Working with Contracts

Deploying Contracts

Each time Brownie is loaded it will automatically compile your project and create ContractContainer objects for each deployable contract. This object is a container used to access individual deployments. It is also used to deploy new contracts.

>>> Token
>>> type(Token)
<class ''>
>>> Token.deploy
<ContractConstructor object 'Token.constructor(string _symbol, string _name, uint256 _decimals, uint256 _totalSupply)'>

ContractContainer.deploy is used to deploy a new contract.

>>> Token.deploy
<ContractConstructor object 'Token.constructor(string _symbol, string _name, uint256 _decimals, uint256 _totalSupply)'>

It must be called with the contract constructor arguments, and a dictionary of transaction parameters containing a from field that specifies which Account to deploy the contract from.

>>> Token.deploy("Test Token", "TST", 18, 1e23, {'from': accounts[1]})

Transaction sent: 0x2e3cab83342edda14141714ced002e1326ecd8cded4cd0cf14b2f037b690b976
Transaction confirmed - block: 1   gas spent: 594186
Contract deployed at: 0x5419710735c2D6c3e4db8F30EF2d361F70a4b380
<Token Contract object '0x5419710735c2D6c3e4db8F30EF2d361F70a4b380'>

Calling ContractContainer.deploy returns a ProjectContract object. The returned object is also appended to the ContractContainer.

>>> t = Token.deploy("Test Token", "TST", 18, 1e23 {'from': accounts[1]})

Transaction sent: 0x2e3cab83342edda14141714ced002e1326ecd8cded4cd0cf14b2f037b690b976
Transaction confirmed - block: 1   gas spent: 594186
Contract deployed at: 0x5419710735c2D6c3e4db8F30EF2d361F70a4b380
<Token Contract object '0x5419710735c2D6c3e4db8F30EF2d361F70a4b380'>

>>> t
<Token Contract object '0x5419710735c2D6c3e4db8F30EF2d361F70a4b380'>
>>> Token
[<Token Contract object '0x5419710735c2D6c3e4db8F30EF2d361F70a4b380'>]

Unlinked Libraries

If a contract requires a library, Brownie will automatically link to the most recently deployed one. If the required library has not been deployed yet an UndeployedLibrary exception is raised.

>>> MetaCoin.deploy({'from': accounts[0]})
  File "brownie/network/", line 167, in __call__
    f"Contract requires '{library}' library but it has not been deployed yet"
UndeployedLibrary: Contract requires 'ConvertLib' library but it has not been deployed yet

>>> Convert.deploy({'from': accounts[0]})
Transaction sent: 0xff3f5cff35c68a73658ad367850b6fa34783b4d59026520bd61b72b6613d871c
ConvertLib.constructor confirmed - block: 1   gas used: 95101 (48.74%)
ConvertLib deployed at: 0x08c4C7F19200d5636A1665f6048105b0686DFf01
<ConvertLib Contract object '0x08c4C7F19200d5636A1665f6048105b0686DFf01'>

>>> MetaCoin.deploy({'from': accounts[0]})
Transaction sent: 0xd0969b36819337fc3bac27194c1ff0294dd65da8f57c729b5efd7d256b9ecfb3
MetaCoin.constructor confirmed - block: 2   gas used: 231857 (69.87%)
MetaCoin deployed at: 0x8954d0c17F3056A6C98c7A6056C63aBFD3e8FA6f
<MetaCoin Contract object '0x8954d0c17F3056A6C98c7A6056C63aBFD3e8FA6f'>

Interacting with your Contracts

Once a contract has been deployed, you can interact with it via via calls and transactions.

  • Transactions are broadcast to the network and recorded on the blockchain. They cost ether to run, and are able to alter the state to the blockchain.
  • Calls are used to execute code on the network without broadcasting a transaction. They are free to run, and cannot alter the state of the blockchain in any way. Calls are typically used to retrieve a storage value from a contract using a getter method.

You may call or send a transaction to any public function within a contract. However, depending on the code, there is always a preferred method:

  • In Solidity, callable methods are labelled as view or pure
  • In Vyper, callable methods include the @constant decorator.

All public contract methods are available from the ProjectContract object via class methods of the same name.

>>> Token[0].transfer
<ContractTx object 'transfer(address _to, uint256 _value)'>
>>> Token[0].balanceOf
<ContractCall object 'balanceOf(address _owner)'>

When a contract source includes NatSpec documentation, you can view it via the method:

>>> Token[0]
transfer(address _to, uint256 _value)
  @dev transfer token for a specified address
  @param _to The address to transfer to.
  @param _value The amount to be transferred.


State-changing contract methods are called via a ContractTx object. This object performs a transaction and returns a TransactionReceipt.

