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Is this possible? I've followed the mainnet forking guide @ https://hardhat.org/hardhat-network/guides/mainnet-forking.html

I'm more than a bit confused about the development environments local fork, even though I'm using alchemy and supposedly forking with a pin at a block where a smart contract should exist, It doesn't seem to exist on my local dev environment.

If someone could provide a straight forward resource to setting up this described environment, I would greatly appreciate it. The hardhat documentation walks through interacting with hardhat deployed contracts, but I'm not sure how to use ethers or web3 to interact with this mainnet fork..

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Basically it would be like you're running ganache locally, but ganache is actually a copy of the mainnet snapshot at the pinned block you have configured. You could then deploy new contracts to that running instance or connect to already-deployed contracts via their mainnet addresses like:

let contract = new ethers.Contract(contractAddress, abi, provider);

They only way to be sure if mainnet forking was working or not would be to run a script that uses hardhat node and try to connect to a mainnet-forked contract.

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