Example in this scenario I guess selfdestruct will never get called (also: contract A isn't so important by the way just focus on B onward):

in Contract A:

address contractb = 0x....;

function sending() {
    contractb.call.value(1 ether)();

in Contract B:

address contractc = 0x...;

function () public payable {
    if (!contractc.send(msg.value)) {
    if (!contractc.send(0)) {

in Contract C:

address someone = 0x...;

function () public payable {

In short:

  1. Contract A sends ether to B using call to have lots of gas...
  2. B forwards the money further to C, the first time it tries it succeeds but C selfdestructs; The 2nd time it fails since C is selfdestructed...
  3. throw should revert to a state without changes, but how can it revert a selfdesctructed contract?

I guess (and I am 99% sure what will happen...about to test now on Ropsten...): nothing will ever reach C since before any execution revert will check if anything can fail and if it can it reverts - speaking of which how can revert be so sure? What if transaction simply lacks gas to be mined say like 3 gas in call.gas(3).value(1)() - surely this will not get mined and maybe revert will prevent anything until mining happens? Thanx!

  • 1. I'm not sure that the selfdestruct operation can complete successfully in this scenario (it would need some gas I suppose, but the function has a stipend of only 2300 units). 2. If it does complete successfully, then your 2nd attempt should fail in a manner similar to calling x.send(msg.value), where x is some bogus address of a non-contract (zero address would probably "do the job" here). So you should end up with the same type of revert IMO. Dec 4, 2019 at 11:34
  • I just deployed 3 contracts on ropsten...later when I have more time will give tx link about the result, thanks for shedding more light to it. Actually I just read that my understanding of selfdestruct was a bit off - it seems that selfdestruct will succeed but ehter is lost forever? So it simply remove functionality from contract and the former "contract" is now just a regular wallet? If this is the case i am still curious what will happen when you forcibly throw, example x.send(msg.value); throw; -> this will succeed but throw will revert anything again even if destroyed address can get eth.
    – Robert Ggg
    Dec 4, 2019 at 11:41
  • and the former contract is now just a regular wallet - not unless you miraculously have the private key of that former contract. Dec 4, 2019 at 11:54
  • well of course for which the probability is one in a zillion...assuming one tries to 'collide' brute force the private key....
    – Robert Ggg
    Dec 4, 2019 at 12:15

1 Answer 1


You can simplify your setup to only 2 contracts. I've taken the liberty of editing the contracts a bit to make the testing a lot easier and more specific.

You can copy paste them in Remix and test yourself.

contract A {
    B b;

    constructor(B _b) public {
        b = _b;

    function() external payable {
        (bool success, bytes memory result) = address(b).call.value(msg.value)("");


contract B {
    function() external payable {

    function alive() public pure returns (bool) {
        return true;

The selfdestruct is never finalized because it needs a successful transaction to be completed. The throw / revert() rollsback the selfdestruct, so it never happens.

To test you need to:

  • deploy contract B and copy its address
  • deploy contract A with B's address
  • call the fallback function of A
  • the transaction fails because the execution always fails
  • you can check if B is still alive by calling alive() with returns true

If you want to understand what happens when you send ether to a selfdestructed contract, it's just like sending to a random address. No code is attached to it, the former contract acts like a simple account. It accepts ether and no code is run when it receives it.

  • I just had some issues with remix so i went the longer/more unconvenient route with ropsten...but thanks yes my thoughts throw will revert which leads me to my usual statements from previous questions: there is no way to revert but preserve any change. Though one user here claims it can be done via delegatecall to the contract itself...i don't think it's possible.
    – Robert Ggg
    Dec 4, 2019 at 11:52
  • By using delegatecall you selfdestruct the first contract, but not the destination one. Dec 4, 2019 at 11:53

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