You may optionally include a dictionary of transaction parameters as the final argument. If you do not do this, or do not specify a from value within the parameters, the transaction is sent from the same address that deployed the contract.

>>> Token[0].transfer(accounts[1], 1e18, {'from': accounts[0]})

Transaction sent: 0x6e557594e657faf1270235bf4b3f27be7f5a3cb8a9c981cfffb12133cbaa165e
Token.transfer confirmed - block: 4   gas used: 51019 (33.78%)
<Transaction object '0x6e557594e657faf1270235bf4b3f27be7f5a3cb8a9c981cfffb12133cbaa165e'>

If you wish to call the contract method without a transaction, use the method.

>>> Token[0][1], 1e18, {'from': accounts[0]})

Transaction Parameters

When executing a transaction to a contract, you can optionally include a dict of transaction parameters as the final input. It may contain the following values:

  • from: the Account that the transaction it sent from. If not given, the transaction is sent from the account that deployed the contract.
  • gas_limit: The amount of gas provided for transaction execution, in wei. If not given, the gas limit is determined using web3.eth.estimateGas.
  • gas_price: The gas price for the transaction, in wei. If not given, the gas price is set according to web3.eth.gasPrice.
  • amount: The amount of Ether to include with the transaction, in wei.
  • nonce: The nonce for the transaction. If not given, the nonce is set according to web3.eth.getTransactionCount while taking pending transactions from the sender into account.
  • required_confs: The required confirmations before the TransactionReceipt is processed. If none is given, defaults to 1 confirmation. If 0 is given, immediately returns a pending TransactionReceipt, while waiting for a confirmation in a separate thread.

All currency integer values can also be given as strings that will be converted by Wei.


To maintain compatibility with web3.eth.sendTransaction, you can use gas, gasPrice and value as aliases for gas_limit, gas_price, and amount.


Contract methods that do not alter the state are called via a ContractCall object. This object will call the contract method without broadcasting a transaction, and return the result.

>>> Token[0].balanceOf(accounts[0])

If you wish to access the method via a transaction you can use ContractCall.transact.

>>> tx = Token[0].balanceOf.transact(accounts[0])

Transaction sent: 0xe803698b0ade1598c594b2c73ad6a656560a4a4292cc7211b53ffda4a1dbfbe8
Token.balanceOf confirmed - block: 3   gas used: 23222 (18.85%)
<Transaction object '0xe803698b0ade1598c594b2c73ad6a656560a4a4292cc7211b53ffda4a1dbfbe8'>
>>> tx.return_value

Contracts Outside of your Project

When working in a live environment or forked development network, you can create Contract objects to interact with already-deployed contracts.

Contract objects may be created from interfaces within the interfaces/ folder of your project, or by fetching information from a remote source such as a block explorer or ethPM registry.

Using Local Interfaces

The InterfaceContainer object (available as interface) provides access to the interfaces within your project’s interfaces/ folder.

For example, to create a Contract object from an interface named Dai:

>>> interface.Dai
<InterfaceConstructor 'Dai'>

>>> interface.Dai("0x6B175474E89094C44Da98b954EedeAC495271d0F")
<Dai Contract object '0x6B175474E89094C44Da98b954EedeAC495271d0F'>

You can also use the Contract.from_abi classmethod to instatiate from an ABI as a dictionary:

>>> Contract.from_abi("Token", "0x79447c97b6543F6eFBC91613C655977806CB18b0", abi)
<Token Contract object '0x79447c97b6543F6eFBC91613C655977806CB18b0'>

Fetching from a Remote Source

Contract objects may also be created by fetching data from a remote source. For example, use Contract.from_explorer to create an object by querying Etherscan:

>>> Contract.from_explorer("0x6b175474e89094c44da98b954eedeac495271d0f")
Fetching source of 0x6B175474E89094C44Da98b954EedeAC495271d0F from
<Dai Contract '0x6B175474E89094C44Da98b954EedeAC495271d0F'>

Persisting Contracts between Sessions

The data used to create Contract objects is stored in a local database and persists between sessions. After the initial creation via a class method, you can recreate an object by initializing Contract with an address:

>>> Contract("0x6b175474e89094c44da98b954eedeac495271d0f")
<Dai Contract '0x6B175474E89094C44Da98b954EedeAC495271d0F'>

Alternatively, Contract.set_alias allows you to create an alias for quicker access. Aliases also persist between sessions.

>>> contract = Contract("0x6b175474e89094c44da98b954eedeac495271d0f")
>>> contract.set_alias('dai')

>>> Contract('dai')
<Dai Contract '0x6B175474E89094C44Da98b954EedeAC495271d0F'>