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Web3.js

Web3.js is a Javascript library for building on EVM-compatible networks.

It allows developers to interact with smart contracts, send transactions, and retrieve data from the network.

Prerequisites

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This guide assumes you have the latest version of Node.js installed.

To install web3 in your project, run the following command:


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npm install web3

Initializing Web3 with Flow

To use web3 in your project, start by importing the module and initializing your Web3 instance with a Flow RPC endpoint. This example uses Flow Previewnet.


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const { Web3 } = require('web3')
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const web3 = new Web3('https://previewnet.evm.nodes.onflow.org')

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Currently, only Flow Previewnet is available. More networks are coming soon - see here for more info.

Querying The Blockchain

web3 provides a number of methods for querying the blockchain, such as getting the latest block number, querying account balances, and more.

You can try using some of these methods to verify that your web3 instance is working correctly.


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// Get the latest block number
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const blockNumber = await web3.eth.getBlockNumber()
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console.log(blockNumber) // Latest block number
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// Get the balance of an account
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const balance = await web3.eth.getBalance('0x1234') // Replace with any address
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console.log(balance) // Balance in attoFlow
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// Get the chain ID
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const chainId = await web3.eth.getChainId()
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console.log(chainId) // 0x286 (Flow Previewnet)
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// Get the gas price
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const gasPrice = await web3.eth.getGasPrice()
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console.log(gasPrice) // Gas price in attoFlow

For more information about other queries you can make web3, please see the official documentation.

Interacting with Smart Contracts

The web3 library allows developers to interact with smart contracts via the web3.eth.Contract API.

For this example we will use the following Storage contract, deployed on Previewnet to the address 0x4c7784ae96e7cfcf0224a95059573e96f03a4e70. Note that anyone can interact with this contract, as it is deployed on a public network, so state may not always be as expected.

We recommend deploying your own contract, which can be done using Hardhat or Remix.


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// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
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pragma solidity ^0.8.0;
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contract Storage {
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uint256 public storedData;
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function store(uint256 x) public {
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storedData = x;
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}
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function retrieve() public view returns (uint256) {
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return storedData;
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}
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}

The ABI for this contract can be generated using the solc compiler, or another tool such as Hardhat or Remix.

Now that we have both the ABI and address of the contract, we can create a new Contract object for use in our application.


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// Replace with the ABI of the deployed contract
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const abi = [
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{
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"inputs": [],
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"stateMutability": "nonpayable",
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"type": "constructor"
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},
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{
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"inputs": [
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{
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"internalType": "uint256",
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"name": "x",
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"type": "uint256"
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}
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],
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"name": "store",
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"outputs": [],
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"stateMutability": "nonpayable",
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"type": "function"
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},
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{
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"inputs": [],
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"name": "retrieve",
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"outputs": [
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{
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"internalType": "uint256",
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"name": "",
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"type": "uint256"
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}
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],
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"stateMutability": "view",
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"type": "function"
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}
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]
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// Replace with the address of the deployed contract
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const contractAddress = "0x4c7784ae96e7cfcf0224a95059573e96f03a4e70"
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// Create a new contract object with the ABI and address
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const contract = new web3.eth.Contract(abi, contractAddress)

We can now interact with the contract on the network by using the contract object.

Reading State

State can be read from the contract by using the call function with one of the contract's methods. This will not change the state and will not send a transaction.


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// Retrieve the current value stored in the contract
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// (this is using the `retrieve` method from the contract with no arguments)
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const result = await contract.methods.retrieve().call()
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console.log(result) // Current value stored in the contract

Changing State

We can mutate the state of the contract by sending a transaction to the network.

In order to send a transaction to the network, you will need an account with sufficient funds to pay for the transaction.

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If you do not have an account yet, you can create one using the following command from your project's root directory:


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node -e "console.log(require('web3').eth.accounts.create())"

Note that this is not a secure way to generate an account, and you should use a more secure method in a production environment.

For Previewnet, you can fund your account using the Flow Faucet.

We can use the privateKeyToAccount function to create an Web3Account object from our account's private key.


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// You must replace this with the private key of the account you wish to use
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const account = web3.eth.accounts.privateKeyToAccount('0x1234')

Then, we can sign a transaction using the user's account and send it to the network.


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const newValue = 1337 // Replace with any value you want to store
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// Sign a transaction that stores a new value in the contract
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// (this is using the `store` method from the contract with the new value as an argument)
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let signed = await account.signTransaction({
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from: account.address,
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to: contractAddress,
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data: contract.methods.store(newValue).encodeABI(),
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gas: 10000000n, // Replace with the gas limit you want to use
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gasPrice: await web3.eth.getGasPrice(), // Replace with the gas price you want to use
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})
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// Send signed transaction to the network
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const result = await web3.eth.sendSignedTransaction(signed.rawTransaction)
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// { status: 1, transactionHash: '0x1234', ... }
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// status=1 means the transaction was successful
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console.log(result)

Now that the transaction has been sent, the contract's state should have been updated. We can verify this by querying the contract's state again:


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const result = await contract.methods.retrieve().call()
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console.log(result) // New value stored in the contract

For more information about using smart contracts in web3.js, see the official documentation.