Skip to content

Using Hardhat to Deploy To Moonbeam

Hardhat Create Project

Introduction

Hardhat is an Ethereum development environment that helps developers manage and automate the recurring tasks inherent to building smart contracts and DApps. Hardhat can directly interact with Moonbeam's Ethereum API so it can also be used to deploy smart contracts into Moonbeam.

This guide will cover how to use Hardhat to compile, deploy, and debug Ethereum smart contracts on the Moonbase Alpha TestNet. This guide can also be adapted for Moonbeam, Moonriver, or Moonbeam development node.

Checking Prerequisites

To get started, you will need the following:

  • Have MetaMask installed and connected to Moonbase Alpha
  • Have an account with funds. You can get DEV tokens for testing on Moonbase Alpha once every 24 hours from the Moonbase Alpha Faucet
  • To test out the examples in this guide on Moonbeam or Moonriver, you will need to have your own endpoint and API key which you can get from one of the supported Endpoint Providers.

Creating a Hardhat Project

You will need to create a Hardhat project if you don't already have one. You can create one by completing the following steps:

  1. Create a directory for your project
    mkdir hardhat && cd hardhat
    
  2. Initialize the project which will create a package.json file
    npm init -y
    
  3. Install Hardhat
    npm install hardhat
    
  4. Create a project

    npx hardhat
    

    Note

    npx is used to run executables installed locally in your project. Although Hardhat can be installed globally, it is recommended to install it locally in each project so that you can control the version on a project by project basis.

  5. A menu will appear which will allow you to create a new project or use a sample project. For this example, you can choose Create an empty hardhat.config.js

Hardhat Create Project

This will create a Hardhat config file (hardhat.config.js) in your project directory.

Once you have your Hardhat project, you can also install the Ethers plugin. This provides a convenient way to use the Ethers.js library to interact with the network. To install it, run the following command:

npm install @nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers ethers

The Contract File

With your empty project created, next you are going to create a contracts directory. You can do so by running the following command:

mkdir contracts && cd contracts

The smart contract that you'll deploy as an example will be called Box, it will let you store a value that can be retrieved later. In the contracts directory, you can create the Box.sol file:

touch Box.sol

Open the file and add the following contract to it:

// contracts/Box.sol
pragma solidity ^0.8.1;

contract Box {
    uint256 private value;

    // Emitted when the stored value changes
    event ValueChanged(uint256 newValue);

    // Stores a new value in the contract
    function store(uint256 newValue) public {
        value = newValue;
        emit ValueChanged(newValue);
    }

    // Reads the last stored value
    function retrieve() public view returns (uint256) {
        return value;
    }
}

Hardhat Configuration File

Before you can deploy the contract to Moonbase Alpha, you'll need to modify the Hardhat configuration file and create a secure file to store your private key in.

You can create a secrets.json file to store your private key by running:

touch secrets.json

Then add your private key to it:

{
    "privateKey": "YOUR-PRIVATE-KEY-HERE"
}

Make sure to add the file to your project's .gitignore, and to never reveal your private key.

Note

Please always manage your private keys with a designated secret manager or similar service. Never save or commit your private keys inside your repositories.

Next you can take the following steps to modify the hardhat.config.js file and add Moonbase Alpha as a network:

  1. Import the Ethers plugin
  2. Import the secrets.json file
  3. Inside the module.exports, you need to provide the Solidity version (0.8.1 according to our contract file)
  4. Add the Moonbase Alpha network configuration
// 1. Import the Ethers plugin required to interact with the contract
require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers');

// 2. Import your private key from your pre-funded Moonbase Alpha testing account
const { privateKey } = require('./secrets.json');

module.exports = {
  // 3. Specify the Solidity version
  solidity: "0.8.1",

  networks: {
    // 4. Add the Moonbase Alpha network specification
    moonbase: {
      url: 'https://rpc.api.moonbase.moonbeam.network',
      chainId: 1287, // 0x507 in hex,
      accounts: [privateKey]
    }
  }
};

