When calling sendSignedTransaction I got:

VM Exception while processing transaction: stack underflow

Used code is below, using TESTRPC:

const serializeTx = async (contractInstance, publicKey, privateKey, funcData) => {
    let privateKeyBuff = new Buffer(privateKey, 'hex');

    const gasLimit = 500000;

    const nonceNumber = await web3.eth.getTransactionCount(publicKey);
    const nonce = web3.utils.toHex(nonceNumber);
    const gasPrice = web3.utils.toHex(web3.eth.gasPrice);
    const gasLimitHex = web3.utils.toHex(gasLimit);
    const rawTx = {
        'nonce': nonce,
        'gasPrice': gasPrice,
        'gasLimit': gasLimitHex,
        'from': publicKey,
        'to': contractInstance.address,
        'data': funcData

    let tx = new EthereumTx(rawTx);

    return '0x' + tx.serialize().toString('hex');

    let funcData = MyContract.methods.reserve(param).encodeABI();

        const serializedTx = await serializeTx(

        let result = await web3.eth.sendSignedTransaction(serializedTx);

Same contract function is working nice in Remix, also working nice when called using truffle-contract. Now when I try to sign the transaction data it throws Error: Returned error: VM Exception while processing transaction: stack underflow

EDIT: The problem was using contractInstance.address it should be contractInstance._address

  • It seems you are using web3 v1.0-beta, from their example you do not need to prefix the serialized transaction with '0x' web3js.readthedocs.io/en/1.0/web3-eth.html#id67. – Ismael Oct 19 '17 at 6:48
  • 2
    Just found out, the problem was in using contractInstance.address. In current version the address is under contractInstance._address. I will edit the question with the fix. – Kristian Oct 19 '17 at 6:59

I had this problem recently, and from what I could gather (your comment, this comment in an issue in ganache-cli and this other), VM Exception while processing transaction: stack underflow happens when the to: value is undefined or incorrect when trying to sign a transaction.

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