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The Multisig Pallet


Multisig wallets are a special type of wallet that requires multiple signatures in order to execute transactions, as the name implies. A multisig has a set of signers and defines a threshold for the number of signatures required to approve a transaction. This type of wallet provides an additional layer of security and decentralization.

The Multisig Pallet on Moonbeam taps into Substrate functionality to allow for the ability to natively approve and dispatch calls from a multisig. With the Multisig Pallet, multiple signers, also referred to as signatories in Substrate, approve and dispatch transactions from an origin that is derivable deterministically from the set of signers' account IDs and the threshold for the number of accounts from the set that must approve calls before they can be dispatched.

This page will provide an overview of the extrinsics, storage methods, and getters for the pallet constants available in the Multisig Pallet on Moonbeam. It will also include a brief demo on how to create a multisig account and send a transaction that requires two of three signers to approve and dispatch the transaction.

Multisig Pallet Interface


The Multisig Pallet provides the following extrinsics (functions):

  • asMulti(threshold, otherSignatories, maybeTimepoint, call, maxWeight) - approves and if possible dispatches a call from a composite origin formed from a number of signed origins (a multisig). If the call has been approved by enough of the other signatories, the call will be dispatched. The depositBase will be reserved if this is the first approval plus the threshold times the depositFactor. The total reserved amount will be returned once the call is dispatched or cancelled. This function should be used if it is the final approval, otherwise you'll want to use approveAsMulti instead since it only requires a hash of the call
  • approveAsMulti(threshold, otherSignatories, maybeTimepoint, callHash, maxWeight) - approves a call from a composite origin. For the final approval, you'll want to use asMulti instead
  • asMultiThreshold(otherSignatories, call) - immediately dispatches a multisig call using a single approval from the caller
  • cancelAsMulti(threshold, otherSignatories, maybeTimepoint, callHash) - cancels a preexisting, ongoing call from a composite origin. Any reserved deposit will be returned upon successful cancellation

Where the inputs that need to be provided can be defined as:

  • threshold - the total number of approvals required for a dispatch to be executed
  • otherSignatories - the accounts (other than the sender) who can approve the dispatch
  • maybeTimepoint - the timepoint (block number and transaction index) of the first approval transaction, unless it is the first approval then this field must be None
  • call - the call to be executed
  • callHash - the hash of the call to be executed
  • maxWeight - the maximum weight for the dispatch

Storage Methods

The Multisig Pallet includes the following read-only storage methods to obtain chain state data:

  • multisigs() - returns the set of open multisig operations for a given account.
  • palletVersion() - returns the current pallet version

Pallet Constants

The Multisig Pallet includes the following read-only functions to obtain pallet constants:

  • depositBase() - returns the base amount of currency needed to reserve for creating a multisig execution or to store a dispatch call for later. This is held for an additional storage item whose key size is 32 + sizeof(AccountId) bytes, which is 32 + 20 on Moonbeam, and whose value size is 4 + sizeof((BlockNumber, Balance, AccountId)) bytes, which is 4 + 4 + 16 +20 bytes on Moonbeam
  • depositFactor() - returns the amount of currency needed per unit threshold when creating a multisig execution. This is held for adding 20 bytes more into a preexisting storage value
  • maxSignatories() - returns the maximum amount of signatories allowed in the multisig

How to Create a Multisig Account

You can easily create a multisig account from the Polkadot.js Apps interface. The easiest way to do so is from the Accounts page.

To get started, go ahead and click on Multisig.

Add a multisig on Polkadot.js Apps

Next, you can take the following steps:

  1. Choose which accounts you want to add to the multisig. For this example, three accounts will be chosen: Alice, Bob, and Charlie
  2. Enter a number for threshold. This example will use 2
  3. Add a name for the multisig. This example uses ABC for Alice, Bob, and Charlie
  4. Click Create

Set up the multisig members

Now, the ABC multisig account will appear under the multisig section on the Accounts page.

View the multisig account on the Accounts page of Polkadot.js Apps

You can click on the colored icon next to the multisig account to copy the address and fund it with DEV tokens. You can get DEV tokens for testing on Moonbase Alpha once every 24 hours from the Moonbase Alpha Faucet.

How to Create a Multisig Transaction

Now that you've created a multisig account, you can create a multisig call from one of the accounts that make up the multisig. This example will create the call from Alice's account. As such, Alice will need to submit a deposit. The deposit is calculated as follows:

Deposit = depositBase + threshold * depositFactor

You can retrieve the depositBase and depositFactor using the getter functions for the Pallet Constants.

