A blockchain is composed of blocks, and a block is composed of a header and a list of confirmed transactions. When a delegate is assigned a slot and has a node running, that delegate generates the next block and confirms up to 25 transactions from the transaction pool. These confirmed transactions will be added to the payload of the block and subsequently signed into that block.

Block Header

The block header contains all the information about the block. The following fields compose the block header:

  • A 32 bit integer identifying the version of the block
  • A 32 bit epoch timestamp of when the block was created
  • The 64 bit Id of the previous block
  • A 32 bit integer corresponding to the number of transactions processed in the block
  • A 64 bit integer corresponding to the total amount of Lisk transferred
  • A 64 bit integer corresponding to the total amount of fees associated with the block
  • A 64 bit integer corresponding to the Lisk reward for the delegate
  • A 32 bit integer corresponding to the length the payload
  • The 256 bit hash of the payload
  • The 256 bit public key of the delegate who generated the block

The following figure is the representation of the complete structure of a block header:


      "id": "15787022670460703397",
      "version": 0,
      "timestamp": 23039010,
      "height": 1574052,
      "previousBlock": "4576781903037947065",
      "numberOfTransactions": 0,
      "totalAmount": 0,
      "totalFee": 0,
      "reward": 500000000,
      "payloadLength": 0,
      "payloadHash": "e3b0c44298fc1c149afbf4c8996fb92427ae41e4649b934ca495991b7852b855",
      "generatorPublicKey": "c0ab189f5a4746725415b17f8092edd3c266d1e758e840f02a3c99547b3a527f",
      "blockSignature": "c6b2bcc960066be078efbfffed625f61553a7bc18ebde3892636c2f36850de234a9c70ba3e33b606db2eff724398026984e4d391c1fbbe70c94dd9d07ff0060b",
      "totalForged": "500000000"

The process for signing the block header is the same as the process for signing a transaction. A SHA-256 hash of the block header is generated, and signed using the key secret of the delegate. Once the block header has been signed, the system generates the blockId following the same logic as transactions. The completed block header is hashed using SHA-256 and the first 8 bytes of the hash are reversed and used as the blockId.

A signed block generates its blockId using the following flow:

Block Payload

The payload of the block is comprised of up to 25 unconfirmed transactions present on the system signing the block. The maximum number of available transactions up to this limit will be included, provided that the payload for a transaction doesn’t exceed the max size for each transaction type.

These max sizes are listed below:

Transaction Type Maximum Size (bytes)
Type 0 220
Type 1 149
Type 2 201
Type 3 2,326
Type 4 1,223

The max size of a block payload can then be determined as 58150 bytes with if every transaction is type 3 and contains the maximum number of assets. A data block is composed using the gathered unconfirmed transactions’ data blocks and signatures. The system then hashes the combined transactional data blocks to generate the block payload.

Block Generation

Block Generation occurs every 10 seconds within the Lisk network using DPoS consensus, as described in Consensus. A delegate is an account that has been given the right to generate blocks by a process of election from other Lisk holders. Block generation requires 51% of peers to maintain broadhash consensus which is described in Broadhash Consensus. Once broadhash consensus is established the node will generate a block using the techniques described in Blocks.

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