Can an external account create a contract which can do anything the external account tells it to do, including calling arbitrary contracts and sending ether?

That is, the contract does not define specific methods, but can do anything an external account can do, so maybe it has one generic method, which only the owner address can use, which receives as arguments what the owner wants the contract to do (calling another contract, sending ether, etc).

Is it possible to implement a contract like this in Solidity?

1 Answer 1


Vitalik provided an example (in Serpent) that should be portable to Solidity now.

# We assume that data takes the following schema:
# bytes 0-31: v (ECDSA sig)
# bytes 32-63: r (ECDSA sig)
# bytes 64-95: s (ECDSA sig)
# bytes 96-127: sequence number (formerly called "nonce")
# bytes 128-159: gasprice
# bytes 172-191: to
# bytes 192-223: value
# bytes 224+: data

# Get the hash for transaction signing
~mstore(0, ~txexecgas())
~calldatacopy(32, 96, ~calldatasize() - 96)
~mstore(0, ~sha3(0, ~calldatasize() - 64))
~calldatacopy(32, 0, 96)
# Call ECRECOVER contract to get the sender
~call(5000, 1, 0, 0, 128, 0, 32)
# Check sender correctness; exception if not
if ~mload(0) != 0x82a978b3f5962a5b0957d9ee9eef472ee55b42f1:
# Sequence number operations
with minusone = ~sub(0, 1):
    with curseq = self.storage[minusone]:
        # Check sequence number correctness, exception if not
        if ~calldataload(96) != curseq:
        # Increment sequence number
        self.storage[minusone] = curseq + 1
# Make the sub-call and discard output
with x = ~msize():
    ~call(msg.gas - 50000, ~calldataload(160), ~calldataload(192), 160, ~calldatasize() - 224, x, 1000)
    # Pay for gas
    ~mstore(0, ~calldataload(128))
    ~mstore(32, (~txexecgas() - msg.gas + 50000))
    ~call(12000, ETHER, 0, 0, 64, 0, 0)
    ~return(x, ~msize() - x)

This code would sit as the contract code of the user’s account; if the user wants to send a transaction, they would send a transaction (from the zero address) to this account, encoding the ECDSA signature, the sequence number, the gasprice, destination address, ether value and the actual transaction data using the encoding specified above in the code. The code checks the signature against the transaction gas limit and the data provided, and then checks the sequence number, and if both are correct it then increments the sequence number, sends the desired message, and then at the end sends a second message to pay for gas (note that miners can statically analyze accounts and refuse to process transactions sending to accounts that do not have gas payment code at the end).

The visible part (may be others) that isn't portable now is ~txexecgas() which is a new opcode (point 8 of EIP 101), but it shouldn't be needed currently since miners get paid currently.

References (new to old):

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