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Creating a colony

Even though deploying a Colony is technically just a matter of issuing one transaction, for the colony to be properly set up and usable in the dApp, some extra steps are necessary. In this guide we'll walk you through the whole process of creating the right transactions and explain what happens on the way.

Keep in mind that some of these transactions are optional and depend on your specific situation.

For a full example see here.


These examples assume that the user executing the transactions has funds in their wallet to pay for gas. If you'd like to use gasless transactions instead, use metaTx() instead of tx().

Step 1 (optional) - Creating a token

If you don't have a token contract deployed yet that you wish to use as the native token in your colony, deploying it using the Colony Network is highly recommended. That will give you a better integration and control over your token from your colony (e.g. using the mintTokens function on the colony).

To deploy a token, call the deployToken method on ColonyNetwork:

// Create token to be used with Colony
const [{ tokenAddress }] = await colonyNetwork
.deployToken('Test token', 'TOT')
.tx();'Token address', tokenAddress);

One can specify the token name, its symbol and even its decimals (even though it's recommended to leave that at the default value). This will deploy a special ERC20 token that integrates well with Colony (e.g. it supports permissions, minting and gasless transactions out of the box). For its contract code see here.

Step 2 - Deploying the colony contract

The most important step. Here the actualy colony contract will be deployed. This happens by executing a contract method on the ColonyNetwork (as opposed to a deploy-transaction):

// Create actual colony (deploys Colony contract)
const [{ colonyAddress }] = await colonyNetwork
.createColony(tokenAddress, 'colonytestname')

Here a label for the colony can be assigned. These are unique, so pick one that's not already taken. The createColony method will check that. Alternatively, the colonyNetwork.getColonyAddress(label) function can be used.

**If the own token was used and no extension installation is desired we would be done here. This is not recommended though, as one will at least need the OneTxPayment extension to properly use Colony at this stage.

Step 3 - Instantiate the Colony for the first time

Let's instantiate the colony (this is the code used to instantiate an existing colony) and the token:

const colony = await colonyNetwork.getColony(colonyAddress);
const { token } = colony;

Step 4 (optional) - Deploy the token authority and set the owner

The token authority is a contract that glues the token and the colony together and makes it possible for the colony to manage and move the token. The token authority can be deployed using the deployAuthority method on the Token. After that, another transaction is needed to set the token's authority to the one that was just deployed. If the token does not support the setAuthority method, this step should be skipped.

// Deploy TokenAuthority
const [{ tokenAuthorityAddress }] = await token
// Set the token's authority to the freshly deployed one
await token.setAuthority(tokenAuthorityAddress).tx();
// Set the token's owner (the colony), to have permissions to execute authorized functions (like `mint`)
await colony.token.setOwner(colony.address).tx();

Step 5 - Install the OneTxPayment extension

As mentioned earlier, this step is technically optional as well but if the colony is supposed to be used productively, a form of payment extension is needed. Currently only the OneTxPayment extension is supported. Install it like so:

const [{ extensionId, version }] = await colony
await colony.updateExtensions();
const [{ user, setTo, role }] = await colony
.setRoles(colony.ext.oneTx.address, [

Here we install the extension using the installExtension method. This extension is an own contract that was deployed in this transaction. To get its address, we re-initialize the extensions on the colony using updateExtensions. After that, oneTx will be available on colony.ext. Finally, we assign the Administration and Funding roles of the colony's Root team to the extension that we just deployed. The OneTxPayment extension needs these permissions to function properly.

That's it!

We have successfully deployed a colony that can be used from the dApp as well. Explore what's possible within a colony using Colony SDK here.