I have come across statements like uint256(0) and address(0). What is the meaning of that?

For example this statement in solidity docs uint256(0) - uint256(1) == 2**256 - 1


It's just casting a value explicity into a specific type. There are a few everyday uses for it.

As a guard:

require(msg.sender != address(0), "You forgot to populate the address field.");

It's also useful for constants in a contract because, by default, they will cast to the smallest possible precision.

This example is a little contrived because Solidity has improved since this: Unexpected implicit casting in Solidity's exponential operator.

pragma solidity 0.5.8;

contract Cast {

    function weirdResult() public pure returns(uint) {
        uint8 y = 3;
        uint8 x = 10;
        return x**y;

10 to the power of 3 is 232? Yikes!

You will see constants wrapped in a type to avoid all doubt about how they should be cast. It's a good safety habit.

return uint(10)**uint(3); // less possibility of misinterpretation

instead of

return 10**3;

As a general style thing, I like to avoid using any hard-coded values deep in the contracts and declare them up front, instead.

address constant NULL_ADDRESS = address(0);
bytes32 constant NULL_KEY = bytes32(0);

You could even

uint constant NO_MONEY = uint(0);


require(msg.value != NO_MONEY, "You have to send some ether.");

Hope it helps.

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