I recently saw a smart contract where the user used keccak256(address), is there any reason to do this, instead of just storing the address in the mapping?

2 Answers 2


It can be part of an effort to obfuscate data. For example, in games or scenarios in which players shouldn't know. For example, suppose one wishes to name a beneficiary without actually revealing the details.

Storing hashes in a contract can be part of challenge/response process. There are many ways and reasons, some of them good. :-)

Hope it helps.

  • I see. At first I thought it was a way to circumvent some sort of overflow. Now I think it was obfuscation. Apr 15, 2018 at 18:32
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    But it's hashed within the contract, so the actual address is known. If it were hashed off-chain and the hash was submitted, then yes, this would make sense, but doing the hashing on-chain would defeat the purpose of obfuscation.
    – natewelch_
    Apr 15, 2018 at 18:59
  • My answer is about good uses in general before you showed us that horrible contract. It's not an opinion about any particular example. Apr 15, 2018 at 19:18

This would likely be pointless since the address is already the last 160 bits of a keccak256 hash. Were they using the keccak256(address) as the key in the mapping? If so, this would be doubly pointless since a mapping hashes the key anyway. It's hard to say exactly if it's pointless without seeing the contract.

  • yeah, it was a byte32 key. The code is here: etherscan.io/address/… . It is on line 67 Apr 15, 2018 at 18:18
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    yeah, looks pointless to me. they likely didn't realize that maps already hash the key or that addresses are already hashes.
    – natewelch_
    Apr 15, 2018 at 18:20
  • Alright thank you for checking the code. It was a bit confusing at first. Apr 15, 2018 at 18:21
  • Hmmm ... there's much to question in that contract. Apr 15, 2018 at 18:46

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