One Time Witness

One Time Witness (OTW) is a special instance of a type which is created only in the module initializer and is guaranteed to be unique and have only one instance. It is important for cases where we need to make sure that a witness-authorized action was performed only once (for example - creating a new Coin). In Sui Move a type is considered an OTW if its definition has the following properties:

  • Named after the module but uppercased
  • Has only drop ability

To check whether an instance is an OTW, sui::types::is_one_time_witness(witness) should be used.

To get an instance of this type, you need to add it as the first argument to the init() function: Sui runtime supplies both initializer arguments automatically.

module examples::mycoin {

    /// Name matches the module name
    public struct MYCOIN has drop {}

    /// The instance is received as the first argument
    fun init(witness: MYCOIN, ctx: &mut TxContext) {
        /* ... */

Example which illustrates how OTW could be used:

/// This example illustrates how One Time Witness works.
/// One Time Witness (OTW) is an instance of a type which is guaranteed to
/// be unique across the system. It has the following properties:
/// - created only in module initializer
/// - named after the module (uppercased)
/// - cannot be packed manually
/// - has a `drop` ability
module examples::one_time_witness_registry {
    use std::string::String;

    // This dependency allows us to check whether type
    // is a one-time witness (OTW)
    use sui::types;

    /// For when someone tries to send a non OTW struct
    const ENotOneTimeWitness: u64 = 0;

    /// An object of this type will mark that there's a type,
    /// and there can be only one record per type.
    public struct UniqueTypeRecord<phantom T> has key {
        id: UID,
        name: String

    /// Expose a public function to allow registering new types with
    /// custom names. With a `is_one_time_witness` call we make sure
    /// that for a single `T` this function can be called only once.
    public fun add_record<T: drop>(
        witness: T,
        name: String,
        ctx: &mut TxContext
    ) {
        // This call allows us to check whether type is an OTW;
        assert!(types::is_one_time_witness(&witness), ENotOneTimeWitness);

        // Share the record for the world to see. :)
        transfer::share_object(UniqueTypeRecord<T> {
            id: object::new(ctx),

/// Example of spawning an OTW.
module examples::my_otw {
    use examples::one_time_witness_registry as registry;

    /// Type is named after the module but uppercased
    public struct MY_OTW has drop {}

    /// To get it, use the first argument of the module initializer.
    /// It is a full instance and not a reference type.
    fun init(witness: MY_OTW, ctx: &mut TxContext) {
            witness, // here it goes
            b"My awesome record".to_string(),