Content migrated from https://docs.openzeppelin.com/sdk/upgrades-governance.
This article was originally published in September 2018, and may no longer reflect best practices.
Governance for Smart Contract Upgrades
The OpenZeppelin CLI provides the chance to have upgradeable smart contracts which follows the immutability rules guaranteed by the Ethereum blockchain. However, it is desirable to have a mechanism that allows all parties involved to decide on whether a contract should be upgraded or not, instead of having an unilateral decision.
Given that there are many projects already working on really good solutions to achieve decentralized governance, we’ve been exploring some of them to study how they can be integrated with the OpenZeppelin CLI to manage contract upgrades.
In this case, we will use a multisignature wallet.
A multisig is a contract that can execute arbitrary transactions, with the restriction that a certain number of owners must agree upon them. We highly recommend using the Gnosis MultiSig Wallet, which was audited by the OpenZeppelin team and has a https://wallet.gnosis.pm/[useful dApp] for submitting and confirming transactions. You can use it easily to deploy your own multisig wallet.
Once inside your OpenZeppelin project, let’s suppose we have an arbitrary contract called
MyContract. Now let’s see how we can create an upgradeable instance of it being handled by a multisig wallet. In order to do that, we will need first to register this contract, push it to the network and create a new upgradeable instance of it as we explained in the previous sections:
$ npx oz add MyContract $ npx oz push -n ropsten $ npx oz create MyContract -n ropsten
We have our contract deployed to the
ropsten network, with an instance of our
MyContract contract up and running. At this point, the ownership of the project is being controlled by the deployer account, which can unilaterally decide when to upgrade any of its contracts.
Since we want to avoid having a single account with full control over our
MyContract instance, we’ll transfer control of it to our multisig contract. To do this, we’ll use the
set-admin command to yield control to the multisig account.
$ npx oz set-admin [MYCONTRACT_ADDRESS] [MULTISIG_ADDRESS] -y
NOTE: Please remember to replace
[MYCONTRACT_ADDRESS] by the address of the upgradeable instance of
MyContract we created above. Additionally,
[MULTISIG_ADDRESS] should be replaced by the address of your multisig wallet contract.
-y option is mandatory to carry out this action. Bear in mind that this could be an irreversible operation in case you specify an incorrect admin address.
Now, if we want to upgrade our
MyContract instance to a new version, we’ll need to perform the operation from the multisig contract. Note that we have transferred only the ownership of our
MyContract instance. If we had created more instances of
MyContract, or of any other contract, they would still be under control of the deployer account.
The same applies to our OpenZeppelin CLI app. This allows us to keep interacting with our project via the CLI, by creating new instances or registering new logic contracts, as we’ll be doing in the next step.
Uploading a new version
Let’s suppose we extend the functionality somehow. The first step is to upload this new logic contract to the blockchain. Since the whole project is still managed by our deployer account, we can easily do that from the CLI by running:
$ oz add MyContract $ oz push
Now that our new logic contract is uploaded to the network, we can proceed to upgrade our
Upgrading our contract instance
At this point, if we attempt to upgrade our
MyContract instance to the new version through the CLI, we’ll get an error since the deployer account no longer has upgrade rights over the contract instance. We need to go through the multisig to perform this operation, as the CLI’s account.
Let’s submit a transaction to the multisig wallet for our contract instance to be upgraded. We can do this from the Gnosis dApp by including the proxy’s ABI and choosing to invoke
upgradeTo. We also need to supply the address of the new implementation, which can be found in the output of the last
openzeppelin push command or in the
This will create a new transaction in the multisig wallet for the
MyContract instance to be upgraded to the latest
MyContract implementation. However, since this requires the approval of at least another multisig owner, the upgrade is still pending.
As soon as another owner of the multisig account confirms this transaction, it will be executed on the spot and our
MyContract instance contract will be upgraded to the desired version, allowing us to make use of the new functionality we built.