I posted a question yesterday but deleted it, since I did things differently. However, the problem remains the same and I really need to get through this:


Automatically connect to Parity account, automatize the use of a smart contract with web3

smart contract

That contract simply notarizes (put into the bockchain) a string. The function to call is Notarize("whatever you want")

my code

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

from web3 import Web3, HTTPProvider
import subprocess
import json
import time

#launching parity, chain: kovan testnet, using TOML file (must be correctly configured!)
#subprocess.run() or call() won't work as it doesn't return until it is finished. Popen() does the trick
#finally, runing only "parity.exe" will run the FUNDATION chain without the CLI taken into account. So, CLI must be added as well

subprocess.Popen('C:\Program Files\Parity Technologies\Parity\parity.exe --chain "kovan" --jsonrpc-apis  "eth,net,web3,personal,parity" --pruning "fast" --tracing "off" --fat-db "off"')

#let some time before the next command

#interacting with blockchain client as a HTTP object
w3= Web3(HTTPProvider(""))

#unlocking account
w3.personal.unlockAccount("0x00.....", "password")



#define contract adress and contract instance

#define abi JSON of smartcontract, parsing it and using it further as contract instance
with open("C:/Users/jaekl/Documents/scripts/python/ethereum_blockchain.json", "r") as f:

#contract instance:
contract_instance=w3.eth.contract(abi, contractAddress)

#using the function "notarize" of the smart contract to send a string on the blockchain kovan
to_send=contract_instance.transact({"from":"0x00..."}) .notarize("a string")


I can connect to Parity with the subprocess. I manage to see the last block for exemple (see code). But I need to unlock my account in order to interact with my contract. However, an error keeps poping up:

runfile('C:/Users/jaekl/Documents/scripts/python/ethereum_blockchain/parity_automatization.py', wdir='C:/Users/jaekl/Documents/scripts/python/ethereum_blockchain')
Traceback (most recent call last):

  File "<ipython-input-1-92ff1f4de1cb>", line 1, in <module>
    runfile('C:/Users/jaekl/Documents/scripts/python/ethereum_blockchain/parity_automatization.py', wdir='C:/Users/jaekl/Documents/scripts/python/ethereum_blockchain')

  File "C:\Users\jaekl\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\spyder\utils\site\sitecustomize.py", line 880, in runfile
    execfile(filename, namespace)

  File "C:\Users\jaekl\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\spyder\utils\site\sitecustomize.py", line 102, in execfile
    exec(compile(f.read(), filename, 'exec'), namespace)

  File "C:/Users/jaekl/Documents/scripts/python/ethereum_blockchain/parity_automatization.py", line 22, in <module>
    w3.personal.unlockAccount("0x00...", "password")

  File "C:\Users\jaekl\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\web3\personal.py", line 93, in unlockAccount
    [account, passphrase, duration],

  File "C:\Users\jaekl\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\web3\manager.py", line 96, in request_blocking
    raise ValueError(response["error"])

ValueError: {'code': -32601, 'message': 'Method not found'}

I tried everything possible. Read a lot of posts/issues about the CLI or TOML configuration. I run parity as follow:

"C:\Program Files\Parity Technologies\Parity\parity.exe" --chain "kovan" --jsonrpc-apis  "eth,net,web3,personal,parity" --pruning "fast" --tracing "off" --fat-db "off"

But it doesn't work ! I am becoming crazy about that.

What am I doing wrong? Is the way I configure parity CLI options not correct ? Do I really need to unlock my account to interact with my contract?

Thank you very much !


1 Answer 1


Parity does not support account unlocking like Go Ethereum does.

Instead, for the automated transaction, you need to use Parity signing module that follows a different logic:


Also Parity offers persistent account unlock using a command line option. However in the case of multiple accounts, they must share the same password.

Here are --unlock command line switch instructions: https://ico.readthedocs.io/en/latest/chain.html#parity-with-kovan-testnet

  • Thank you. Is it also possible using a CLI "--unlock" ? I just saw that here: ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions/15467/… and is my way of calling the function "NOTARIZE" correct?
    – user36745
    Mar 29, 2018 at 13:46
  • Yes, it is possible to use CLI unlock, updated my answer. Apr 2, 2018 at 10:12

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