I thought smart contract code can be accessed using etherscan.io; however, I have been coming across many smart contracts that once I click the "Contract" tab, I can't see the original code.

Here is one example:


Yet some contract codes are actually available. Is there any other way to get the contract code? (I know the decompilation of the bytecode that etherscan provide)

1 Answer 1


The bytecode is an on-chain artifact. The nodes use it to know what's going on and process transactions.

The source.code is not on-chain.

Etherscan is a centralized database about the blockchain. Thier service includes many features that are beyond the raw transactions and blocks they observe.

One such feature is source code verification. A deployer optionally uploads codes for a deployed contract. If that code compiles to an exact match for the bytecode that exists on the chain, then they accept that the code is a legitimate pre-compile version of the contract and they add it to their database.

Hope it helps

  • Thank you for the response. What do you mean by source.code? Do you mean the source code of the smart contract? If so, it is on-chain right?
    – Emrah
    Mar 19, 2021 at 4:31

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