EIP 6: Renaming SUICIDE opcode Source

AuthorHudson Jameson
TypeStandards Track


The solution proposed in this EIP is to change the name of the SUICIDE opcode in Ethereum programming languages with SELFDESTRUCT.


Mental health is a very real issue for many people and small notions can make a difference. Those dealing with loss or depression would benefit from not seeing the word suicide in our a programming languages. By some estimates, 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The semantics of Ethereum’s programming languages need to be reviewed often if we wish to grow our ecosystem to all types of developers.

An Ethereum security audit commissioned by DEVolution, GmbH and performed by Least Authority recommended the following:

Replace the instruction name “suicide” with a less connotative word like “self-destruct”, “destroy”, “terminate”, or “close”, especially since that is a term describing the natural conclusion of a contract.

The primary reason for us to change the term suicide is to show that people matter more than code and Ethereum is a mature enough of a project to recognize the need for a change. Suicide is a heavy subject and we should make every effort possible to not affect those in our development community who suffer from depression or who have recently lost someone to suicide. Ethereum is a young platform and it will cause less headaches if we implement this change early on in it’s life.


SELFDESTRUCT is added as an alias of SUICIDE opcode (rather than replacing it). https://github.com/ethereum/solidity/commit/a8736b7b271dac117f15164cf4d2dfabcdd2c6fd https://github.com/ethereum/serpent/commit/1106c3bdc8f1bd9ded58a452681788ff2e03ee7c