noir by example

private counter

a contract for users to increment() or get() their own secret counter

🤫 🧮

before we get started, go through Aztec’s installation instructions for the developer sandbox

make sure you’re on the right version of noir, and create the project

noirup -v v0.18.0-aztec.5
nargo new --contract --name private_co private-counter

add the contract framework deps to your Nargo.toml

aztec = { git="", tag="aztec-packages-v0.16.7", directory="yarn-project/aztec-nr/aztec" }

# These ones are helpers for private state:
value_note = { git="", tag="aztec-packages-v0.16.7", directory="yarn-project/aztec-nr/value-note"}
easy_private_state = { git="", tag="aztec-packages-v0.16.7", directory="yarn-project/aztec-nr/easy-private-state"}

at first the boilerplate looks like this:

contract Main {
    internal fn double(x: Field) -> pub Field { x * 2 }
    fn triple(x: Field) -> pub Field { x * 3 }
    fn quadruple(x: Field) -> pub Field { double(double(x)) }

gut the funtions, bring some deps into scope (don’t worry about these just yet)

contract PrivateCounter {
    use dep::std::option::Option;
    use dep::aztec::{
        context::{PrivateContext, PublicContext, Context},
            utils as note_utils,
    use dep::value_note::{
    use dep::easy_private_state::easy_private_state::EasyPrivateUint;

contracts hold their state (public or private) in a Storage struct

make a map to store each owner’s private count

contract PrivateCounter {

    struct Storage {
        counts: Map<EasyPrivateUint>,

    impl Storage {
        fn init(context: Context) -> pub Self {
            Storage {
                counts: Map::new(
                    |context, slot| {
                        EasyPrivateUint::new(context, slot)

the constructor holds initialization logic

contract PrivateCounter {

    // Initialise storage with some secret headstart for the owner
    fn constructor(headstart: u120, owner: Field) {
        let storage = Storage::init(Context::private(&mut context));
        let counts = storage.counts;, owner);

users can increment or get their own counter (unconstrained is noir for solidity’s view)

contract PrivateCounter {

    // Increment the owner's counter
    fn increment(owner: Field) {
        let storage = Storage::init(Context::private(&mut context));
        let counts = storage.counts;, owner);

    // A view function to get the owner's current count
    unconstrained fn get(owner: Field) -> Field {
        let storage = Storage::init(Context::none());
        let counts = storage.counts;

        // Return the sum of all notes in the set

and one last function – every contract producing logs needs this, letting us compute different notes’ hashes and nullifiers in different ways.

contract PrivateCounter {

    // Computes note hash and nullifier
    unconstrained fn compute_note_hash_and_nullifier(
        contract_address: Field,
        nonce: Field,
        storage_slot: Field,
        preimage: [Field; VALUE_NOTE_LEN]
    ) -> [Field; 4] {
        let note_header = NoteHeader::new(contract_address, nonce, storage_slot);
        note_utils::compute_note_hash_and_nullifier(ValueNoteMethods, note_header, preimage)

now we’ll compile our source & produce a “contract artifacts” file (similar to ABIs you’ve seen on Ethereum)

$ aztec-cli compile .
Compiling . with wasm backend...
Writing PrivateCounter artifact to target/PrivateCounter.json

finally, we can deploy it and verify the counter’s behavior

deploy & test

take the first address in your local accounts

$ aztec-cli get-accounts
Accounts found:
 Address: 0x06357cc85cb8fc561adbf741f63cd75efa26ffba1c80d431ec77d036d8edf022

and deploy our code, specifying a headstart of 100 for the deployer

$ aztec-cli deploy target/PrivateCounter.json --args 100 0x06357cc85cb8fc561adbf741f63cd75efa26ffba1c80d431ec77d036d8edf022

Contract deployed at 0x1776ab04d4df75147e1ba7e02ba9173da2bf9da693711c32742ffbbc027b88af

Contract partial address 0x08f6e28ee4dfc8ed387c106b86991fdaa36647006123565138eaf5903b8c54e8

checking current counts, we see that the deployer has 100 while some other address is at zero

$ aztec-cli call get \                  
--args 0x06357cc85cb8fc561adbf741f63cd75efa26ffba1c80d431ec77d036d8edf022 \
--contract-artifact target/PrivateCounter.json \
--contract-address 0x1776ab04d4df75147e1ba7e02ba9173da2bf9da693711c32742ffbbc027b88af        

View result:  100n 

$ private-counter git:(main) ✗ aztec-cli call get \
--args 0x1b18a972d54db0283a04abaace5f7b03c3fca5a4b2c0cf113b457de6ea4991e7 \
--contract-artifact target/PrivateCounter.json \
--contract-address 0x1776ab04d4df75147e1ba7e02ba9173da2bf9da693711c32742ffbbc027b88af 

View result:  0n 

now see if you can increment a user’s counter with aztec-cli

(hint: feel free to go back to the aztec-cli quickstart for the command’s usage)

checkout locally install the noir toolchain if you haven't yet:
    curl -L | bash
    noirup -v aztec
then checkout and run the example:
    git clone
    cd noir-by-example/circuits/contracts/private-counter
    nargo test --show-output