Does address.send(0) makes an actual message call forwarding some small amount of gas(2300?) to fallback function or does it simply return false without making a message call to another contract? It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that EVM detects 0 value and simply returns false, because what's the point of making a call in this case if there's nothing to send?

I'm asking this, because I want to understand how this example from a post on security works

contract auction {
  address highestBidder;
  uint highestBid;
  mapping(address => uint) refunds;
  function bid() {
    if (msg.value < highestBid) throw;
    if (highestBidder != 0)
      refunds[highestBidder] += highestBid;
    highestBidder = msg.sender;
    highestBid = msg.value;
  function withdrawRefund() {
    uint refund = refunds[msg.sender];
    refunds[msg.sender] = 0;
    if (!msg.sender.send(refund))
     refunds[msg.sender] = refund;

1 Answer 1


Update on 09 December 2019:

As of today, address.send(0) returns true if call didn't run out of gas. Also it executes the target contract supplying min(gasleft - 700, 2300) gas.

Original answer below:

So, when you do address.send(0) the return is always false. The code inside the fallback function of the called contract doesn't run at all. In the example below I couldn't log a value from inside the fallback function even though there was enough gas to do it.

contract A {
    event myLog(bool indexed success);
    function mySend(address B, uint y){
        var success = B.send(y);

contract B {
    event myLog(bool indexed here);
    function() {

From JS side I did:

  • A.mySend(addressB, 0, {gas: 50000, value: 1}); // [success: false]

  • A.mySend(addressB, 0, {gas: 50000, value: 0}); // [success: false]

  • A.mySend(addressB, 1, {gas: 50000, value: 1}); // [success: true, here: true]

  • A.mySend(addressB, 1, {gas: 50000, value: 0}); // [success: true, here: true]

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