Create an ERC20 using Truffle, without writing Solidity

In this tutorial we will use a Preset ERC20 contract in OpenZeppelin Contracts v3.x to create an ERC20 using Truffle, without having to write any Solidity code.

Setting up the Environment

We begin by creating a new project.

$ mkdir mytoken && cd mytoken
$ npm init -y

Then we install OpenZeppelin Contracts

$ npm i --save-dev @openzeppelin/contracts

Next we install a development tool for deployment, for this tutorial we will use Truffle but we could use any other tools such as OpenZeppelin CLI.

$ npm i truffle

Getting the contract artifacts

We will setup our Solidity project using truffle init to create a contracts directory and configuration to connect to a network.

$ npx truffle init
This directory is non-empty...
? Proceed anyway? (Y/n)
Starting unbox...

? Proceed anyway? Yes
✔ Preparing to download box
✔ Downloading
✔ cleaning up temporary files
✔ Setting up box

Unbox successful, sweet!


  Compile:        truffle compile
  Migrate:        truffle migrate
  Test contracts: truffle test

We are going to use Preset ERC20PresetMinterPauser which is an ERC20 that is preset so it can be minted, paused and burned.

The Preset contracts have already been compiled, so we only need to copy the artifacts to the build/contracts directory.

$ mkdir -p build/contracts/
$ cp node_modules/@openzeppelin/contracts/build/contracts/* build/contracts/

Deploy the contract

We will use truffle develop to open a Truffle console with a development blockchain

$ npx truffle develop
Truffle Develop started at

(0) 0x0445c33bdce670d57189158b88c0034b579f37ce
(1) 0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443
(2) 0xff8ddfd4ae8ed56c4b94738fef931b732f3aaeb5
(3) 0xc28aaeb2c63c3617e6733d786a6d7273871b805f

Private Keys:
(0) 11e8321617611610d7561dfdf1fdbf87cee4cc99b97cc73c68f0eb5715fff7cc
(1) b28ee7deb262fbb6cccabb43179406e97bf7ff4c20b66feac3321019373531bd
(2) 44e5ce1f204a63e50faf2f202af1d5653aace83805dd9bc7062033f0625aaaa7
(3) 168e28ad21ede684f8fd3ddc8b88e9474c740884f43bda1d567e968544b53a6e

Mnemonic: ridge drop soon clutch empty north car drum maximum obey clinic coin

⚠️  Important ⚠️  : This mnemonic was created for you by Truffle. It is not secure.
Ensure you do not use it on production blockchains, or else you risk losing funds.


We can deploy our new token to our development blockchain. Providing a name and a symbol as parameters to the constructor to create a new ERC20PresetMinterPauser.

truffle(develop)> token = await"My Token", "TKN")

Interact with our Token

The accounts that we can use were displayed when we started truffle develop

Token metadata

We can call the contract to read token metadata such as name, symbol and decimals

truffle(develop)> await
'My Token'
truffle(develop)> await token.symbol()
truffle(develop)> (await token.decimals()).toString()


We can send a transaction to mint tokens to a given account, from an account with the minter role.
In our case we are minting from the account which deployed the token, which is given the minter role.

We will mint 1000 tokens (the token has 18 decimals).

truffle(develop)> await'0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443','1000000000000000000000')
  tx: '0xf04c4342eadd64e81ba631d7340ca1bec4f402f2775e8a9087c8af06ff34e7c7',
  receipt: {
    transactionHash: '0xf04c4342eadd64e81ba631d7340ca1bec4f402f2775e8a9087c8af06ff34e7c7',
    transactionIndex: 0,
    blockHash: '0x907fc78d3973dc1b3081148c2ab3172857f32ffc73d6102b756033f60431c850',
    blockNumber: 2,
    from: '0x0445c33bdce670d57189158b88c0034b579f37ce',
    to: '0x3797c825cac4a1fa765f6d8cd7787fb195849555',
    gasUsed: 68253,

We can check the balance

truffle(develop)> (await token.balanceOf('0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443')).toString()


We can send a transaction to burn tokens (from the account holder)

truffle(develop)> await token.burn('10000000000000000000', {from: '0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443'})
  tx: '0x626b3c012f8edb66cbb45b279554c8f0ac9f5db35097e1364a45e9df5e96027e',
  receipt: {
    transactionHash: '0x626b3c012f8edb66cbb45b279554c8f0ac9f5db35097e1364a45e9df5e96027e',
    transactionIndex: 0,
    blockHash: '0x73ec9a1245d2d28cf08aaefb63975542c8c23ee221ef3479a26e00f5fbc7b949',
    blockNumber: 3,
    from: '0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443',
    to: '0x3797c825cac4a1fa765f6d8cd7787fb195849555',
    gasUsed: 36797,

We can check the balance after burning

truffle(develop)> (await token.balanceOf('0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443')).toString()


We can pause our Token by sending a transaction calling the pause function, from an account with the pauser role.
In our case we are pausing from the account which deployed the token, which is given the pauser role.

truffle(develop)> await token.pause()
  tx: '0x93385cbb2d893658878db962cce2fcc520e211cfdc1a9d49660489b8d20b6768',
  receipt: {
    transactionHash: '0x93385cbb2d893658878db962cce2fcc520e211cfdc1a9d49660489b8d20b6768',
    transactionIndex: 0,
    blockHash: '0x84529e46656d47dd642b10ed3606b7306de8020060d7711dc5a963d6cb4f142a',
    blockNumber: 4,
    from: '0x0445c33bdce670d57189158b88c0034b579f37ce',
    to: '0x3797c825cac4a1fa765f6d8cd7787fb195849555',
    gasUsed: 30548,

Transactions which attempt to transfer (such as mint) will revert whilst paused.

truffle(develop)> await'0x46b68a577f95d02d2732cbe93c1809e9ca25b443','1000000000000000000000')
Error: Returned error: VM Exception while processing transaction: revert ERC20Pausable: token transfer while paused -- Reason given: ERC20Pausable: token transfer while paused.    

Next steps

  • We could deploy using truffle migrate and the following migration script
// migrations/2_deploy.js

const Token = artifacts.require('@openzeppelin/contracts/ERC20PresetMinterPauser');

module.exports = function(deployer) {
  deployer.deploy(Token, 'My Token', 'MYT');