Problem: All method calls to my deployed contract return null


Geth: 1.9.9-unstable Git Commit: c2d65d34d5c6f27b8d1a52280964023a3eefd66e

solc: Version: 0.5.13+commit.5b0b510c.Linux.g++

web3: [email protected]

An ERC20 contract takes four arguments in the constructor. My constructor is defined like this:

  string public name;
  string public symbol;
  address public admin; // For debugging
  uint8 public decimals;
  uint256 public totalSupply;
  event Deployed(address indexed _admin, uint256 indexed _totalSupply, string _name); // For debugging

  constructor(string memory _tokenName, string memory _tokenSymbol, uint8 _decimals, uint256 _initialSupply) public {
    name = _tokenName;
    symbol = _tokenSymbol;
    decimals = _decimals;
    totalSupply = _initialSupply;

    admin = msg.sender; // For debugging
    balanceOf[msg.sender] = totalSupply;

    emit Deployed(msg.sender, totalSupply, _tokenName); // For debugging

I use this JavaScript code to deploy an ERC20 contract to my private test net.

var contractObject = web3.eth.contract(<ABI definition>);
var submittedContract = contractObject.new('DKK', 'DKK', 1, 1000000,  {data:'<bin>', gas: 20000000}, <callback>);

Calling eth.getTransactionReceipt(submittedContract.transactionHash); returns (only relevant fields included):

  contractAddress: "0xe23cfc0248b83a4bce8f9701a86e08e9cf9c59f4",
  logs: [{
      data: "0x00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000200000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000003444b4b0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000",
      topics: ["0xf0bbe877a87290e236ea898bbce0d78d6ac7d54d62e32744b129798a2669e39b", "0x00000000000000000000000075bf9b4280b7963ddb1e9198b3aca5b1e02dcf57", "0x00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000f4240"],
  status: "0x1",

The status field should indicate that there were no errors, but I am not sure that my constructor values are set correctly. Can you see that from the topics field?

When I then call contractObject.at("0xe23cfc0248b83a4bce8f9701a86e08e9cf9c59f4").totalSupply();, it returns 0. But it should return 1000000.

  • 1
    You're missing await in that last line of code (or some other means of handling the Promise object returned from the call to totalSupply). Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 21:37
  • 1
    And yes, I can see it in your topics: topics[2] == 0xf4240 == 1000000. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 21:38
  • 1
    BTW, your code implies that you're still on web3.js v0.x. It might be a good time to switch to v1.x (I'd recommend v1.2.1). Just beware that there are several API-breaking changes. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 21:40
  • Yeah. I built this in 2017 and last looked at it in 2018. dep.admin().then(console.log); gives me TypeError: 'then' is not a function at <anonymous>:1:1 and await dep.admin(); (anonymous): Line 1:7 Unexpected identifier (and 1 more errors) Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 22:18
  • But it seems that the constructor is called correctly, right? So that just means that I am making a mistake when I call the methods on the contract. Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


Following my comments above, try this:

async function test() {
    var contractObject = web3.eth.contract(...);
    var submittedContract = await contractObject.new(...);
    var totalSupply = await contractObject.at(...).totalSupply();

  • When I call await in front of anything I get "unexpected identifier". Calling web3.version from the geth terminal returns 'api: "0.20.1"'. Should or can I upgrade web3js? Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 12:31
  • From what I read here on Stack Exchange (old answer though) that is not possible: ethereum.stackexchange.com/a/1844/6106 Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 12:37
  • 1
    @ThorkilVærge: You can only do that from inside an async function, as shown in the code above. Please, to start with, try this example exactly as is (i.e., place it in a separate file and execute that file via node from a command line). Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 12:52
  • Got it. I am trying this with [email protected] now. But I don't know how to get the contract address which goes into the at function. address is undefined on the submittedContract object. Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 18:48
  • Adding a sleep(60s) such that the tx was mined and following your recipe above totalSupply still returns 0 and admin returns "0x". Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 18:56

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