contracts/refs/OracleRef.sol (line 111)
            scalingFactor = 10**(-1 * decimalsNormalizer).toUint256();

[G-09] Splitting require() statements that use && saves gas

See this issue for an example

  1. File: contracts/volt/Volt.sol (lines 90-93)
            recoveredAddress != address(0) && recoveredAddress == owner,
            "Fei: INVALID_SIGNATURE"

[G-10] Usage of uints/ints smaller than 32 bytes (256 bits) incurs overhead

When using elements that are smaller than 32 bytes, your contract’s gas usage may be higher. This is because the EVM operates on 32 bytes at a time. Therefore, if the element is smaller than that, the EVM must use more operations in order to reduce the size of the element from 32 bytes to the desired size.

https://docs.soliditylang.org/en/v0.8.11/internals/layout_in_storage.html Use a larger size then downcast where needed

See original submission for instances.

[G-11] Expressions for constant values such as a call to keccak256(), should use immutable rather than constant

See this issue for a detail description of the issue.

See original submission for instances.

[G-12] Using private rather than public for constants, saves gas

If needed, the value can be read from the verified contract source code

  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 50)
    uint256 public constant override TIMEFRAME = 28 days;
  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 55)
    uint256 public constant override MAXORACLEDEVIATION = 2_000;
  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 61)
    bytes32 public immutable jobId;
  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 64)
    uint256 public immutable fee;
  1. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (line 11)
    uint256 public immutable MAX_RATE_LIMIT_PER_SECOND;
  1. File: contracts/volt/Volt.sol (lines 13-14)
    bytes32 public constant PERMIT_TYPEHASH =
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (line 10)
    bytes32 public constant override BURNER_ROLE = keccak256("BURNER_ROLE");
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (line 11)
    bytes32 public constant override MINTER_ROLE = keccak256("MINTER_ROLE");
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (lines 12-13)
    bytes32 public constant override PCV_CONTROLLER_ROLE =
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (line 14)
    bytes32 public constant override GOVERN_ROLE = keccak256("GOVERN_ROLE");
  1. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (line 15)
    bytes32 public constant override GUARDIAN_ROLE = keccak256("GUARDIAN_ROLE");
  1. File: contracts/peg/NonCustodialPSM.sol (line 49)
    uint256 public immutable override MAX_FEE = 300;

[G-13] Duplicated require()/revert() checks should be refactored to a modifier or function

  1. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (lines 305-308)
            _rateLimitPerSecond <= MAX_RATE_LIMIT_PER_SECOND,
            "MultiRateLimited: rateLimitPerSecond too high"

[G-14] State variables only set in the constructor should be declared immutable

  1. File: contracts/pcv/compound/ERC20CompoundPCVDeposit.sol (line 16)
    IERC20 public token;

[G-15] require() or revert() statements that check input arguments should be at the top of the function

Checks that involve constants should come before checks that involve state variables

  1. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (lines 270-273)
            _rateLimitPerSecond <= MAX_RATE_LIMIT_PER_SECOND,
            "MultiRateLimited: rateLimitPerSecond too high"
  1. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (lines 305-308)
            _rateLimitPerSecond <= MAX_RATE_LIMIT_PER_SECOND,
            "MultiRateLimited: rateLimitPerSecond too high"
  1. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (lines 46-49)
            _rateLimitPerSecond <= _maxRateLimitPerSecond,
            "RateLimited: rateLimitPerSecond too high"

[G-16] Use custom errors rather than revert()/require() strings to save deployment gas

  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  2. File: contracts/utils/Timed.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  3. File: contracts/utils/MultiRateLimited.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  4. File: contracts/utils/RateLimited.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  5. File: contracts/volt/Volt.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  6. File: contracts/refs/OracleRef.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  7. File: contracts/refs/CoreRef.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  8. File: contracts/core/Permissions.sol (Various lines throughout the file)
  9. File: contracts/peg/NonCustodialPSM.sol (Various lines throughout the file)

[G-17] Not using the named return variables when a function returns, wastes deployment gas

  1. File: contracts/oracle/ScalingPriceOracle.sol (line 150)
        return sendChainlinkRequestTo(oracle, request, fee);


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C4 Contests incentivize the discovery of exploits, vulnerabilities, and bugs in smart contracts. Security researchers are rewarded at an increasing rate for finding higher-risk issues. Contest submissions are judged by a knowledgeable security researcher and solidity developer and disclosed to sponsoring developers. C4 does not conduct formal verification regarding the provided code but instead provides final verification.

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