I'm trying to figure out from Ethereum's yellow paper (Homestead edition) how does its storage model works (NOT memory model).

It seems that the storage is updated only once, after a transaction is over.

Specifically, SSTORE updates σ' (the post-transaction state in the yellow's paper notation), and SLOAD loads from σ (the pre-transaction state).

If that's true, then this pseudo-OPCODE:


would act the same as:

SSTORE(1,"question") SLOAD(1) SSTORE(1,"another question") SLOAD(1)

Did I get it right? Is there a way to update the storage during a transaction (using it as a RAM)?

1 Answer 1


The definition you're reading from the Yellow Paper is for a single instance of SSTORE, and a single instance of SLOAD. You need to combine it with the rest of the paper, for example Section 6.2 Execution.

SSTORE and SLOAD works in the natural way: an SLOAD immediately following an SSTORE, will load the value that was just stored.

An example contract with storage variables x and y (so SSTORE and SLOAD are used):

contract C {
  uint x;
  uint y;

  function f() {
    x = 1;
    y = x;  // y is 1
    x = 2;
    y = x;  // y is 2

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