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Owanate Amachree
Owanate Amachree

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How to set up a Hardhat project for RSK Testnet

Banner Hardhat

Welcome to the tutorial on how to set up a Hardhat project for RSK Testnet. In this tutorial, we'll do the following steps:

  • What is Hardhat?
  • Setting up your environment
  • Creating and configuring a new Hardhat project
  • Writing and compiling smart contracts

Prerequisites

To follow this tutorial, you should have knowledge in:

  • JavaScript
  • Command Line
  • Git
  • Smart contracts basics

If you are not familiar with the above, it will be advisable to learn the basics by clicking the links above, before proceeding with this tutorial on how to set up a hardhat project.

What is Hardhat?

Hardhat is a development environment that enables a developer to compile, deploy, test, and debug your RSK software. It helps to manage and automate the recurring tasks that are inherent to the process of building blockchain applications.

1. Setting up your node.js environment

Most Hardhat libraries and tools are written in JavaScript, and so is Ethereum libraries and tools. Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine. It's the most popular solution to run JavaScript outside of a web browser and Hardhat is built on top of it.

1.1. Installing Node.js

You can skip this section if you already have a working Node.js >= 12.0 installation. If not, here's how to install it on Ubuntu, MacOS and Windows.

  • Linux
sudo apt update
sudo apt install curl git
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install nodejs
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  • Windows
[Git's installer for Windows](https://git-scm.com/download/win)
node-v12.XX.XX-x64.msi [from](https://nodejs.org/dist/latest-v12.x/) here
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  • Mac OSX
curl -o- https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.35.2/install.sh | bash
nvm install 12
nvm use 12
nvm alias default 12
npm install npm --global # Upgrade npm to the latest version
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2. Creating and configuring a new Hardhat project

Lets install Hardhat using the npm CLI. The Node.js package manager is the world's largest Software Registry that contains over 800,000 JavaScript code packages. Go here to learn more about npm

Open a new terminal and run the below command

mkdir hardhat-tutorial-guide
cd hardhat-tutorial-guide
npm init --yes
npm install --save-dev hardhat
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In the same directory where you installed Hardhat run:

npx hardhat

Select Create an empty hardhat.config.js with your keyboard and hit enter, do the same for the remaining prompts

When Hardhat is run, it searches for the closest hardhat.config.js file starting from the current working directory. This file normally lives in the root of your project and an empty hardhat.config.js is enough for Hardhat to work. The entirety of your setup is contained in this file. Hardhat will create a hardhat.config.js like the following:

/**
 * @type import('hardhat/config').HardhatUserConfig
 */
module.exports = {
  solidity: "0.7.3",
};
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2.1. Configure hardhat.config.js to connect to RSK Testnet

To set up your config, you have to export an object from hardhat.config.js. This object can have entries like defaultNetwork, networks, solidity, paths and mocha.

2.2. Network configuration

The networks config field is an optional object where network names map to their configuration.

There are two kinds of networks in Hardhat: JSON-RPC based networks, which is what we will be using in this tutorial, and the built-in Hardhat Network.

You can customize which network is used by default when running Hardhat by setting the config's defaultNetwork field. If you omit this config, its default value is "hardhat"

2.3. Hardhat Network

Hardhat comes built-in with a special network called hardhat. When using this network, an instance of the Hardhat Network will be automatically created when you run a task, script or test your smart contracts.

Hardhat Network has first-class support of Solidity. It always knows which smart contracts are being run and exactly what they do and why they fail. Learn more about it here.

2.4. JSON-RPC based networks

These are networks that connect to an external node. Nodes can run on your computer, like Ganache, or remotely, like RSK Testnet. We'll be configuring a network connection named rsktestnet for this tutorial.

Include the following code in your hardhat.config.js file

/**
 * @type import('hardhat/config').HardhatUserConfig
 */
module.exports = {
  solidity: '0.7.3',
  networks: {
    rsktestnet: {
      chainId: 31,
      url: 'https://public-node.testnet.rsk.co/',
      gasPrice: Math.floor(minimumGasPriceTestnet * TESTNET_GAS_MULT),
      gasMultiplier: TESTNET_GAS_MULT,
      accounts: {
        mnemonic: mnemonic,
        initialIndex: 0,
        path: "m/44'/60'/0'/0",
        count: 10,
      },
    },
  },
};
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To set such networks, you’ll have to configure the object with the following fields:

  • url: This is the url of the node for custom networks.
  • chainId: This number is used to validate the network Hardhat connects to.
  • gasPrice: Its value should be auto or a number. Default value: auto
  • gasMultiplier: Default value : 1
  • accounts: This field controls the account that Hardhat uses. It can use node’s accounts or an HD Wallet. Default : “remote”.

