How to customize an Ethereum smart contract for the Celo network

Learn how to convert & customize an existing Ethereum Smart Contract for Celo network
IntermediateNodeJSSmart contractsTruffle1 hour
Written by Brittany Deventer


The Celo blockchain is completely independent from the Ethereum blockchain, but both compile their smart contracts to EVM bytecode. This means that any smart contract written for the Ethereum blockchain is already compatible with the Celo network.
To better understand this relationship, we’re going to take the faucet code from Chapter 7 of the Ethereum book, and customize it for the Celo network.
Please note that while this contract is written in Solidity, contracts written in any EVM-compatible high-level programming language (LLL, Serpent, Mutan) can be used for Celo. As long as the code is compiled to run on an [Ethereum Virtual Machine](- The Ethereum Virtual Machine) it is compatible with both chains.

If the contract already works, then why would we want to alter it?

Celo's native currency, CELO, is also an ERC-20 compliant token. The same is true for Celo's stable coin, cUSD. We'll see in the next section that our basic Ethereum faucet does not account for ERC-20 tokens. When it is run on the Celo blockchain, it will assume we want to withdraw the native currency, CELO, as default.
This tutorial aims to show how we can rewrite the faucet and capitalize on the fact that CELO is an ERC-20 compliant token just like its stable coin, cUSD.

Original Faucet code

Below is the code from the Ethereum book.
// SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-SA-4.0 // Version of Solidity compiler this program was written for pragma solidity ^0.6.4; contract Owned { address payable owner; // Contract constructor: set owner constructor() public { owner = msg.sender; } // Access control modifier modifier onlyOwner { require(msg.sender == owner, "Only the contract owner can call this function"); _; } } contract Mortal is Owned { // Contract destructor function destroy() public onlyOwner { selfdestruct(owner); } } contract Faucet is Mortal { event Withdrawal(address indexed to, uint amount); event Deposit(address indexed from, uint amount); // Accept any incoming amount receive() external payable { emit Deposit(msg.sender, msg.value); } // Give out ether to anyone who asks function withdraw(uint withdraw_amount) public { // Limit withdrawal amount require(withdraw_amount <= 0.1 ether); require( address(this).balance >= withdraw_amount, "Insufficient balance in faucet for withdrawal request" ); // Send the amount to the address that requested it msg.sender.transfer(withdraw_amount); emit Withdrawal(msg.sender, withdraw_amount); } }
If we were to deploy this contract on the Celo network as is, it would work for withdrawing the native currency, Celo. This is because Celo is equivalent to Ether in Solidity contracts like this.
But what about Celo's stable currency, cUSD? How would we withdraw that token from this faucet?
To withdraw a specific token, we will have to rewrite our faucet to consider ERC-20 tokens.

Rewriting the Faucet

While we're at it, we should utilize the Open Zeppelin library to avoid rewriting code that has already have been security audited and used in many Ethereum contracts without issue. There is no guarantee these contracts will provide absolute safety, but they've been tested and can be trusted more than any custom ones we whip up.
First, we'll remove our Owned and Mortal contracts and import Open Zeppelin contracts instead.
Add the Open Zeppelin library to your project.
npm install openzeppelin-solidity
Now we can import the relevant contracts in our Faucet.sol file.
The Owned and Mortal contracts from the code above are replaced below with the Open Zeppelin access contract called Ownable. Instead of us having to write basic behavior like this for every Solidity project, we can just utilize this library instead.
The Ownable contract provides administrative access control over the faucet. Only the creator of the contract can destroy the contract. What's nice about the Open Zeppelin contract is it adds a bit more functionality than ours. Specifically the ability to transfer or renounce ownership over a contract.
Our updated Faucet.sol file now has these imports at the top:
pragma solidity >=0.8.0; import "../node_modules/openzeppelin-solidity/contracts/security/ReentrancyGuard.sol"; import "../node_modules/openzeppelin-solidity/contracts/access/Ownable.sol"; import "../node_modules/openzeppelin-solidity/contracts/token/ERC20/IERC20.sol"; contract Faucet is ReentrancyGuard, Ownable { // ... }
We also added the Reentrancy Guard contract to protect against nested calls to our faucet. We didn't need to add this for our faucet to be functional, but we should follow best practices to secure our code and protect our users and ourselves.
To complete our contract and have it work for both Celo and cUSD, we have to update our withdraw function.
Everything else stays the same. Our logging events for withdrawals and deposits don't change. Our receive function stays the same.
We need to add an additional parameter to the withdraw() function signature that allows us to specify a token name to the faucet. Then we will be able to send that token out of our faucet and to the user who requests a payout based on the name of the requested token.
function withdraw(uint256 withdraw_amount, address token) public { require( address(this).balance >= withdraw_amount, "Insufficient balance in faucet for withdrawal request" ); require( // transfer the specified token from this contract to msg.sender IERC20(token).transfer(msg.sender, withdraw_amount), "Withdrawing cUSD failed." ); emit Withdrawal(msg.sender, withdraw_amount); }
By using the ERC20 interface from Open Zeppelin, we can pass any address that points to a Celo token contract and withdraw that token from this faucet, provided there is a sufficient balance beforehand.
Here is the full Faucet.sol contract after our changes:
pragma solidity >=0.8.0; import "../node_modules/openzeppelin-solidity/contracts/security/ReentrancyGuard.sol"; import "../node_modules/openzeppelin-solidity/contracts/access/Ownable.sol"; import "../node_modules/openzeppelin-solidity/contracts/token/ERC20/IERC20.sol"; contract Faucet is ReentrancyGuard, Ownable { event Withdrawal(address indexed to, uint256 amount); event Deposit(address indexed from, uint256 amount); address Celo = 0xF194afDf50B03e69Bd7D057c1Aa9e10c9954E4C9; address cUSD = 0x874069Fa1Eb16D44d622F2e0Ca25eeA172369bC1; function withdraw(uint256 withdraw_amount, address token) public { require(token == Celo || token == cUSD, "token is not celo or cUSD"); require( address(this).balance >= withdraw_amount, "Insufficient balance in faucet for withdrawal request" ); require( IERC20(token).transfer(msg.sender, withdraw_amount), "Withdrawing cUSD failed." ); emit Withdrawal(msg.sender, withdraw_amount); } function donate() external payable { emit Deposit(msg.sender, msg.value); } receive() external payable { emit Deposit(msg.sender, msg.value); } fallback() external payable { emit Deposit(msg.sender, msg.value); } }
This is our Ethereum faucet contract completely altered for Celo.
We even added some additional checks to make sure the token passed to the withdraw function matches the CELO or cUSD contract address. This ensures only Celo currencies can be withdrawn from this faucet.