You can modify the hardhat.config.js file to use any of the Moonbeam networks:

moonbeam: {
    url: 'RPC-API-ENDPOINT-HERE', // Insert your RPC URL here
    chainId: 1284, // (hex: 0x504),
    accounts: [privateKey]
  },
moonriver: {
    url: 'RPC-API-ENDPOINT-HERE', // Insert your RPC URL here
    chainId: 1285, // (hex: 0x505),
    accounts: [privateKey]
  },
moonbase: {
    url: 'https://rpc.api.moonbase.moonbeam.network',
    chainId: 1287, // (hex: 0x507),
    accounts: [privateKey]
  },
dev: {
    url: 'http://127.0.0.1:9933',
    chainId: 1281, // (hex: 0x501),
    accounts: [privateKey]
  },

Congratulations! You are now ready for deployment!

Compiling Solidity

To compile the contract you can simply run:

npx hardhat compile

Hardhat Contract Compile

After compilation, an artifacts directory is created: it holds the bytecode and metadata of the contract, which are .json files. It’s a good idea to add this directory to your .gitignore.

Deploying the Contract

In order to deploy the Box.sol smart contract, you will need to write a simple deployment script. You can create a new directory for the script and name it scripts and add a new file to it called deploy.js:

mkdir scripts && cd scripts
touch deploy.js

Next, you need to write your deployment script which can be done using ethers. Because you'll be running it with Hardhat, you don't need to import any libraries.

To get started start, take the following steps:

  1. Create a local instance of the contract with the getContractFactory method
  2. Use the deploy method that exists within this instance to instantiate the smart contract
  3. Wait for the deployment by using deployed
  4. Once deployed, you can fetch the address of the contract using the contract instance.
// scripts/deploy.js
async function main() {
   // 1. Get the contract to deploy
   const Box = await ethers.getContractFactory('Box');
   console.log('Deploying Box...');

   // 2. Instantiating a new Box smart contract
   const box = await Box.deploy();

   // 3. Waiting for the deployment to resolve
   await box.deployed();

   // 4. Use the contract instance to get the contract address
   console.log('Box deployed to:', box.address);
}

main()
   .then(() => process.exit(0))
   .catch((error) => {
      console.error(error);
      process.exit(1);
   });

You can now deploy the Box.sol contract using the run command and specifying moonbase as the network:

npx hardhat run --network moonbase scripts/deploy.js

If you're using another Moonbeam network, make sure that you specify the correct network. The network name needs to match how it's defined in the hardhat.config.js.

After a few seconds, the contract is deployed, and you should see the address in the terminal.

Hardhat Contract Deploy

Congratulations, your contract is live! Save the address, as you will use it to interact with this contract instance in the next step.

Interacting with the Contract

To interact with your newly deployed contract on Moonbase Alpha, you can launch the Hardhat console by running:

npx hardhat console --network moonbase

Next you can take the following steps, entering in one line at a time:

  1. Create a local instance of the Box.sol contract
    const Box = await ethers.getContractFactory('Box');
    
  2. Connect the local instance to the deployed contract, using the address of the contract
    const box = await Box.attach('0x425668350bD782D80D457d5F9bc7782A24B8c2ef');
    
  3. Interact with the attached contract. For this example, you can call the store method and store a simple value
    await box.store(5)
    

The transaction will be signed by your Moonbase account and be broadcasted to the network. The output should look similar to:

Transaction output

Notice your address labeled from, the address of the contract, and the data that is being passed. Now, you can retrieve the value by running:

(await box.retrieve()).toNumber()

You should see 5 or the value you have stored initially.

Congratulations, you have successfully deployed and interacted with a contract using Hardhat!

Hardhat Forking

You can fork any EVM compatible chain using Hardhat, including Moonbeam. Forking simulates the live Moonbeam network locally, enabling you to interact with deployed contracts on Moonbeam in a local test environment. Since Hardhat forking is based on an EVM implementation, you can interact with the fork using standard Ethereum JSON RPC methods supported by Moonbeam and Hardhat.

