Best practices

This page describes best practices for testing, developing and deploying smart contracts on the Filecoin network.


Best practices for transactions are described below.

Consistently generating transaction receipts

Since receipts in Filecoin are generated in the next tipset, depending on when a transaction is submitted to the mempool, the receipt may take between 30 and 90 seconds to return. To consistently return transaction receipts when deploying a transaction or awaiting confirmation, change the default transaction receipt timeout (60000 ms or 1 minute for many toolchains) to 90 seconds or more. An example that sets timeout to 180000 (3 minutes) for an Open Zeppelin upgradeable proxy is as follows:

const deployment = await upgrades.deployProxy(contract, preparedArguments, {
    timeout: 180000


Developers should take the time to thoroughly read through the following summary of possible contract future-proofing updates, as failure to properly future proof smart contracts may result in incompatibility with the v1.20.0-hyperspace-nv20 release and future Filecoin releases.

All contracts

All contracts must do the following:

Accept both DAG_CBOR (0x71) and CBOR (0x51) in inputs and treat them identically

Smart contracts should accept both DAG_CBOR (0x71) and CBOR (0x51) in inputs and treat them identically. Specifically:

  • Treat DAG_CBOR and CBOR as equivalent when returned from the call_actor precompile.
  • Treat DAG_CBOR and CBOR as equivalent when received as a parameter to handle_filecoin_method.

Use CBOR (0x51) in outputs

Smart contracts should use CBOR (0x51) in outputs. Specifically:

  • Always pass CBOR to the call_actor precompile. DAG_CBOR is currently forbidden.
  • Always return CBOR from handle_filecoin_method. DAG_CBOR is currently forbidden.

Contracts using GranularityExported hash

The GranularityExported method in the Datacap actor was renamed to Granularity, so any contracts which use the FRC42 hash of GranularityExported (953701584) must update the hash to 3936767397 and redeploy.

Contracts sending funds to specific actors

Any contracts sending funds to actors that are not native accounts (f1 or f3 addresses), Ethereum accounts, or EVM smart contracts must now use the call_actor precompile. Solidity’s transfer function will no longer work as that will attempt to invoke the target actor as an EVM contract.

Contracts interacting with built-in actors

All contracts interacting with built-in actors must upgrade to the latest version of Filecoin Solidity library, currently v0.8. The IPLD codec used in the handle_filecoin_method solidity entrypoint and the call_actor should now be CBOR (0x51), not DAG_CBOR (0x71), as previously used. The underlying encoding (i.e. the payload bytes) are the same, but the codec numbers are now different. DAG_CBOR support will be re-enabled in the future but the usage of the codec implies additional runtime guarantees that have not yet been implemented.