Take this scenario:

Contract A {
   function whoIsSender() public returns (address){
      return (msg.sender);

Contract B is A {
   function withThis() public returns (address){
      return (this.whoIsSender());

   function withoutThis() public returns (address){
      return (whoIsSender());

I was expecting both functions to return the same. Apparently it is not. It seems that using the this keyword breaks it to a contract-to-contract invocation and then msg.sender becomes the contract address instead of the wallet? Is this by design and can someone explain why?

1 Answer 1


This is touched on a bit here: https://solidity.readthedocs.io/en/v0.4.21/contracts.html#visibility-and-getters, but essentially what you're saying is correct.

<address>.<function>() (e.g. this.whoIsSender()) sends a message to the contract at that address. This is an external call, and msg.sender is the address of the account that made the call.

<function>() (e.g. whoIsSender()) does an internal function call (just a JUMP).

  • How about checking own balance using this.balance? Is it an external call? Is there any other way to get contract's own balance other than this.balance?
    – shaharsol
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 17:44
  • 2
    No, this.balance is not any sort of call. That syntax is also deprecated: use address(this).balance instead.
    – user19510
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 17:51

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