Calling the contract

To call this contract from a dApp kit frontend, we can run the following code. There is a truffle box kit that works out-of-the-box for Celo applications that we should use as our foundation for the project because it simplifies the setup process for our Celo full-stack projects. If we're not interested in seeing our blockchain results in GUI format, we could simply quickstart a Truffle project with no frontend consideration.
Run the following in the root of a project directory to set up the kit:
truffle unbox critesjosh/celo-dappkit
Please note that addresses are handled as strings in Javascript and that withdraw amounts have to be handled as big numbers. The reasons for this are outside the scope of this tutorial. For a more in depth explanation of big numbers in Javascript please see this article.
To deal with the big numbers we'll install the bignumber.js library.
cd client npm install bignumber
A withdrawal from the faucet function would look like this. This code could be triggered from a button press in a react application as seen in the example here.
/* * To see the full context of this code snippet please view the full file: * * ads * More on async functions can be found: * */ withdrawFromFaucet = async (withdrawAmount) => { // set variables for the Celo wallet request const requestId = 'withdraw_cUSD' const dappName = 'Green Deeds' const callback = Linking.makeUrl('/my/path') // convert user amount to wei in bignumber format let amount = parseFloat(withdrawAmount) let weiAmount = BigNumber(amount*10e17) const txObject = await this.state.faucetContract.methods.withdraw(weiAmount, cUSD) // Send a request to the Celo wallet to send an update transaction to the Faucet contract requestTxSig( kit, [ { from: this.state.address, to: this.state.faucetContract.options.address, tx: txObject, feeCurrency: FeeCurrency.cUSD } ], { requestId, dappName, callback } ).catch(err => console.log("requestTXSig Err: ", err)) // Get the response from the Celo wallet const dappkitResponse = await waitForSignedTxs(requestId) const tx = dappkitResponse.rawTxs[0] // Get the transaction result, once it has been included in the Celo blockchain let result = await toTxResult(kit.web3.eth.sendSignedTransaction(tx)).waitReceipt() console.log(`Faucet contract update transaction receipt: `, result.transactionHash) Alert.alert("Transaction Complete!", `Tx Hash: ${result.transactionHash}` ) }


In this tutorial, we learned how to alter a smart contract originally written for Ethereum and customize it for use on the Celo network. We learned about the difference between a native token such as Ether or Celo, and an ERC-20 token such as cUSD. We altered some example Solidity code to illustrate the process generally used to prepare an Ethereum contract for use on another EVM compatible network, including specific mention of alternative tokens where necessary - such as inside the withdraw function, as part of a require statement.
As long as we understand that both blockchains are EVM compatible and run the same bytecode, we can customize any existing Ethereum contract for the Celo network.

Next Steps

I hope this tutorial helps to see the potential in looking at existing open source code and understanding how simple modifications can lead to efficient coding solutions. Please consider the following reading list to continue on your journey.

Further Reading:

About the Author

This tutorial was created by Brittany Deventer. Brittany is a full-stack developer.
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