When working through the MetaCoin sample project; within the MetaCoin.sol file we have this method:

function sendCoin(address receiver, uint amount) returns(bool sufficient) {
    if (balances[msg.sender] < amount) return false;
    balances[msg.sender] -= amount;
    balances[receiver] += amount;
    Transfer(msg.sender, receiver, amount);
    return true;

Inside the test script; when calling the sendCoin method; the code is passing a third parameter: {from: account_one}

return meta.sendCoin(account_two, amount, {from: account_one});

I can understand the code needs to know from what account to send the coin from; but I am not understanding how this is working as the sendCoin method signature has two parameters.

3 Answers 3


in truffle you always need to add this object parameter representing the values you need for transactions in Ethereum. like in:

eth.sendTransaction({from: '0x036a03fc47084741f83938296a1c8ef67f6e34fa', to: '0xa8ade7feab1ece71446bed25fa0cf6745c19c3d5', value: web3.toWei(1, "ether")})

the to is provided by Truffle, which is of course the contract's address. But things like from, gas and value can/should/must be defined by hand. So the last arg is an object containing these parameters. Hint: When simply calling (read-only) a function, you can provide the from information, too, to pass a specific wallet address to a contract and get desired information returned.


The snippet of contract code you're looking at uses msg.sender, which is a special variable that always exists in the global namespace.

Normally when you call a contract, the msg.sender value will reflect the address of the default account of the caller (i.e. account[0]).

If you don't want to use the default account, then you can explicitly specify a different account using the {from: <a_different_account>} method. In your case the account_one variable can be set to point to any address you own.


Also see this previous thread: Can I execute functions within a contract (transact) from multiple accounts?


https://trufflesuite.com/docs/truffle/how-to/contracts/interact-with-your-contracts/ says:

We passed an object as the third parameter to sendCoin. Note that the sendCoin function in our Solidity contract doesn't have a third parameter. What you see above is a special object that can always be passed as the last parameter to a function that lets you edit specific details about the transaction ("transaction params"). Here, we set the from address ensuring this transaction came from accounts[0]. The transaction params that you can set correspond to the fields in an Ethereum transaction:

  • from
  • to
  • gas
  • gasPrice
  • value
  • data
  • nonce

It is optional and as Richard Horrocks said, from defaults to accounts[0]. I guess that default is in the same way that the initial gas to migrate the contract comes from the same account.

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