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Use the Contracts pallet

Create the basis for building Wasm smart contracts using FRAME.


Add the Contracts pallet to your runtime to be able to use Wasm smart contracts in your blockchain.

Use cases#

  • Smart Contract develoment
  • On-chain execution of Wasm binaries


This guide will show you how you can add the Contracts pallet to your runtime in order to allow your blockchain to support Wasm smart contracts. You can follow similar patterns to add additional FRAME pallets to your runtime, however you should note that each pallet is a little different in terms of the specific configuration settings needed to use it correctly.


You should already have the latest version of the Substrate Node Template compiled on your computer to follow this guide. If you haven't already done so, refer to this tutorial.


1. Import the dependencies#

Refer to this guide to properly include Contracts in your runtime.

This includes updating runtime/Cargo.toml and runtime/Cargo.toml` with: - pallet-contracts - pallet-contracts-primitives

2. Add the Contracts pallet to your runtime#

Now you'll have to implement the Contract's pallet configuration traits in order for your runtime to use it properly.

Implement pallet_contracts#

Start by making sure you've included all of the types that pallet_contracts exposes. You can copy these from FRAME's source code (assuming versioning is equivalent to the imported crate). Here's what you need to add inside runtime/ โ€” only the first 4 types are shown:

impl pallet_contracts::Config for Runtime {
type Time = Timestamp;
type Randomness = RandomnessCollectiveFlip;
type Currency = Balances;
type Event = Event;
/* --snip-- */

Parameter types#

Some of these types require parameter_types. Have a look at their implementation in this runtime to make sure you include everything. We'll take DeletionQueueDepth as one example. Parameter types go right above impl pallet_contracts::Config for Runtime :

parameter_types! {
/* --snip-- */
pub DeletionQueueDepth: u32 = ((DeletionWeightLimit::get() / (
<Runtime as pallet_contracts::Config>::WeightInfo::on_initialize_per_queue_item(1) -
<Runtime as pallet_contracts::Config>::WeightInfo::on_initialize_per_queue_item(0)
)) / 5) as u32;
/* --snip-- */

Notice how the above parameter type requires WeightInfo. This requires you to add the following to the top of runtime/

use pallet_contracts::weights::WeightInfo;

Similarly, other parameter types use constants such as DAYS, MILLICENTS and AVERAGE_ON_INITIALIZE_RATIO.

Define these towards the top of your runtime/ file where the other constants exists:

// Contracts price units.
pub const MILLICENTS: Balance = 1_000_000_000;
pub const CENTS: Balance = 1_000 * MILLICENTS;
pub const DOLLARS: Balance = 100 * CENTS;
const fn deposit(items: u32, bytes: u32) -> Balance {
items as Balance * 15 * CENTS + (bytes as Balance) * 6 * CENTS
/// We assume that ~10% of the block weight is consumed by `on_initalize` handlers.
/// This is used to limit the maximal weight of a single extrinsic.
const AVERAGE_ON_INITIALIZE_RATIO: Perbill = Perbill::from_percent(10);

Add an instance in runtime for pallet_contracts#

Ceate an instance of the Contracts pallet in construct_macro! inside runtime/

/* --snip-- */
Contracts: pallet_contracts::{Module, Call, Config<T>, Storage, Event<T>},
/* --snip-- */

3. Add API dependencies#


Some pallets, including the Contracts pallet, expose custom runtime APIs and RPC endpoints. In the case of the Contracts pallet, this enables reading contracts state from off chain.

In this guide, we want to use the Contracts pallet to make calls to our node's storage without making a transaction.

To achieve this, we'll use another pallet called pallet-contracts-rpc-runtime-api.

Import dependencies#

Just like in the first step of this guide, update Cargo.toml to add pallet-contracts-rpc-runtime-api.

Now we can add the ContractsApi dependency required to implement the Contracts runtime API.

Add this with the other use statements.

Implement the Contracts runtime API#

We're now ready to implement the contracts runtime API.

This happens in the impl_runtime_apis! macro near the end of your runtime.

Make sure to add the following functions that the ContractsApi exposes:

  • call(): returns pallet_contracts_primitives::ContractExecResult { Contracts::bare_call(origin, dest, value, gas_limit, input_data)}
  • get_storage(): returns pallet_contracts_primitives::GetStorageResult {Contracts::get_storage(address, key)}
  • rent_projection(): returns pallet_contracts_primitives::RentProjectionResult<BlockNumber> {Contracts::rent_projection(address)}

Add RPC API extension#

To be able to call the runtime API, we must add the RPC to the node's service.

In node/Cargo.toml, add the dendencies for pallet-contracts and pallet-contracts-rpc.

Unsure what version to include?

Use the latest version as indicated on

This RPC does not contain access to the Contracts pallet by default. To interact with this pallet, we have to extend the existing RPC and add the Contracts pallet along with its API.

In node/src/, add this line to the where clause in create_full<C, P>:

C::Api: pallet_contracts_rpc::ContractsRuntimeApi<Block, AccountId, Balance, BlockNumber>,

And add the contracts RPC API extension using:

// Contracts RPC API extension


Related material#

Rust docs#

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