2.5. HD Wallet Configuration

For using HD Wallet with Hardhat, you’ll have to set your network’s account with the below fields.

  • mnemonic: A string that is your seed phrase of the wallet
  • path: the HD parent of all derived keys. Default value : m/44'/60'/0'/0.
  • initialIndex: Initial index to derive. Default value : 0
  • count: Number of accounts to derive. Default value: 20

2.6. Solidity configuration

The solidity config is an optional field that can be one of the following:

  • A solc version to use, e.g. "0.7.3".
  • An object which describes the configuration for a single compiler. It contains the version, which is the solc version to use, and settings like optimizer with enabled and runs keys.
  solidity: {
    version: "0.7.3",
    settings: {
      optimizer: {
        enabled: true,
        runs: 200
      }
    }
  },
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2.7. Path configuration

You can customize the different paths that Hardhat uses by providing an object to the paths field with the following keys:

  • root: The root of the Hardhat project. This path is resolved from hardhat.config.js's directory. Default value: the directory containing the config file.
  • sources: The directory where your contract are stored. This path is resolved from the project's root. Default value: './contracts'.
  • tests: The directory where your tests are located. This path is resolved from the project's root. Default value: './test'.
  • cache: The directory used by Hardhat to cache its internal stuff. This path is resolved from the project's root. Default value: './cache'.
  • artifacts: The directory where the compilation artifacts are stored. This path is resolved from the project's root. Default value: './artifacts'
Paths: {
    sources: "./contracts",
    tests: "./test",
    cache: "./cache",
    artifacts: "./artifacts"
},
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2.8. Mocha configuration:

You can configure how tests are running using mocha entity, it would accept the same options as Mocha.

mocha: {
    timeout: 20000
}
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Let's look at some other statements in the hardhat.config.js file.

const fs = require('fs');

require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers');
require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-waffle');

const TESTNET_GAS_MULT = 1.1;
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The first line const fs = require('fs'); provides access to the NodeJs built-in File System, fs module.

The second line, require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers'); gives us access to the plugin that brings to Hardhat the Ethereum library ethers.js, which allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain in a simple way. This plugins adds an ethers object to the Hardhat Runtime Environment.

The third line, require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-waffle');
gives us access to the plugin for building smart contract tests using Waffle in Hardhat, this plugin adds a Hardhat-ready version of Waffle to the Hardhat Runtime Environment, and automatically initializes the Waffle Chai matchers. This object has all the Waffle functionality, already adapted to work with Hardhat.

The line const TESTNET_GAS_MULT = 1.1; declares a constant that stores the gasMultiplier value to be used in the network object.

const mnemonic = fs.readFileSync('.testnet.seed-phrase').toString().trim();
if (!mnemonic || mnemonic.split(' ').length !== 12) {
  console.log('unable to retrieve mnemonic from .secret');
}
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The line const mnemonic = fs.readFileSync('.testnet.seed-phrase').toString().trim(); enables the Hardhat configuration file to read the mnemonics from a .testnet.seed-phrase file present in the Hardhat project directory. This is done using the following lines already present in the hardhat.config.js file.

The preceding script reads the .testnet.seed-phrase file from the filesystem and sets in the mnemonic variable. This variable can be used in the configuration to read the BIP39 mnemonic keyword.

If this file is not present, you should create this file under the Hardhat project and add your BIP39 mnemonic seed keywords in plain text.

const gasPriceTestnetRaw = fs
  .readFileSync('.minimum-gas-price-testnet.json')
  .toString()
  .trim();
const minimumGasPriceTestnet = parseInt(
  JSON.parse(gasPriceTestnetRaw).result.minimumGasPrice,
  16,
);
if (
  typeof minimumGasPriceTestnet !== 'number' ||
  Number.isNaN(minimumGasPriceTestnet)
) {
  throw new Error(
    'unable to retrieve network gas price from .gas-price-testnet.json',
  );
}
console.log(`Minimum gas price Testnet: ${minimumGasPriceTestnet}`);
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The above script enables us to get the updated gas price from RSK Testnet, as minimumGasPriceTestnet.

