New to Blockchain and Ethereum technology here so forgive me if this has been asked before, however I can't seem to find anything on it.

Effectively I am looking a creating a new contract and a private ethereum block chain for a research project and was wondering if it was possible to create a private smart contract and block chain and run it without ether?

  • do you mean worthless ether? if it is your case so don't worry in private context the ether is wortless
    – Badr Bellaj
    Feb 21, 2017 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


It actually is possible to send a transaction with a gasPrice of zero, and therefore run a contract without any ether, as long as miners are willing to mine it. On a private chain, with specific miners, this would not be a problem, so you could have an etherless chain.

That said, you can create effectively infinite private chain ether, so there's little reason to do this. You can even create your own faucet that sends trillions of this private chain ether away for free.


Technically, it's not possible to run an Ethereum blockchain without Ether, since the two are tightly coupled at the protocol level. However, it is possible to develop, test and demonstrate Ethereum Dapps without using valuable Ether.

Most developers use blockchain emulator such as testRPC and/or private chains for development purposes, and then deploy on the public testnet for public testing and demonstration.

In all those scenarios, the Ether seems to exist and the accounting unfolds but the Ether is of no actual value.

By far the easiest procedure (at least easiest to describe IMO) is to use the testnet. This is just a matter of instructing the Mist browser and/or the geth/parity node to use testnet instead of mainnet. Mining on testnet is considerably easier than mainnet, which means one can usually earn an ample supply of Ether for experimentation with minimal effort and no expense.

Hope it helps.


Not possible. Ether has a mapping with each operation on the EVM. Your best option was to have a genesis block and assign to one or many ethereum addresses a lot of ether, so you don't have to worry on running out of ether.

  • Thanks Herman, Explains why I Couldn't find any information on the topic. Would a way to ensure that the request had ether to have it assign ether to the contract for the process and then have it send ether back to the process requestor? Feb 21, 2017 at 19:35

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