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address is a built-in type in Move that is used to represent locations (sometimes called accounts) in global storage. An address value is a 256-bit (32-byte) identifier. At a given address, two things can be stored: Modules and Resources.

Although an address is a 256-bit integer under the hood, Move addresses are intentionally opaque---they cannot be created from integers, they do not support arithmetic operations, and they cannot be modified. Even though there might be interesting programs that would use such a feature (e.g., pointer arithmetic in C fills a similar niche), Move does not allow this dynamic behavior because it has been designed from the ground up to support static verification.

You can use runtime address values (values of type address) to access resources at that address. You cannot access modules at runtime via address values.

Addresses and Their Syntax

Addresses come in two flavors, named or numerical. The syntax for a named address follows the same rules for any named identifier in Move. The syntax of a numerical address is not restricted to hex-encoded values, and any valid u256 numerical value can be used as an address value, e.g., 42, 0xCAFE, and 2021 are all valid numerical address literals.

To distinguish when an address is being used in an expression context or not, the syntax when using an address differs depending on the context where it’s used:

  • When an address is used as an expression the address must be prefixed by the @ character, i.e., @<numerical_value> or @<named_address_identifier>.
  • Outside of expression contexts, the address may be written without the leading @ character, i.e., <numerical_value> or <named_address_identifier>.

In general, you can think of @ as an operator that takes an address from being a namespace item to being an expression item.

Named Addresses

Named addresses are a feature that allow identifiers to be used in place of numerical values in any spot where addresses are used, and not just at the value level. Named addresses are declared and bound as top level elements (outside of modules and scripts) in Move Packages, or passed as arguments to the Move compiler.

Named addresses only exist at the source language level and will be fully substituted for their value at the bytecode level. Because of this, modules and module members must be accessed through the module’s named address and not through the numerical value assigned to the named address during compilation, e.g., use my_addr::foo is not equivalent to use 0x2::foo even if the Move program is compiled with my_addr set to 0x2. This distinction is discussed in more detail in the section on Modules and Scripts.


script {
  fun example() {
    let a1: address = @0x1; // shorthand for 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001
    let a2: address = @0x42; // shorthand for 0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000042
    let a3: address = @0xDEADBEEF; // shorthand for 0x00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000DEADBEEF
    let a4: address = @0x000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000A;
    let a5: address = @std; // Assigns `a5` the value of the named address `std`
    let a6: address = @66;
    let a7: address = @0x42;
module 66::some_module {   // Not in expression context, so no @ needed
    use 0x1::other_module; // Not in expression context so no @ needed
    use std::vector;       // Can use a named address as a namespace item when using other modules
module std::other_module {  // Can use a named address as a namespace item to declare a module

Global Storage Operations

The primary purpose of address values are to interact with the global storage operations.

address values are used with the exists, borrow_global, borrow_global_mut, and move_from operations.

The only global storage operation that does not use address is move_to, which uses signer.


As with the other scalar values built-in to the language, address values are implicitly copyable, meaning they can be copied without an explicit instruction such as copy.