Act is a high level specification language for evm programs. The core aim is to allow for easy refinement. We want to make it as easy as possible for development teams to define a high level specification, which can then either be used "upwards" to prove higher level properties or "downwards" to demonstrate that an implementation in EVM bytecode conforms to the spec.

Act currently integrates with the following tools:

  • Hevm: automated refinement proof between the act spec and a given evm bytecode object
  • SMT: automated proof of invariants and postconditions
  • Coq: manual proof of high level properties against a model derived from the Act spec


At a very high level Act is a kind of mathy english over the EVM, where contracts are defined as a set of pure functions taking a given EVM state (i.e. storage & blockchain context) and some calldata and producing a new EVM state ((EVM, Calldata) -> EVM).

A specification of a contract written in Act consists of a constructor and a set of behaviours:

The constructor specification defines the structure of the contract’s state, the initial value of the state, and a list of invariants that the contract should satisfy.

Each behaviour specification determines how a contract method updates the state, the method’s return value (if any), and any conditions that must be satisfied in order for the state update to be applied.

Alternatively, they can be thought of as an initial state and a set of state transitions, determining an inductively defined state transition system.


The types of Act consist of three basic primitives: Integers, Booleans and Bytestrings. Integers are unbounded, with true integer operations. However, as our integer expressions will often represent words in the EVM, we allow ourselves a slight abuse of notation and denote by uintN/intN integers together with the constraint that the value fits into a uintN/intN. If any operation could over- or underflow this bound, the constraint will be unfulfilled and the specification will fail to prove.

Using conventional ABI types for typing also allows us to specify function signatures in a concise way. As an example, consider this specification of a trivial contract that adds two numbers and stores the result on chain:

constructor of Add
interface constructor()


  uint result := 0

behaviour add of Add
interface add(uint x, uint y)

iff in range uint

   x + y


  result => x + y

returns x + y

Expressed in English and math, this specification would read:

The contract Add has a single state variable, named result, which is an integer such that 0 <= result < 2^256.

Given any pair of integers x and y, s.t. 0 <= x < 2^256 and 0 <= y < 2^256, an ABI encoded call to the contract Add with the signature add(uint256,uint256), with its respective arguments named x and y, will:

  • store x + y in result and return x + y if 0 <= x + y < 2^256
  • revert otherwise