What Are External Actions in Crypto and How to Know If Something Can Be Changed After Renouncement

Aug 3, 2023

Crypto Basics

What are External Actions (Actions That Can Run After Renouncing)?

Part of DYOR (Do Your Own Research) before investing in a crypto project is knowing if it is renounced. As we discussed in the “What does a verified or renounced contract mean in crypto” blog post, a renounced contract is when the owner has given up control of the contract and is typically unable to perform certain actions such as changing taxes or blacklisting wallets.

Today, we are going to talk about external actions. External actions are actions that can be called even after a contract is renounced. It is important to understand what actions can be taken for a renounced contract to determine if there are any risks.

If A Contract Is Renounced, How Can Someone Make Changes?

Each action that can modify items within the contract has the option to be locked down to the owner of the contract and most of the time they are. Whew, that was a mouthful. Let’s break that down in an example:

  • A contract is launched with an action that allows the retrieval of ETH that was mistakenly sent to the contract address

  • There are two ways this action could be set up:

    • Locked down so only the owner can make the change (can NOT be run after renouncing)

    • Open so anyone can call the action (CAN be run after renouncing)

The above example could be very beneficial if someone had mistakenly sent ETH to the contract address. IF coded correctly, there should be no risk to holders. This is something you should DYOR by looking at the code and/or discussing with the project.

Typically, most actions are locked down so that only the owner can call them, however, that is not always the case.  When this occurs, it is important to understand what those actions are capable of doing.

How Do I Know If Something Can Be Changed After Renouncement?

Quick Intel’s scanner displays a simple “Yes” or “No” to show if there are actions that can be performed after a contract is renounced. The next step is to DYOR with the project to understand what those actions are meant to do and then make a decision if you are comfortable with their response.

Note that if you are a Basic+ or All Access holder, the scanner will show you the specific actions that were identified so you can review the code.