Skip to main content
Version: V2

Quick setup

Set up a new Hardhat project with Semaphore. Learn how to create and test an Ethereum smart contract that uses zero-knowledge proofs to verify membership.

To check out the code used in this guide, visit the quick-setup repository.

  1. Create a Node.js project
  2. Install Hardhat
  3. Install Semaphore packages
  4. Create the Semaphore contract
  5. Create a Hardhat task
  6. Test your contracts
  7. Deploy your contract

Create a Node.js project​

  1. Follow the Node.js LTS version instructions to install node (Hardhat may not work with Node.js Current).

  2. Follow the Yarn instructions to download and install the yarn package manager.

  3. Create a directory for the project and change to the new directory.

    mkdir semaphore-example
    cd semaphore-example
  4. In your terminal, run yarn init to initialize the Node.js project.

Install Hardhat​

Hardhat is a development environment you can use to compile, deploy, test, and debug Ethereum software. Hardhat includes the Hardhat Network, a local Ethereum network for development.

  1. Use yarn to install Hardhat:

    yarn add hardhat --dev
  2. Use yarn to run hardhat and create a JavaScript project:

    yarn hardhat
    # At the prompt, select "Create a JavaScript project"
    # and then enter through the prompts.

Install Semaphore packages​

Semaphore provides contracts, JavaScript libraries and a Hardhat plugin for developers building zero-knowledge applications.

  • @semaphore-protocol/contracts provides contracts to manage groups and verify Semaphore proofs on-chain.
  • JavaScript libraries help developers build zero-knowledge applications.
  • @semaphore-protocol/hardhat allows developers Hardhat tasks to deploy verifiers and Semaphore contracts.

To install these dependencies for your project, do the following:

  1. Use yarn to install @semaphore-protocol/contracts:

    yarn add @semaphore-protocol/[email protected]
  2. Use yarn to install the Semaphore JavaScript libraries and the Hardhat plugin:

    yarn add @semaphore-protocol/[email protected] @semaphore-protocol/[email protected] @semaphore-protocol/[email protected] @semaphore-protocol/[email protected] --dev

For more detail about Semaphore contracts, see Contracts. To view the source of our packages, see the semaphore repository.

Create the Semaphore contract​

Create a Greeter contract that uses the Semaphore.sol contract:

  1. Rename Lock.sol to Greeter.sol and replace the content with the following:

    //SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
    pragma solidity ^0.8.0;

    import "@semaphore-protocol/contracts/interfaces/ISemaphore.sol";

    /// @title Greeter contract.
    /// @dev The following code is just an example to show how Semaphore can be used.
    contract Greeter {
    event NewGreeting(bytes32 greeting);
    event NewUser(uint256 identityCommitment, bytes32 username);

    ISemaphore public semaphore;

    uint256 groupId;
    mapping(uint256 => bytes32) users;

    constructor(address semaphoreAddress, uint256 _groupId) {
    semaphore = ISemaphore(semaphoreAddress);
    groupId = _groupId;

    semaphore.createGroup(groupId, 20, 0, address(this));

    function joinGroup(uint256 identityCommitment, bytes32 username) external {
    semaphore.addMember(groupId, identityCommitment);

    users[identityCommitment] = username;

    emit NewUser(identityCommitment, username);

    function greet(
    bytes32 greeting,
    uint256 merkleTreeRoot,
    uint256 nullifierHash,
    uint256[8] calldata proof
    ) external {
    semaphore.verifyProof(groupId, merkleTreeRoot, greeting, nullifierHash, groupId, proof);

    emit NewGreeting(greeting);

Create a Hardhat task​

Hardhat lets you write tasks that automate building and deploying smart contracts and dApps. To create a task that deploys the Greeter contract, do the following:

  1. Create a tasks folder and add a ./tasks/deploy.js file that contains the following:

    const { task, types } = require("hardhat/config")

    task("deploy", "Deploy a Greeter contract")
    .addOptionalParam("semaphore", "Semaphore contract address", undefined, types.address)
    .addParam("group", "Group identifier", 42,
    .addOptionalParam("logs", "Print the logs", true, types.boolean)
    .setAction(async ({ logs, semaphore: semaphoreAddress, group: groupId }, { ethers, run }) => {
    if (!semaphoreAddress) {
    const { address: verifierAddress } = await run("deploy:verifier", { logs, merkleTreeDepth: 20 })

    const { address } = await run("deploy:semaphore", {
    verifiers: [
    merkleTreeDepth: 20,
    contractAddress: verifierAddress

    semaphoreAddress = address

    const Greeter = await ethers.getContractFactory("Greeter")

    const greeter = await Greeter.deploy(semaphoreAddress, groupId)

    await greeter.deployed()

    if (logs) {
    console.log(`Greeter contract has been deployed to: ${greeter.address}`)

    return greeter
  2. In your hardhat.config.js file, add the following:

    require("./tasks/deploy") // Your deploy task.

    module.exports = {
    solidity: "0.8.4"

Test your contract​

hardhat-waffle lets you write tests with the Waffle test framework and Chai assertions.

  1. Use yarn to install the hardhat-waffle plugin and dependencies for smart contract tests:

    yarn add -D @nomiclabs/hardhat-waffle 'ethereum-waffle@^3.0.0' \
    @nomiclabs/hardhat-ethers 'ethers@^5.0.0' chai
  2. Download the Semaphore zk trusted setup files and copy them to the ./static folder.

    cd static

    Learn more about trusted setup files.

  3. Rename the Lock.js test file to Greeter.js and replace the content with the following:

    const { Identity } = require("@semaphore-protocol/identity")
    const { Group } = require("@semaphore-protocol/group")
    const { generateProof, packToSolidityProof, verifyProof } = require("@semaphore-protocol/proof")
    const { expect } = require("chai")
    const { run, ethers } = require("hardhat")

    describe("Greeter", function () {
    let greeter

    const users = []
    const groupId = 42
    const group = new Group()

    before(async () => {
    greeter = await run("deploy", { logs: false, group: groupId })

    identity: new Identity(),
    username: ethers.utils.formatBytes32String("anon1")

    identity: new Identity(),
    username: ethers.utils.formatBytes32String("anon2")


    describe("# joinGroup", () => {
    it("Should allow users to join the group", async () => {
    for (let i = 0; i < group.members.length; i++) {
    const transaction = greeter.joinGroup(group.members[i], users[i].username)

    await expect(transaction).to.emit(greeter, "NewUser").withArgs(group.members[i], users[i].username)

    describe("# greet", () => {
    const wasmFilePath = "./static/semaphore.wasm"
    const zkeyFilePath = "./static/semaphore.zkey"

    it("Should allow users to greet", async () => {
    const greeting = ethers.utils.formatBytes32String("Hello World")

    const fullProof = await generateProof(users[1].identity, group, groupId, greeting, {
    const solidityProof = packToSolidityProof(fullProof.proof)

    const transaction = greeter.greet(

    await expect(transaction).to.emit(greeter, "NewGreeting").withArgs(greeting)
  4. Run the following yarn commands to compile and test your contract:

    yarn hardhat compile
    yarn hardhat test

Deploy your contract​

To deploy your contract in a local Hardhat network (and use it in your dApp), run the following yarn commands:

yarn hardhat node
yarn hardhat deploy --group 42 --network localhost # In another tab.

For a more complete demo that provides a starting point for your dApp, see semaphore-boilerplate.