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From the ink! cross-contract docs, contract references give developers a type-safe way of interacting with a contract. However, this is not only available when the contract is already instantiated.

My question is, given the AccountId or code hash of the contract, is there a way to convert that to a ContractRef so I'm sure that AccountId really points to a contract with the expected type?

Currently, ink! has the CallBuilder but this doesn't ensure the contract is of the expected type. For instance, supposed I've 3 contracts. The first contract has the main struct named First, the second Second, and the third Third. Assume both First and Second has a method called flip. Within the Third contract, if I want to call the flip method from the already instantiated First contract, implementing it would be:

let my_return_value = build_call::<DefaultEnvironment>()
    .call(contracts_address)
    .gas_limit(0)
    .transferred_value(10)
    .exec_input(
        ExecutionInput::new(Selector::new(ink::selector_bytes!("flip")))
            .push_arg(42u8)
    )
    .returns::<bool>()
    .invoke();

However this doesn't ensure only the First contract's flip method is called. Using the Second contract's address would also work.

2 Answers 2

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From the snippet you gave, it looks like you want to call a contract, not create it. You can't convert CodeHash into a ContractRef b/c they're different things. CodeHash represents the code of the contract lives, not an address of a specific instance of the contract.

To turn an AccountId into a specific contract ref, you can follow the example given here https://github.com/Cardinal-Cryptography/bulletin-board-example/blob/main/contracts/bulletin_board/lib.rs#L497-L504

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  • Thanks. But actually this doesn't really answer my question. From the reference you gave, from_account_id just wraps the account_id in the ContractRef without any checks and eventuality a method call behaves just like the snippet I gave in my question
    – Kofi
    May 17, 2023 at 10:41
  • Yes, that's the point of ContractRef - it gives you a type-safe information about available methods (args, return types) of the contract you want to call. There's nothing more you can do - AccountId itself has no information about the contract that lives under that address so you, as a developer, has to define what type (contract) you're expecting to talk to.
    – deuszx
    May 18, 2023 at 11:09
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You cannot obtain ContractRef from code-hash or AccountId but you may determine whether a given function (function selector; to be precise) exists at a given address to some extend by using try_invoke rather than invoke (Not the best way though :p).

Bonus: You can also look at ERC165 to know more ways to tackle this kind of problem.

P.S: If a contract supports wildcard selector then this may not hold true.

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