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Base contract with allowance and third party transfer
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The basic standard API for tokens, on EOSio networks, does not allow practical implementations of non-custodian peer-to-peer applications. The following smart contract, closely inspired from the ERC-20 Ethereum standard, allows applications to allocate funds and impersonate users to perform transactions. To do so, two new actions are added to the basic contract:

  • transferFrom
  • approve

On the Ethereum platform, tokens are implemented as ledgers with a Solidity smart contract. These ERC20 ledgers are set as two column tables comprising user accounts and account balances (see left illustration below). The contract presented in this document is hosted in ESOio networks. It is based on a two column table comprising tokens and balances (see right illustration below). On the one hand, on Ethereum, tokens are implemented as two column ledger (account, balance). On the other hand, this presently documented contract, is implemented as a two column ledger (token, balance) hosted in users' RAM.


On EOSio, this current contract is hosted in users' RAM, a personal storage allocated for each user. The amount of RAM is dependant on the EOS at stake owned by users. Each table's row is dedicated to a token.


Clone the directory into WORKDIR:

git clone

Move into the directory and compile the code with eosio-cpp from the EOSIO Contract Development Toolkit:

eosio-cpp basiccontract.cpp -o basiccontract.wasm

You can now deploy the contract on a EOS node (first create a corresponding basic account):

cleos set contract basic WORKDIR/basiccontract

Use Case

The smart contract defines five actions : create, issue, transfer, approve and transferfrom. The first three correspond to the standard eosio.token smart contract already in use on the EOS networks.

cleos push action basic create '["issuer", "maxsupply SYM"]' -p basic@active

The create action is used to define the token with an issuer, a symbol and a maximum supply. This action must be performed with the authority of the account on which the smart contract is deployed (i.e. basic). Use the maximum supply to specify the number of required decimals (e.g. "1000.00 XPB" which will create a token with a maximum supply of a thousand, with two decimal places and the symbol XPB). Please see the EOS documentation for more information. This action can be performed as:

cleos push action basic issue '["account", "quantity SYM", "memo"]' -p issuer@active

The issue action issues a certain amount of tokens to an account. Each time this action is performed, it raises the supply of the token. When the maximum supply is reached, it is impossible to issue more tokens. This action must be performed with the authority of the issuer account specified when the token was created. This action can be performed as:

cleos push action basic transfer '["from", "to", "quantity SYM", "memo"]' -p from@active

The transfer action transfers tokens from account "from" to account "to". This action must be performed with the authority of account "from". Notice that if account "to" does not possess any of these tokens, this action creates a corresponding accounts table in the scope of "to". the RAM allocation for this table is payed by "from".

cleos push action basic approve '["owner", "spender", "quantity SYM"]' -p owner@active

The approve action is invoked when an account owner wishes to give spending privileges to another account, called spender here. This allows the spender to withdraw from the owner's account, multiple times, up to the quantity specified.

This action creates a new table, called allowed, in the scope of the owner. All RAM allocation costs are payed by the owner. This table can be viewed using the command:

cleos get table basic owner allowed

cleos push action basic transferfrom '["from", "to", "spender", "quantity SYM", "memo"]' -p spender@active

Finally the last action, transferfrom, is used for a withdraw workflow, allowing contracts or other accounts to send tokens on your behalf. For example to make a non-custodian exhange contract which can "deposit" to a contract address on your behalf and/or to charge fees in sub-currencies. The command fails unless the "from" account has deliberately authorized the "spender" via the approve method. Note that if account "to" does not already possess a balance in the specified tokens, an accounts table must be created in its scope. In this case, the RAM allocation costs are payed by the spender.


  • EOSIO Contract Development Toolkit: install from here
  • An EOS node: install from here
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