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Custom transaction types

What are custom transactions?

Transactions are an essential part of blockchain applications that are created using the Lisk SDK.

The Lisk SDK provides a class BaseTransaction from which developers can inherit and extend from, to create custom transaction types.

The application-specific business logic for custom transaction types is defined according to an abstract interface that is common across all transaction types.

Register a custom transaction

Add your custom transaction type to your blockchain application by registering it to the application instance:

const { Application, genesisBlockDevnet } = require('lisk-sdk');
 const MyTransaction = require('./my_transaction');
 const app = new Application(genesisBlockDevnet);
 app.registerTransaction(MyTransaction); // register the custom transaction
    .then(() =>'App started...'))
    .catch(error => {
        console.error('Faced error in application', error);

For information on creating your own custom transaction, follow the tutorials.

The BaseTransaction Interface

Required Properties


static TYPE: number

The hallmark of a transaction. Set this constant to any number, except 0-9, which are reserved for the default transactions.

Required Methods

All of the abstract methods and properties on the base transaction's interface are required to implement. These are the following:


prepare(store: StateStorePrepare): Promise<void>

The prepare function is responsible for loading data that can be further used inside the applyAsset and undoAsset functions. The data is loaded into the store object. It is possible to load accounts and transactions. It is not possible to load block data as it would allow you to modify blocks in the database, which wouldn’t make sense for a blockchain project.


validateAsset(): ReadonlyArray<TransactionError>

Before a transaction reaches the apply step it gets validated. Check the transaction's asset correctness from the schema perspective (no access to StateStore here).
Invalidate the transaction by pushing an error into the result array.
Prepare the relevant information about the accounts, which will be accessible in the later steps during the apply and undo steps.


applyAsset(store: StateStore): ReadonlyArray<TransactionError>

The business use case of a transaction is implemented in applyAsset method. It applies all of the necessary changes from the received transaction to the affected account(s) by calling store.set. Calls store.get to get all of the relevant data. The transaction that you're currently processing is the function's context (ie this.amount).
Invalidate the transaction by pushing an error into the result array.


undoAsset(store: StateStore): ReadonlyArray<TransactionError>

The inversion of the applyAsset method. Undoes all of the changes to the accounts applied by the applyAsset step.

Additional Methods

To increase your application's performance, you should override the following functions: verifyAgainstTransactions, assetFromSync, fromSync.

The BaseTransaction provides the default implementation of the methods revolving around the signatures.
As your application matures you can provide the custom ways of how your a transaction's signature is derived: sign, getBytes, assetToBytes.

What are the default transaction types of Lisk?

The first 10 transaction types are reserved for the Lisk protocol, don't use them to register custom transactions.

All of the default transaction types of the Lisk SDK transactions implement the abstract interface of the base transaction, and therefore the default transactions can be used as a model for custom transactions. It's also possible to inherit from one of the default transaction types, in order to extend or modify them.

Each default transaction type implements a different use case of the Lisk network, i.e:

  1. Balance transfer (type 0)
  2. Second signature registration (type 1)
  3. Delegate registration (type 2)
  4. Delegate vote (type 3)
  5. Multisignature account registration (type 4)

For a complete list of all default transaction types, check out the section Lisk Transactions of the Lisk Protocol.

Furthermore, the Lisk SDK Tutorials include simple code examples of custom transaction types.

What is the lifecycle of a transaction?

The lifecycle of a general transaction using the Lisk SDK can be summarized in 7 steps:

1. A transaction is created and signed (off-chain). The script to do this is here src/create_and_sign.ts.
2. The transaction is sent to a network. This can be done by a third party tool (like curl or Postman), but also using Lisk Commander, Lisk Hub or Mobile. All of the tools need to be authorized to access an HTTP API of a network node.
3. A network node receives a transaction and after a lightweight schema validation, adds it to a transaction pool.
4. In the transaction pool, the transactions are firstly validated. In this step, only static checks are performed. These include schema validation and signature validation.
5. Validated transactions go to the prepare step defined in the transaction class, which to limit the I/O database operations, prepares all the information relevant to properly apply or undo the transaction. The store with the prepared data is a parameter of the mentioned methods.
6. Delegates forge the valid transactions into blocks and broadcasting the blocks to the network. Each network node performs the apply and applyAsset steps after the successful completion of the validate step.
7. Shortly shortly after a block is applied, it's possible that a node performs the undo step (due to decentralized network conditions). When this happens, the block containing all of the included transactions get reverted in favor of a competing block.

While implementing a custom transaction, it is necessary to complete some of these steps. Often, a base transaction implements a default behavior. With experience, you may decide to override some of these base transaction methods, resulting in an implementation that is well-tailored and provides the best possible performance for your use case.

What's next?
Lisk Framework