Once the call is approved and dispatched or cancelled the deposit will be returned to Alice.

Since there is a threshold of two for this multisig, at least Bob or Charlie will need to approve the call if not both of them. The last account to approve the call will also need to dispatch the call. Dispatching the call is done automatically when the asMulti function is used to approve the call.

With the basics out of the way, you can begin to create a multisig call. For this example, you can create a call that will transfer 0.1 DEV from the ABC multisig account to Charlie's account. First, you'll need to get the encoded call data for the transfer. Go ahead and navigate to the Extrinsics page on Polkadot.js Apps and take the following steps:

  1. Make sure an account is selected. It doesn't have to be the ABC multisig account, as the selected account is not included in the encoded call data
  2. Select the balances pallet and the transfer extrinsic
  3. Set Charlie as the dest account
  4. Enter the amount to transfer, which is 0.1 DEV for this example
  5. Click the copy button next to the encoded call data
  6. Click the copy button next to the encoded call hash. Please note that you do not have to submit the extrinsic, you only need the encoded call data and the encoded call hash

Get the encoded call data for a balance transfer

Make sure you've copied and saved the encoded call data and the encoded call hash as you'll need them both to approve the multisig call later on in the tutorial. For this example, the encoded call data and hash are as follows:


Next, you can create the multisig call by using the asMulti extrinsic, you'll take the following steps:

  1. Select the account you want to create the call with. For this example, Alice is used
  2. Select the multisig pallet and the asMulti extrinsic
  3. Set the threshold of the multisig to the same value as you initially set from the Accounts page, which should be 2
  4. Add the other accounts that are associated with the multisig: Bob and Charlie
  5. Since this is the first transaction to create the multisig call, make sure the include option slider is toggled off for the maybeTimepoint field. You would only enter this information for approvals that rely on knowing the timepoint at which the call was created
  6. Provide the call information for the balance transfer similarly to how you did it in the previous set of steps. Select the balances pallet and the transfer extrinsic
  7. Set the dest account to Charlie
  8. Set the value to 0.1 DEV tokens
  9. You can leave the refTime and proofSize fields set to 0
  10. Click Submit Transaction to create the multisig call

Create a multisig call

Now that you've created the multisig call, you can submit approval transactions from either Bob's or Charlie's account, or both. Remember, for the call to be approved and dispatched, you need to have at least two of three members of the multisig to approve it. Since Alice created the multisig call, that means she has already automatically approved it.

You can easily approve the transactions through the Accounts page of Polkadot.js Apps. Next to your multisig account, you'll notice there is a multisig icon there that you can hover over. Once you hover over it, you'll be able to click on View pending approvals.

View pending multisig approvals

The pending call hashes pop-up will appear where you can follow these steps:

  1. Since you should only have one hash at this point, you can select it from this list. If you have multiple hashes, you can compare the hashes in the list with the encoded call hash you copied earlier on in this section
  2. The depositor should be automatically populated. For this example, it should be Alice
  3. For the approval type, you can choose to either approve or reject the call. For this example, you can select Approve this call hash
  4. Choose the account you want to approve the transaction from. This example uses Bob's account
  5. Click Approve to submit the approval transaction. Under the hood, this uses the approveAsMulti extrinsic of the Multisig Pallet

Approve a multisig call

So far, Alice and Bob have approved the multisig call, which means the threshold has been met. However, the call has not been dispatched yet since you have not yet submitted an executing approval. To do so, you'll take the same steps as above plus these additional steps:

  1. Select the account you want to approve the transaction from. This example uses Charlie's account
  2. Toggle the multisig message with call (for final approval) switch to on. Under the hood, this switches the extrinsic to asMulti, which automatically approves and dispatches the call if the threshold for approvals has been met as is the case at this point
  3. The call data for final approval field will appear. Enter the encoded call data that you copied earlier on in this section
  4. Click Approve to submit the approval, which will also dispatch the multisig call

Approve and dispatch a multisig call

Once the final transaction has been submitted, 0.1 DEV tokens will be transferred from the ABC multisig account to Charlie's account and the multisig deposit will be returned to Alice's account. And that's it! You've successfully created a multisig call, approved the call, and dispatched it.

Last update: September 22, 2023
| Created: June 20, 2023