The updated hardhat.config.js file:

Check out the full project source code on GitHub

const fs = require('fs');

require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers');
require('@nomiclabs/hardhat-waffle');

const TESTNET_GAS_MULT = 1.1;

const mnemonic = fs.readFileSync('.testnet.seed-phrase').toString().trim();
if (!mnemonic || mnemonic.split(' ').length !== 12) {
  console.log('unable to retrieve mnemonic from .secret');
}

const gasPriceTestnetRaw = fs
  .readFileSync('.minimum-gas-price-testnet.json')
  .toString()
  .trim();
const minimumGasPriceTestnet = parseInt(
  JSON.parse(gasPriceTestnetRaw).result.minimumGasPrice,
  16,
);
if (
  typeof minimumGasPriceTestnet !== 'number' ||
  Number.isNaN(minimumGasPriceTestnet)
) {
  throw new Error(
    'unable to retrieve network gas price from .gas-price-testnet.json',
  );
}
console.log(`Minimum gas price Testnet: ${minimumGasPriceTestnet}`);

/**
 * @type import('hardhat/config').HardhatUserConfig
 */
module.exports = {
  solidity: '0.7.3',
  networks: {
    rsktestnet: {
      chainId: 31,
      url: 'https://public-node.testnet.rsk.co/',
      gasPrice: Math.floor(minimumGasPriceTestnet * TESTNET_GAS_MULT),
      gasMultiplier: TESTNET_GAS_MULT,
      accounts: {
        mnemonic: mnemonic,
        initialIndex: 0,
        path: "m/44'/60'/0'/0",
        count: 10,
      },
    },
  },
};
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3. Let's take a look at the concepts of hardhat tasks and plugins.

Hardhat is designed around the concepts of tasks and plugins. The bulk of Hardhat's functionality comes from plugins, which as a developer you're free to choose the ones you want to use in your project.

3.1. Tasks

Every time you run Hardhat from the CLI, you're running a task. e.g. npx hardhat compile is running the compile task.

3.2. Plugins

Hardhat does come with some built-in default plugins, all of which can be overriden. For this tutorial we are going to use the Ethers.js and Waffle plugins. They'll allow you to interact with Ethereum and to test your contracts. To install them in your project directory run:

npm install --save-dev @nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers ethers @nomiclabs/hardhat-waffle ethereum-waffle chai

4. Writing and compiling smart contracts

We're going to create a simple smart contract that implements a token that can be transferred. Token contracts are most frequently used to exchange or store value. Find below some logic we implemented by the contract.

  • There is a fixed total supply of tokens that can't be changed.
  • The entire supply is assigned to the address that deploys the contract.
  • Anyone can receive tokens.
  • Anyone with at least one token can transfer tokens.
  • Get Token balance of a given account

4.1 Creating the smart contracts

Start by creating a new directory called contracts and create a file inside the directory called Token.sol.

mkdir contracts
touch contracts/Token.sol
code contracts/Token.sol
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Copy the below initial set up code for the Token transfer contract into your integrated development environment. We’ll implement the functions in the smart contract as we go along.

4.2. Code walkthrough

pragma solidity ^0.7.0;

import "hardhat/console.sol";

// This is the main building block for smart contracts.
contract Token {

    // Some string type variables to identify the token.
    // The `public` modifier makes a variable readable from outside the contract.
    string public name = "My Hardhat Token";
    string public symbol = "MHT";

    // The fixed amount of tokens stored in an unsigned integer type variable.
    uint256 public totalSupply = 1000000;

    // An address type variable is used to store ethereum accounts.
    address public owner;

    // A mapping is a key/value map. Here we store each account balance.
    mapping(address => uint256) balances;

    constructor() {
    // TODO set default candidates
    }

    function transfer(address to, uint256 amount) external {
    // TODO Create a function to enable transfer of Tokens
    }

    function balanceOf(address account) external view returns (uint256) {
        // TODO Create a function to check the balance of an account
    }
}
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The first line - pragma - declares the version of Solidity you wish to write your code in. The declaration of the smart contract starts with the contract keyword, then the name of the contract. Here, Token is the name of our smart contract.

Next, we declare a string variable called name to hold the name and identifier for the Token. The line string public name = "My Hardhat Token"; declares a named variable that is public and of type string. This variable holds the identifier for the Token, which in our case is "My Hardhat Token"

Next, we declare a variable called "symbol" to hold the symbol for the token. The line string public symbol = "MHT"; declares a symbol variable that is public and of type string. This variable stores the symbol by which the token should be known, in our case "MHT".

Next, we declare a variable called totalSupply to hold the fixed amount of Token in circulation. The line uint256 public totalSupply = 1000000; declares a totalSupply variable that is public and of type uint (unsigned integer with 256 bits). This variable stores the fixed amount of tokens in supply, in our case is 1000000.

Next, we declare a variable called owner to hold the address of the owner of the contract. The line address public owner; declares an owner variable that is public and of type address.

4.3. Address data type

The address type comes in two flavours, which are largely identical:

  • address: Holds a 20 byte value (size of an RSK address).
  • address payable: Same as address, but with the additional members transfer and send.