There are some limitations to be aware of when using Hardhat forking. You cannot interact with any of the Moonbeam precompiled contracts and their functions. Precompiles are a part of the Substrate implementation and therefore cannot be replicated in the simulated EVM environment. This prohibits you from interacting with cross-chain assets on Moonbeam and Substrate-based functionality such as staking and governance.

There is currently an issue related to forking Moonbeam, so in order to fix the issue you'll need to manually patch Hardhat first. You can find out more information by following the issue on GitHub as well as the related PR.

Patching Hardhat

Before getting started, you'll need to apply a temporary patch to workaround an RPC error until Hardhat fixes the root issue. The error is as follows:

Error HH604: Error running JSON-RPC server: Invalid JSON-RPC response's result.

Errors: Invalid value null supplied to : RpcBlockWithTransactions | null/transactions: RpcTransaction Array/0: RpcTransaction/accessList: Array<{ address: DATA, storageKeys: Array<DATA> | null }> | undefined, Invalid value null supplied to : RpcBlockWithTransactions | null/transactions: RpcTransaction Array/1: RpcTransaction/accessList: Array<{ address: DATA, storageKeys: Array<DATA> | null }> | undefined, Invalid value null supplied to : RpcBlockWithTransactions | null/transactions: RpcTransaction Array/2: RpcTransaction/accessList: Array<{ address: DATA, storageKeys: Array<DATA> | null }> | undefined

To patch Hardhat, you'll need to open the node_modules/hardhat/internal/hardhat-network/jsonrpc/client.js file of your project. Next, you'll add a addAccessList function and update the _perform and _performBatch functions.

To get started, you can remove the preexisting _perform and _performBatch functions and in their place add the following code snippet:

  addAccessList(method, rawResult) {
    if (
      method.startsWith('eth_getBlock') &&
      rawResult &&
      rawResult.transactions?.length
    ) {
      rawResult.transactions.forEach((t) => {
        if (t.accessList == null) t.accessList = [];
      });
    }
  }
  async _perform(method, params, tType, getMaxAffectedBlockNumber) {
    const cacheKey = this._getCacheKey(method, params);
    const cachedResult = this._getFromCache(cacheKey);
    if (cachedResult !== undefined) {
      return cachedResult;
    }
    if (this._forkCachePath !== undefined) {
      const diskCachedResult = await this._getFromDiskCache(
        this._forkCachePath,
        cacheKey,
        tType
      );
      if (diskCachedResult !== undefined) {
        this._storeInCache(cacheKey, diskCachedResult);
        return diskCachedResult;
      }
    }
    const rawResult = await this._send(method, params);
    this.addAccessList(method, rawResult);
    const decodedResult = (0, decodeJsonRpcResponse_1.decodeJsonRpcResponse)(
      rawResult,
      tType
    );
    const blockNumber = getMaxAffectedBlockNumber(decodedResult);
    if (this._canBeCached(blockNumber)) {
      this._storeInCache(cacheKey, decodedResult);
      if (this._forkCachePath !== undefined) {
        await this._storeInDiskCache(this._forkCachePath, cacheKey, rawResult);
      }
    }
    return decodedResult;
  }
  async _performBatch(batch, getMaxAffectedBlockNumber) {
    // Perform Batch caches the entire batch at once.
    // It could implement something more clever, like caching per request
    // but it's only used in one place, and those other requests aren't
    // used anywhere else.
    const cacheKey = this._getBatchCacheKey(batch);
    const cachedResult = this._getFromCache(cacheKey);
    if (cachedResult !== undefined) {
      return cachedResult;
    }
    if (this._forkCachePath !== undefined) {
      const diskCachedResult = await this._getBatchFromDiskCache(
        this._forkCachePath,
        cacheKey,
        batch.map((b) => b.tType)
      );
      if (diskCachedResult !== undefined) {
        this._storeInCache(cacheKey, diskCachedResult);
        return diskCachedResult;
      }
    }
    const rawResults = await this._sendBatch(batch);
    const decodedResults = rawResults.map((result, i) => {
      this.addAccessList(batch[i].method, result);
      return (0, decodeJsonRpcResponse_1.decodeJsonRpcResponse)(
        result,
        batch[i].tType
      );
    });
    const blockNumber = getMaxAffectedBlockNumber(decodedResults);
    if (this._canBeCached(blockNumber)) {
      this._storeInCache(cacheKey, decodedResults);
      if (this._forkCachePath !== undefined) {
        await this._storeInDiskCache(this._forkCachePath, cacheKey, rawResults);
      }
    }
    return decodedResults;
  }

