I'm a beginner trying to write a Token contract, and I have encountered an error using Solidity 0.4.19. Here is the piece of code with the problem:

  function createTokens () payable {
    require(msg.value >0);

    uint256 tokens = msg.value.mul(RATE);
    balances[msg.sender] = balances[msg.sender].add(tokens);


This is the error message:

Member "mul" not found or not visible after argument-dependent lookup in uint256

Can anyone please offer a tip to fix this, thank you very much?

1 Answer 1


You stumbled into an advanced pattern.

You could say

uint256 tokens = msg.value * RATE;

That would do the trick except that it might overflow if the result is ever over 2^256. To make sure that and other nasty things don't ever happen, there is a popular SafeMath.sol contract you can use. It's over here: https://github.com/OpenZeppelin/zeppelin-solidity/blob/master/contracts/math/SafeMath.sol

Then you might start out with:

import "./SafeMath.sol";

contract myContract {

  using SafeMath for uint256;

  // ... carry on

Now, type uint256 has a method .mul that the compiler is looking for.

Hope it helps.

  • Thank you so much :) It worked but I had exactly the same error on the following line, so I replaced .add with + and that seems to work fine. Thanks again Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 6:09
  • It's the same idea. If the add method isn't present it's probably because balances is cast as something other than uint256. Thanks for the accept. ;-) Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 6:17
  • Too bad they did put shl (shift-left) in there as well... Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 6:43

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