The idea behind this distinction is that address payable is an address you can send RBTC to, while a plain address cannot be sent RBTC. Read more on Variable Declaration in Solidity

Next, we store each account balance in a key/value pair map. The line mapping(address => uint256) balances;maps an address field that stores the address of the account, and a uint256 field that stores the balance of Tokens in the mapped address.

The constructor function gets called when the smart contract is deployed to the blockchain. The constructor would be initialised upon contract creation. Read about Constructors in Solidity.

4.5. Implementing the smart contract functions

Implementing the constructor

constructor() {
        // The totalSupply is assigned to transaction sender, which is the account
        // that is deploying the contract.
        balances[msg.sender] = totalSupply;
        owner = msg.sender;
    }
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The line balances[msg.sender] = totalSupply; assigns the address of the person deploying the contract to the balances address field, and then assigns the totalSupply to the uint256 field of the balances variable. The line owner = msg.sender; assigns the address of the person deploying the contract to the owner variable, which is of type address.

4.6. Transfer Function

function transfer(address to, uint256 amount) external {
        console.log("Sender balance is %s tokens", balances[msg.sender]);
        console.log("Trying to send %s tokens to %s", amount, to);
        // Check if the transaction sender has enough tokens.
        // If `require`'s first argument evaluates to `false` then the
        // transaction will revert.
        require(balances[msg.sender] >= amount, "Not enough tokens");

        // Transfer the amount.
        balances[msg.sender] -= amount;
        balances[to] += amount;
    }
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The function transfer takes two parameters, the first is the address to which Tokens should be transfered to, and the second parameter is the amount of Tokens to be sent. The external modifier makes this function only callable from outside the contract. The functions requires that balance of sender should be greater than amount to be sent, if this condition is false, then an error message is thrown, saying "not enough Tokens". If the balance amount is greater than amount to be sent, then the amount is deducted from the senders balance and then credited to the receivers account.

4.7. Implementing the balanceOf Function

    function balanceOf(address account) external view returns (uint256) {
        return balances[account];
    }
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The function balanceOf takes an address as a parameter and then returns the current balance of that address to the caller of the function. The view keyword in the declaration means that the function will not modify the state of the contract, while the returns keyword indicate that the function will return a uint256 value.

The updated Smart Contract

Check out the full project source code on GitHub

// SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-3.0
// Solidity files have to start with this pragma.
// It will be used by the Solidity compiler to validate its version.
pragma solidity ^0.7.0;

import "hardhat/console.sol";

// This is the main building block for smart contracts.
contract Token {
    // Some string type variables to identify the token.
    // The `public` modifier makes a variable readable from outside the contract.
    string public name = "My Hardhat Token";
    string public symbol = "MHT";

    // The fixed amount of tokens stored in an unsigned integer type variable.
    uint256 public totalSupply = 1000000;

    // An address type variable is used to store ethereum accounts.
    address public owner;

    // A mapping is a key/value map. Here we store each account balance.
    mapping(address => uint256) balances;

    /**
     * Contract initialization.
     *
     * The `constructor` is executed only once when the contract is created.
     */
    constructor() {
        // The totalSupply is assigned to transaction sender, which is the account
        // that is deploying the contract.
        balances[msg.sender] = totalSupply;
        owner = msg.sender;
    }

    /**
     * A function to transfer tokens.
     *
     * The `external` modifier makes a function *only* callable from outside
     * the contract.
     */
    function transfer(address to, uint256 amount) external {
        console.log("Sender balance is %s tokens", balances[msg.sender]);
        console.log("Trying to send %s tokens to %s", amount, to);
        // Check if the transaction sender has enough tokens.
        // If `require`'s first argument evaluates to `false` then the
        // transaction will revert.
        require(balances[msg.sender] >= amount, "Not enough tokens");

        // Transfer the amount.
        balances[msg.sender] -= amount;
        balances[to] += amount;
    }

    /**
     * Read only function to retrieve the token balance of a given account.
     *
     * The `view` modifier indicates that it doesn't modify the contract's
     * state, which allows us to call it without executing a transaction.
     */
    function balanceOf(address account) external view returns (uint256) {
        return balances[account];
    }
}
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4.8. Compiling contracts

To compile the contract, run npx hardhat compile in your terminal. The compile task is one of the built-in tasks.

$ npx hardhat compile
Compiling 1 file with 0.7.3
Compilation finished successfully
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The contract has been successfully compiled and it's ready to be used.

Testing the smart contract

Writing automated tests when building smart contracts is of crucial importance. In our tests we're going to use ethers.js to interact with the RSK contract we built in the previous section, and Mocha as our test runner.

See the complete tutorial on the RSK Developers Portal showing examples for How to write and setup a testing environment.

Thanks for reading!

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