Transaction Validity

Transaction Lifecycle

Once a transaction is seen, it goes through several stages of validation, in this order:

  1. Pre-checks
  2. Predicate verification
  3. Script execution
  4. Post-checks

Access Lists

The validity rules below assume sequential transaction validation for side effects (i.e. state changes). However, by construction, transactions with disjoint write access lists can be validated in parallel, including with overlapping read-only access lists. Transactions with overlapping write access lists must be validated and placed in blocks in topological order.

UTXOs and contracts in the read-only and write-destroy access lists must exist (i.e. have been created previously) in order for a transaction to be valid. In other words, for a unique state element ID, the write-create must precede the write-destroy.

Read-only access list:

Write-destroy access list:

Write-create access list:

Note that block proposers use the contract ID contractID for inputs and outputs of type InputType.Contract and OutputType.Contract rather than the pair of txID and outputIndex.

VM Precondition Validity Rules

This section defines VM precondition validity rules for transactions: the bare minimum required to accept an unconfirmed transaction into a mempool, and preconditions that the VM assumes to hold prior to execution. Chains of unconfirmed transactions are omitted.

For a transaction tx, UTXO set state, contract set contracts, and message set messages, the following checks must pass.

Note: InputMessages where input.dataLength > 0 are not dropped from the messages message set until they are included in a transaction of type TransactionType.Script with a ScriptResult receipt where result is equal to 0 indicating a successful script exit.

Base Sanity Checks

Base sanity checks are defined in the transaction format.

Spending UTXOs and Created Contracts

for input in tx.inputs:
    if input.type == InputType.Contract:
        if not input.contractID in contracts:
                return False
    elif input.type == InputType.Message:
        if not input.nonce in messages:
                return False
        if not (input.txID, input.outputIndex) in state:
            return False
return True

If this check passes, the UTXO ID (txID, outputIndex) fields of each contract input is set to the UTXO ID of the respective contract. The txPointer of each input is also set to the TX pointer of the UTXO with ID utxoID.

Sufficient Balance

For each asset ID asset_id in the input and output set:

def sum_data_messages(tx, asset_id) -> int:
    Returns the total balance available from messages containing data
    total: int = 0
    if asset_id == 0:
        for input in tx.inputs:
            if input.type == InputType.Message and input.dataLength > 0:
                total += input.amount
    return total

def sum_inputs(tx, asset_id) -> int:
    total: int = 0
    for input in tx.inputs:
        if input.type == InputType.Coin and input.asset_id == asset_id:
            total += input.amount
        elif input.type == InputType.Message and asset_id == 0 and input.dataLength == 0:
            total += input.amount
    return total

def sum_outputs(tx, asset_id) -> int:
    total: int = 0
    for output in tx.outputs:
        if output.type == OutputType.Coin and output.asset_id == asset_id:
            total += output.amount
    return total

def available_balance(tx, asset_id) -> int:
    Make the data message balance available to the script
    availableBalance = sum_inputs(tx, asset_id) + sum_data_messages(tx, asset_id)
    return availableBalance

def unavailable_balance(tx, asset_id) -> int:
    sentBalance = sum_outputs(tx, asset_id)
    gasBalance = gasPrice * gasLimit / GAS_PRICE_FACTOR
    # Size excludes witness data as it is malleable (even by third parties!)
    bytesBalance = size(tx) * GAS_PER_BYTE * gasPrice / GAS_PRICE_FACTOR
    # Total fee balance
    feeBalance = ceiling(gasBalance + bytesBalance)
    # Only base asset can be used to pay for gas
    if asset_id == 0:
        return sentBalance + feeBalance
    return sentBalance

# The sum_data_messages total is not included in the unavailable_balance since it is spendable as long as there 
# is enough base asset amount to cover gas costs without using data messages. Messages containing data can't
# cover gas costs since they are retryable.
return available_balance(tx, asset_id) >= (unavailable_balance(tx, asset_id) + sum_data_messages(tx, asset_id))

Valid Signatures

def address_from(pubkey: bytes) -> bytes:
    return sha256(pubkey)[0:32]

for input in tx.inputs:
    if (input.type == InputType.Coin || input.type == InputType.Message) and input.predicateLength == 0:
        # ECDSA signatures must be 64 bytes
        if tx.witnesses[input.witnessIndex].dataLength != 64:
            return False
        # Signature must be from owner
        if address_from(ecrecover(txhash(), tx.witnesses[input.witnessIndex].data)) != input.owner:
            return False
return True

Signatures and signature verification are specified here.

The transaction hash is computed as defined here.

Predicate Verification

For each input of type InputType.Coin or InputType.Message, and predicateLength > 0, verify its predicate.

Script Execution

Given transaction tx, the following checks must pass:

If tx.scriptLength == 0, there is no script and the transaction defines a simple balance transfer, so no further checks are required.

If tx.scriptLength > 0, the script must be executed. For each asset ID asset_id in the input set, the free balance available to be moved around by the script and called contracts is freeBalance[asset_id]. The initial message balance available to be moved around by the script and called contracts is messageBalance:

freeBalance[asset_id] = available_balance(tx, asset_id) - unavailable_balance(tx, asset_id)
messageBalance = sum_data_messages(tx, 0)

Once the free balances are computed, the script is executed. After execution, the following is extracted:

  1. The transaction in-memory on VM termination is used as the final transaction which is included in the block.
  2. The unspent free balance unspentBalance for each asset ID.
  3. The unspent gas unspentGas from the $ggas register.

The fees incurred for a transaction are ceiling(((size(tx) * GAS_PER_BYTE) + (tx.gasLimit - unspentGas)) * tx.gasPrice / GAS_PRICE_FACTOR).

If the transaction as included in a block does not match this final transaction, the block is invalid.

VM Postcondition Validity Rules

This section defines VM postcondition validity rules for transactions: the requirements for a transaction to be valid after it has been executed.

Given transaction tx, state state, and contract set contracts, the following checks must pass.

Correct Change

If change outputs are present, they must have:

  • if the transaction does not revert;
    • if the asset ID is 0; an amount of unspentBalance + floor((unspentGas * tx.gasPrice) / GAS_PRICE_FACTOR)
    • otherwise; an amount of the unspent free balance for that asset ID after VM execution is complete
  • if the transaction reverts;
    • if the asset ID is 0; an amount of the initial free balance plus (unspentGas * tx.gasPrice) - messageBalance
    • otherwise; an amount of the initial free balance for that asset ID.

State Changes

Transaction processing is completed by removing spent UTXOs from the state and adding created UTXOs to the state.

Coinbase Transaction

The coinbase transaction is a mechanism for block creators to convert fees into spendable UTXOs.

In order for a coinbase transaction to be valid:

  1. It must be a Mint transaction.
  2. The coinbase transaction must be the first transaction within a block, even if there are no other transactions in the block and the fee is zero.
  3. The total output value of the coinbase transaction cannot exceed the total amount of fees processed from all other transactions within the same block.
  4. The asset_id for coinbase transaction outputs must match the asset_id that fees are paid in (asset_id == 0).