Flattening Smart Contracts with Hardhat

Use Hardhat to deploy and verify smart contract

🧭 Table of contents

📰 Overview

Hardhat is a development environment to compile, deploy, test, and debug your Ethereum software. Get Solidity stack traces & console.log.

What you will learn

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up Hardhat and use it to build, test and deploy smart contract on both the XDC Network mainnet and XDC Apothem testnet and verify it on Block Explorer.

What you will do

  • Install and set up Hardhat

  • Create a complex smart contract with dependencies (like OpenZeppelin)

  • Compile the smart contract

  • Test the smart contract

  • Deploy the smart contract

  • Flatten the smart contract

  • Verify the smart contract

⚒ Starting a new Hardhat Project

There are a few technical requirements before we start. Please install the following:

Lets start by setting up our folder, we are creating a project called MyCounter, create a new MyCounter folder by running on terminal

mkdir MyCounter && cd MyCounter

We can get started with Hardhat by running:

npx hardhat

And the following message will show on your console. Hit y to continue or just press ENTER:

Need to install the following packages:
Ok to proceed? (y)

The following message should log on your console:

Press ENTER to get started with a new JavaScript Hardhat Project. Then, you will be presented with the following options:

? Hardhat project root: ‣ /home/path/to/MyCounter 
// Press ENTER or y 

? Do you want to add a .gitignore? (Y/n) ‣ y
// Press ENTER or y

? Do you want to install this sample projects dependencies with npm (hardhat @nomicfoundation/hardhat-toolbox)? (Y/n) ‣ y
// Press ENTER or y

The standard Hardhat project comes with a pre-created Lock.sol contract and deploy.js script. Let's clean up our working environment before moving forward:

rm -rf ./contracts/Lock.sol ./scripts/deploy.js ./test/Lock.js

And your folder files will look like this:

⚒ Configuring XDC Mainnet and Apothem Testnet on Hardhat

In order to get started deploying new contracts on XDC Mainnet and/or Apothem, we need to install a new dependency called dotenv that will be used in the hardhat.config.js file:

npm install dotenv

We will need to configure a .env file with XDC Mainnet and Apothem Testnet RPC endpoints, plus the Private Key of the wallet we are using for deployment. Let's start by running:

touch .env

And writing the following info in our .env file:


🚨 Do not use the Private Key in the example above in production or you can risk losing your assets! 🚨

And finally, we can configure the hardhat.config.js file for both Apothem and XinFin Networks by writing:


module.exports = {
  solidity: "0.8.16",
  networks: {
    xinfin: {
      url: process.env.XINFIN_NETWORK_URL,
      accounts: [process.env.PRIVATE_KEY],
     apothem: {
      url: process.env.APOTHEM_NETWORK_URL,
      accounts: [process.env.PRIVATE_KEY]

⚒ Adding Testnet XDC to the Development Wallet

Let's check our Signer's Address on Hardhat by accessing the Hardhat console:

npx hardhat console --network xinfin

If you get an error that hardhat is not installed locally and is running on a Windows OS you will need to execute:

npm install --save-dev @nomicfoundation/hardhat-toolbox

Once the hardhat console CLI opens, you can run:

> const hre = require("hardhat");
// Should log: Undefined
> const [owner] = await ethers.getSigners();
// Should log: Undefined
> owner.address
// Should log: '0xA4e66f4Cc17752f331eaC6A20C00756156719519' or your wallet address if you are using a different Private Key

This account is on the Ethereum standard format starting with 0x, but we can simply switch 0x for xdc. In this case, our signer wallet address is: xdcA4e66f4Cc17752f331eaC6A20C00756156719519.

