I build, compiled and deployed (to Testrpc) the token contract from the cryptocurrency tutorial.

The token offers the transfer(addres _to, uint256 value) method, which I would like to call from coinbase in the node console.

> contractDeployed.transfer
{ [Function: bound ]
  request: [Function: bound ],
  call: [Function: bound ],
  sendTransaction: [Function: bound ],
  estimateGas: [Function: bound ],
  getData: [Function: bound ],
  'address,uint256': [Circular] }
> contractDeployed.transfer(web3.eth.accounts[1], 100)
Error: invalid address
    at inputAddressFormatter (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/formatters.js:273:11)
    at inputTransactionFormatter (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/formatters.js:99:20)
    at /home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/method.js:89:28
    at Array.map (native)
    at Method.formatInput (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/method.js:88:32)
    at Method.toPayload (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/method.js:114:23)
    at Eth.send [as sendTransaction] (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/method.js:139:30)
    at SolidityFunction.sendTransaction (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/function.js:170:26)
    at SolidityFunction.execute (/home/mzh/node_modules/web3/lib/web3/function.js:256:37)
    at repl:1:18

What is wrong with the address of accounts[1]?

> web3.eth.accounts[1]

How else to execute the transfer?

I also tried the instructions from the TESTRPC helpfile to unlock accounts at startup:

mzh@~ $ node_modules/.bin/testrpc --secure -u 0 -u 1
EthereumJS TestRPC v4.1.3 (ganache-core: 1.1.3)

Available Accounts
(0) 0x0e7088e20e8d7e23a2ec6704104fbcc0e6c61845
(1) 0xa27b21423aeab486b0eb9d24d36dc354813754ce
(2) 0x6769222c45b93ca010b911842f893b8f3c862f25 🔒
(3) 0xe4dcd88080804ea5f047fabe609dd8236090f75c 🔒
(4) 0xca26648402c7446179d9d76fbc736f817d43f9fe 🔒

Clearly, accounts 0 and 1 are unlocked from the start. Still, I can't transfer from account 0 to 1.

> contractDeployed.transfer(web3.eth.accounts[1], 100)
Error: Error: could not unlock signer account
    at StateManager.queueTransaction (/home/mzh/node_modules/ethereumjs-testrpc/build/cli.node.js:83073:21)
    at GethApiDouble.eth_sendTransaction (/home/mzh/node_modules/ethereumjs-testrpc/build/cli.node.js:82631:14)

I got the inspiration for the solution from this question.

The call to transfer requires an additional, implicit argument

> contractDeployed.transfer(web3.eth.accounts[1], 100, {from: web3.eth.accounts[0]})

2 Answers 2


If you want to transfer ether from one account to another account, you can use this:


Try eth.defaultAccount = web3.eth.accounts[1] or personal.unlockAccount(web3.eth.accounts[1]) Or both.

  • I tried it, but I get a very strange error which I can not understand
    – TMOTTM
    Nov 1, 2017 at 10:04
  • Really strange but actually i use all the commangs that you do but without preceeding web3. Can you try all the same with no web3. prefix?
    – ITisha
    Nov 1, 2017 at 10:23
  • I work in the node console, not the geth console. it needs web3. prepended.
    – TMOTTM
    Nov 1, 2017 at 10:24
  • I found the solution, see edited question.
    – TMOTTM
    Nov 1, 2017 at 10:53

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