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Transferring Tokens

So at this point, we have a single user that owns all the tokens for the contract. However, it's not really a useful token unless you can transfer them to other people...

Let's do that!

The Transfer Function

The transfer function does exactly what you might expect: it allows the user calling the contract to transfer some funds they own to another user.

You will notice in our template code there is a public function transfer and an internal function transfer_from_to. We have done this because in the future, we will be reusing the logic for a token transfer when we enable third party allowances and spending on-behalf-of.


fn transfer_from_to(&mut self, from: AccountId, to: AccountId, value: Balance) -> bool {/* --snip-- */}

The transfer_from_to function will be built without any authorization checks. Because it is an internal function, we fully control when it gets called. However, it will have all logical checks around managing the balances between accounts.

Really we just need to check for one thing: make sure that the from account has enough funds to send to the to account:

if balance_from < value {
return false

Remember that the transfer function and other public functions return a bool to indicate success. If the from account does not have enough balance to satisfy the transfer, we will exit early and return false, not making any changes to the contract state. Our transfer_from_to will simply forward the "success" bool up to the function that calls it.


pub fn transfer(&mut self, to: AccountId, value: Balance) -> bool {/* --snip-- */}

Finally, the transfer function will simply call into the transfer_from_to with the from parameter automatically set to the self.env().caller(). This is our "authorization check" since the contract caller is always authorized to move their own funds.

Transfer Math

There really is not much to say about the simple math executed within a token transfer.

  1. First we get the current balance of both the from and to account, making sure to use our balance_of_or_zero() getter.
  2. Then we make the logic check mentioned above to ensure the from balance has enough funds to send value.
  3. Finally, we subtract that value from the from balance and add it to the to balance and insert those new values back in.

Your Turn!

Follow the ACTIONs in the template code to build your transfer function.

Remember to run cargo +nightly test to test your work.

#![cfg_attr(not(feature = "std"), no_std)]

use ink_lang as ink;

mod erc20 {
#[cfg(not(feature = "ink-as-dependency"))]
pub struct Erc20 {
/// The total supply.
total_supply: Balance,
/// The balance of each user.
balances: ink_storage::collections::HashMap<AccountId, Balance>,

impl Erc20 {
pub fn new(initial_supply: Balance) -> Self {
let mut balances = ink_storage::collections::HashMap::new();
balances.insert(Self::env().caller(), initial_supply);
Self {
total_supply: initial_supply,

pub fn total_supply(&self) -> Balance {

pub fn balance_of(&self, owner: AccountId) -> Balance {

pub fn transfer(&mut self, to: AccountId, value: Balance) -> bool {
// ACTION: Call the `transfer_from_to` with `from` as `self.env().caller()`

fn transfer_from_to(&mut self, from: AccountId, to: AccountId, value: Balance) -> bool {
// ACTION: Get the balance for `from` and `to`
// HINT: Use the `balance_of_or_zero` function to do this
// ACTION: If `from_balance` is less than `value`, return `false`
// ACTION: Insert new values for `from` and `to`
// * from_balance - value
// * to_balance + value
// ACTION: Return `true`

fn balance_of_or_zero(&self, owner: &AccountId) -> Balance {

mod tests {
use super::*;