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What is self-destruct in Solidity

Last updated on December 2022. Created on May 2022 β€’ Tags: ethereumsolidityguides

A guide on Solidity's selfdestruct function

Table of Contents for What is self-destruct in Solidity

Update: Dec 2022 - selfdestruct is being deprecated

There is a function in Solidity that is used to destroy a contract.

As well as destroying the contract, selfdestruct will send any remaining ether balance in that contract address and send it to another (specified) address.

Example of using selfdestruct in Solidity

The following contract shows an example of how to use the self-destruct functionality in Solidity.

It sets up an address (whoToPayOnDestruct) when the contract is deployed. Then when killContract() is run, it will self-destruct and send any ether to the address in whoToPayOnDestruct.

pragma solidity ^0.8.14;

contract ExampleContract {
address whoToPayOnDestruct;

constructor(address _whoToPayOnDestruct) {
whoToPayOnDestruct = _whoToPayOnDestruct

function killContract() public {

Note that even after calling self-destruct, the contract data/history is still on the blockchain.

History of the selfdestruct function

Originally the opcode for selfdestruct in the EVM was called SUICIDE. However, this was changed in EIP-6.

Use selfdestruct to send eth to a smart contract, even if it has no receive() or fallback() function

Some deployed smart contracts are written in a way which makes it hard to send ether to. For example if they have no payable functions, and no receive() or fallback() function.

In those cases you can use selfdestruct() to send eth to them.

Further resources on selfdestruct in Solidity

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