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Whenever I see a DAO or ICO contract, the token contract is a contract at a different address... Let's say I want to create a democratic DAO contract without an owner. When someone sends 1 ETH to the contract some tokens are generated by the contract and credited to the msg.sender (up to a specified maximum supply) wouldn't it make sense to pack them into one contract? What speaks against it or why are those contracts always separated from each other?

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There are several possible reasons:

  • Block Gas limit: The block gas limit limits how much functionality you can include in a single contract. This should be a non-issue because mainnet has 8M gas limit and it should be enough for most contracts.
  • Security: Having separate contracts can make them easier to audit, each one is has a single purpose. But having two contracts can make interactions between them more complex.
  • Upgradability: You can upgrade one contract without affecting the other too much.

But each crowdsale is different and you can priviledge one aspect over others, like usability, or simplicity.

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Separation of concerns is a good programming practice.

The smart contract world needs to keep up with the best programming practices, as otherwise we have a bunch of amateurs going around and losing other people's money.

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