Then you can use patch-package to automatically patch the package by running the following command:

npx patch-package hardhat

A patches directory will be created and now you should be all set to fork Moonbeam without running into any errors.

Forking Moonbeam

You can fork Moonbeam from the command line or configure your Hardhat project to always run the fork from your hardhat.config.js file. To fork Moonbeam or Moonriver, you will need to have your own endpoint and API key which you can get from one of the supported Endpoint Providers.

To fork Moonbeam from the command line, you can run the following command from within your Hardhat project directory:

npx hardhat node --fork RPC-API-ENDPOINT-HERE
npx hardhat node --fork RPC-API-ENDPOINT-HERE
npx hardhat node --fork https://rpc.api.moonbase.moonbeam.network

If you prefer to configure your Hardhat project, you can update your hardhat.config.js file with the following configurations:

...
networks: {
    hardhat: {
        forking: {
        url: "RPC-API-ENDPOINT-HERE",
        }
    }
}
...
...
networks: {
    hardhat: {
        forking: {
        url: "RPC-API-ENDPOINT-HERE",
        }
    }
}
...
...
networks: {
    hardhat: {
        forking: {
        url: "https://rpc.api.moonbase.moonbeam.network",
        }
    }
}
...

When you spin up the Hardhat fork, you'll have 20 development accounts that are pre-funded with 10,000 test tokens. The forked instance is available at http://127.0.0.1:8545/. The output in your terminal should resemble the following:

Forking terminal screen

To verify you have forked the network, you can query the latest block number:

curl --data '{"method":"eth_blockNumber","params":[],"id":1,"jsonrpc":"2.0"}' -H "Content-Type: application/json" -X POST localhost:8545 

If you convert the result from hex to decimal, you should get the latest block number from the time you forked the network. You can cross reference the block number using a block explorer.

From here you can deploy new contracts to your forked instance of Moonbeam or interact with contracts already deployed by creating a local instance of the deployed contract.

To interact with an already deployed contract, you can create a new script in the scripts directory using ethers. Because you'll be running it with Hardhat, you don't need to import any libraries. Inside the script, you can access a live contract on the network using the following snippet:

const hre = require("hardhat");

async function main() {
  const provider = new ethers.providers.StaticJsonRpcProvider("http://127.0.0.1:8545/");

  const contract = new ethers.Contract(
      'INSERT-CONTRACT-ADDRESS', 'INSERT-CONTRACT-ABI', provider
  );
}

main().catch((error) => {
  console.error(error);
  process.exitCode = 1;
});
The information presented herein has been provided by third parties and is made available solely for general information purposes. Moonbeam does not endorse any project listed and described on the Moonbeam Doc Website (https://docs.moonbeam.network/). Moonbeam Foundation does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of this information. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Moonbeam Foundation disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on this information by you or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents. All statements and/or opinions expressed in these materials are solely the responsibility of the person or entity providing those materials and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Moonbeam Foundation. The information should not be construed as professional or financial advice of any kind. Advice from a suitably qualified professional should always be sought in relation to any particular matter or circumstance. The information herein may link to or integrate with other websites operated or content provided by third parties, and such other websites may link to this website. Moonbeam Foundation has no control over any such other websites or their content and will have no liability arising out of or related to such websites or their content. The existence of any such link does not constitute an endorsement of such websites, the content of the websites, or the operators of the websites. These links are being provided to you only as a convenience and you release and hold Moonbeam Foundation harmless from any and all liability arising from your use of this information or the information provided by any third-party website or service.