Register a name for your coin

The commands mentioned only work because you have token javascript object instantiated on your local machine. If you send tokens to someone they won't be able to move them forward because they don't have the same object and wont know where to look for your contract or call its functions. In fact if you restart your console these objects will be deleted and the contracts you've been working on will be lost forever. So how do you instantiate the contract on a clean machine?

There are two ways. Let's start with the quick and dirty, providing your friends with a reference to your contract’s ABI:

token = eth.contract([{constant:false,inputs:[{name:'receiver',type:'address'},{name:'amount',type:'uint256'}],name:'sendCoin',outputs:[{name:'sufficient',type:'bool'}],type:'function'},{constant:true,inputs:[{name:'',type:'address'}],name:'coinBalanceOf',outputs:[{name:'',type:'uint256'}],type:'function'},{inputs:[{name:'supply',type:'uint256'}],type:'constructor'},{anonymous:false,inputs:[{indexed:false,name:'sender',type:'address'},{indexed:false,name:'receiver',type:'address'},{indexed:false,name:'amount',type:'uint256'}],name:'CoinTransfer',type:'event'}]).at('0x4a4ce7844735c4b6fc66392b200ab6fe007cfca8')

Just replace the address at the end for your own token address, then anyone that uses this snippet will immediately be able to use your contract. Of course this will work only for this specific contract so let's analyze step by step and see how to improve this code so you'll be able to use it anywhere.

All accounts are referenced in the network by their public address. But addresses are long, difficult to write down, hard to memorize and immutable. The last one is specially important if you want to be able to generate fresh accounts in your name, or upgrade the code of your contract. In order to solve this, there is a default name registrar contract which is used to associate the long addresses with short, human-friendly names.

Names have to use only alphanumeric characters and, cannot contain blank spaces. In future releases the name registrar will likely implement a bidding process to prevent name squatting but for now, it works on a first come first served basis: as long as no one else registered the name, you can claim it.

First, if you register a name, then you won't need the hardcoded address in the end. Select a nice coin name and try to reserve it for yourself. First, select your name:

var tokenName = "MyFirstCoin"

Then, check the availability of your name:


If that function returns "0x00..", you can claim it to yourself:

registrar.reserve.sendTransaction(tokenName, {from: eth.accounts[0]});

Wait for the previous transaction to be picked up. Wait up to thirty seconds and then try:


If it returns your address, it means you own that name and are able to set your chosen name to any address you want:

registrar.setAddress.sendTransaction(tokenName, token.address, true,{from: eth.accounts[0]});

You can replace token.address for eth.accounts[0] if you want to use it as a personal nickname.

Wait a little bit for that transaction to be picked up too and test it:


You can send a transaction to anyone or any contract by name instead of account simply by typing

eth.sendTransaction({from: eth.accounts[0], to: registrar.addr("MyFirstCoin"), value: web3.toWei(1, "ether")})

Tip: don't mix registrar.addr for registrar.owner. The first is to which address that name is pointed at: anyone can point a name to anywhere else, just like anyone can forward a link to, but only the owner of the name can change and update the link. You can set both to be the same address.

This should now return your token address, meaning that now the previous code to instantiate could use a name instead of an address.

token = eth.contract([{constant:false,inputs:[{name:'receiver',type:'address'},{name:'amount',type:'uint256'}],name:'sendCoin',outputs:[{name:'sufficient',type:'bool'}],type:'function'},{constant:true,inputs:[{name:'',type:'address'}],name:'coinBalanceOf',outputs:[{name:'',type:'uint256'}],type:'function'},{inputs:[{name:'supply',type:'uint256'}],type:'constructor'},{anonymous:false,inputs:[{indexed:false,name:'sender',type:'address'},{indexed:false,name:'receiver',type:'address'},{indexed:false,name:'amount',type:'uint256'}],name:'CoinTransfer',type:'event'}]).at(registrar.addr("MyFirstCoin"))

This also means that the owner of the coin can update the coin by pointing the registrar to the new contract. This would, of course, require the coin holders trust the owner set at registrar.owner("MyFirstCoin")

Of course this is a rather unpleasant big chunk of code just to allow others to interact with a contract. There are some avenues being investigated to upload the contract ABI to the network, so that all the user will need is the contract name. You can read about these approaches but they are very experimental and will certainly change in the future.