With this account in hand, we can head to the Apothem Faucet and claim some TXDC for development purposes:

💵 Writing Smart Contract

We will be using OpenZeppelin for this guide so let's install it first:

npm install @openzeppelin/contracts

Now let's create simple smart contract called MyCounter.sol in contracts folder:

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
pragma solidity >=0.8.0 <0.9.0;

import "@openzeppelin/contracts/utils/Counters.sol";

contract MyCounter {
    using Counters for Counters.Counter;
    Counters.Counter private _counter;

    function current() public view returns (uint256) {
        return _counter.current();

    function increment() public returns (uint256) {
        return _counter.current();

    function decrement() public returns (uint256) {
        return _counter.current();

💵 Compiling and Testing

We can now compile our MyCounter.sol by running:

npx hardhat compile

If everything is correctly configured and there are no errors, you should see the following message on your console:

Downloading compiler 0.8.16
Compiled 2 Solidity files successfully

And your folder should look like this:


Now, let's create a simple test to see if everything works as intended before we deploy our contract to the live network. This will save us time and gas fees, so it is recommended that you do as many tests as possible for your smart contracts before deploying.

Create file MyCounter.js under test directory:

const { expect } = require("chai");

describe("MyCounter contract", function () {
  it("should deploy MyCounter", async () => {
    const [owner] = await ethers.getSigners();
    const MyCounter = await ethers.getContractFactory("MyCounter");

    const myCounterInstance = await MyCounter.deploy();
    const current = await myCounterInstance.current();

  it("should increment and decrement MyCounter and show current count", async () => {
    const [owner] = await ethers.getSigners();
    const MyCounter = await ethers.getContractFactory("MyCounter");

    const myCounterInstance = await MyCounter.deploy();

    await myCounterInstance.increment()
    await myCounterInstance.increment()
    await myCounterInstance.decrement()

    const current = await myCounterInstance.current();


Then run:

npx hardhat test

Your output should look like this:

MyCounter contract
  ✔ should deploy MyCounter (847ms)
  ✔ should increment and decrement MyCounter and show current count (66ms)

2 passing (916ms)

💵 Deploying Contract

In order to deploy our newly compiled contract artifacts to the blockchain, we need to create a deployment script into the script folder:

touch ./scripts/deploy.js

And write the following script to the deploy.js file:

async function main() {
  const MyCounter = await ethers.getContractFactory("MyCounter");
  const myCounter = await MyCounter.deploy();

  await myCounter.deployed();
  console.log("MyCounter Successfully Deployed!");
  console.log("MyCounter address:", myCounter.address);

  .then(() => process.exit(0))
  .catch((error) => {

If the deployment script has no errors, we can go ahead and run the command:

npx hardhat run scripts/deploy.js --network xinfin

For deployment on XDC mainnet, or:

npx hardhat run scripts/deploy.js --network apothem

For deployment on the XDC Apothem Testnet. In either case, you need to have enough funds to pay for gas fees at the address that is being used for development.

If the deployment is successful, the console should log the following message after migrations complete processing:

MyCounter Successfully Deployed!
MyCounter address: 0xfCd7d366048a50E0600C46Dd854Da343050EB3A1

💵 Flattening Contract

If a smart contract imports external files like ours, we need to flatten it before verifying on Block Explorer.

Now let's flatten our contract:

npx hardhat flatten contracts/MyCounter.sol > MyCounterFlatten.sol

Then open MyCounterFlatten.sol and remove every line which starts with // SPDX-License-Identifier except the first one. We do this because Block Explorer does not accepts contracts with mutliple license definitions.

🔍 Verifying Contracts on the Block Explorer

Once you have successfully deployed your smart contract to the blockchain, it might be interesting to verify your contract on XinFin Block Explorer.

Let's grab the MyCounter.sol address from the previous step: this address is in the Ethereum standard but we can simply swap the 0x prefix for xdc and search for our newly deployed contract on XinFin Block Explorer:

And click on the Verify And Publish Option.

We will be redirected to the Contract verification page where we need to fill out:

  • Contract Name: MyCounter

  • Compiler: Check your hardhat-config.js file for Compiler Version

  • Contract Code: Just paste everything from your MyCounterFlatten.sol file

❕ Keep in mind that Contract Code should be MyCounterFlatten.sol, not MyCounter.sol. ❕

Once everything is filled out, press Submit!

If everything is correctly filled out, your contract page on the block explorer should display a new tab called Contract:

For more information about Hardhat, Please Visit Hardhat Documentation. For more information about XinFin Network, Please Visit XDC Network Documentation on GitBook. Resources used during the deployment of the MyCounter can be found at MyCounter Contract Folder.

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