Transactions utlimatly are what will change the state of the blockchain, by calling methods on contracts. A transaction is either sent to the node via RPC or received from the network. When broadcasting a transaction and if valid it will be eventually included in a block. When this block is received and executed by the node, it will potential change the state of contracts. The following message describes the structure of a transaction:

option csharp_namespace = "AElf.Kernel";
import "common.proto";
message Transaction {
Address from = 1;
Address to = 2;
int64 ref_block_number = 3;
bytes ref_block_prefix = 4;
string method_name = 5;
bytes params = 6;
bytes signature = 10000;

This is the protobuf definition we use to serialize Transactions. Some important fields:

  • to: it is the address of the contract when calling a contract.

  • ref_block_number/prefix: this a security measure, it will be explained is the Advanced section.

  • method_name is the name of a method in the smart contract at the to address.

  • params: the parameters to pass to the method.

  • signature: the signatures of this transaction.

Note that the from is not currently useful because we derive it from the signature.

In the js sdk theres multiple methods to work with transactions. One important method is the getTransaction method that will build a transaction object for you:

import Aelf from 'aelf-sdk';
var rawTxn = proto.getTransaction('65dDNxzcd35jESiidFXN5JV8Z7pCwaFnepuYQToNefSgqk9''65dDNxzcd35jESiidFXN5JV8Z7pCwaFnepuYQToNefSgqk9', 'SomeMethod', encodedParams);

This will build the transaction to the contract at address "65dDNxzcd35jESiidFXN5JV8Z7pCwaFnepuYQToNefSgqk9" that will call SomeMethod with encoded params. The params are serialized by the following function:


When signing a transaction it's actually a subset of the fields: from/to and the target method as well as the parameter that were given. It also contains the reference block number and prefix.

You can use the js-sdk to sign the transaction with the following method:

import Aelf from 'aelf-sdk';
var txn = Aelf.wallet.signTransaction(rawTxn, wallet.keyPair);