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Let's say I create a new token on ETH using the cheapest possible ERC20 contract. Then if I want to create 1 billion of these tokens, I suppose I need to execute an additional transaction? Any estimate on the gas costs for that?

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    It depends on the contract, you could write a contract such that it mint the toke on deployment.
    – Ismael
    Dec 12, 2021 at 21:03

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The cost of a contract depends on its code complexity and memory usage.

If you want to create 1 billion tokens sent to one address, that's just one additional transaction. But if you want to have them sent out equally divided between say 1000 accounts, that's expensive to have as multiple transactions.

At the end of the day where ERC20 contracts are concerned, an account's balance is just an entry in a hashtable within the contract. That's like a database entry. So you could set up the 1000 accounts with their respective balances while deploying the contract, in which case it's all self-contained within the one original deployment transaction. The deployment would be slightly more expensive because of the storage of those 1000 addresses and the additional code, but not nearly as expensive as 1000 transactions more.

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