If I calculate the following in Solidity 0.6.3:

bytes memory secretSalt = "abc";
hashedSecret = sha256(abi.encodePacked(secretSalt))

I get the result "0xba7816bf8f01cfea414140de5dae2223b00361a396177a9cb410ff61f20015ad" which matches what I get on two online SHA256 generators when I input "abc" (though, without the quotes, see here and here).

But if I try

uint secretNumber = 5;
hashedSecret = sha256(abi.encodePacked(secretNumber));

The result is "0x96de8fc8c256fa1e1556d41af431cace7dca68707c78dd88c3acab8b17164c47" which does not match those online SHA256 generators. I tried various hex representations of 5 on the online SHA256 generators and still cannot get "0x96de..."

Any thoughts on how Solidity is transforming the number "uint 5", relative to these common SHA256 implementations?

1 Answer 1


The type uint is 32 bytes in length, so uint(5) is stored as 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000005 in hexadecimal.

In order to test this input you need a calculator that accepts hexadecimal input, many only accept text strings.

  • It's strange that those two online Sha256 generators handle the "abc" input correctly while I can't get them to work for unit(5) under various translations. Meanwhile, I went to liavaag.org/English/SHA-Generator, and it works (it has a toggle for text or hex input). Apr 25, 2020 at 23:44
  • @EricFalkenstein It works because "abc" is declared as string, so abi.encode returns their ascii representation (in hexadecimal "616263"). If you use a type of fixed length like uintNNN or bytesNN abi.encode will fill missing with 0 bytes.
    – Ismael
    Apr 26, 2020 at 1:37

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