How can I invalidate a smart contract that has already been deployed? I might want to do so because of business reasons, and maybe beneficial network effects.

Is it possible to invalidate a smart contract?

2 Answers 2


Unless the contract has a function that calls selfdestruct (initial name suicide), the contract will remain on the blockchain.

  • self-destruct can it be called after doing some api calls to a remote server? I am not sure whether remote api calls in allowed in the smart-contract
    – niksmac
    Feb 14, 2016 at 5:09
  • 1
    There are no remote API calls in Ethereum. See ethereum.stackexchange.com/q/301/131.You have to use a service like oraclize.it. You can call selfdestruct at any time, but you need to explicitly code it into the contract. Otherwise the contract will live forever Feb 14, 2016 at 5:53
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    @TjadenHess thats a valid point, edit the answer and add your point.
    – niksmac
    Feb 14, 2016 at 9:31

Yes, there is a SUICIDE call which will render the contract inoperable. Notably, calling a deleted account won't result in an error so you would want to also have the application check the state of the account.

In Solidity the SUICIDE EVM call is performed by the selfdestruct function.

  • @niksmac The yellow paper doesn't have "selfdestruct" – that is a solidity function. Not sure editing answer makes sense for a comment.
    – nessence
    May 16, 2016 at 0:38

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