Uncovering the power of eth_getBlockReceipts

Overview

eth_getBlockReceipts is a powerful JSON-RPC method available on nodes running the Erigon client. This article will explore how it works and how you can use it to make powerful and more efficient applications.

The Erigon client

Erigon is one of the most popular Ethereum clients and is written in Go. It is very much inspired by Go Ethereum. Still, it focuses on efficiency, which allows a user to synchronize a new node much faster and use fewer resources, especially when talking about storage requirements.

This is why Erigon is gaining popularity, and you can read our Erigon vs Geth guide if you are interested in understanding more about the underlying principles and architecture.

Compared to Geth, Erigon comes with some unique JSON-RPC methods, and eth_getBlockReceipts is one of them. Let’s dive into it.

eth_getBlockReceipts explained

The eth_getBlockReceipts method is a JSON-RPC method that allows you to retrieve the receipts for all transactions included in a block and takes the block identifier as a parameter.

You can send a curl request to call this method using the following syntax:

curl -X POST "CHAINSTACK_ARCHIVE_NODE_URL" \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  --data '{"method":"eth_getBlockReceipts","params":["latest"], "jsonrpc":"2.0","id":1}'

Parameters accepted

eth_getBlockReceipts only takes one parameter to identify the block, and you have a few options, a string tag or a block identifier.

For tag, you can use one of the following options:

  • latest — the latest validated block. At this stage, it is likely that the chain will be reorganized, so be careful using this one.
  • safe — a safe head of the chain block. Under normal circumstances, a safe block will not be reorganized.
  • finalized — the block that is accepted by two-thirds of the Ethereum validators, and a reorganization at this point is extremely unlikely.
  • earliest — the earliest available or genesis block.
  • pending — the pending state and transactions block.

Alternatively, you can also specify blocknumber either as a decimal or encoded as hexadecimal starting with 0x. For example:

  • Block number 16341960 will be 0xF95BC8 in hexadecimal.

    📘

    Decimal <> hexadecimal converter

    To convert a decimal integer to hexadecimal, you can use an online converter or a library like Ethers.

As a bonus, here is an example showing how to make a simple function to convert to hexadecimal using one of ethers.js utilities.

// Import the ethers library
const ethers = require('ethers');

// The function takes a decimal integer as a parameter 
function toHex(decimal) {
    const hex = ethers.utils.hexlify(decimal)
    const fixPadding = ethers.utils.hexStripZeros(hex)

    return fixPadding  
}

// Call the function and display the result
const blockInHex = toHex(16341960)
console.log(blockInHex)

// result -> 0xf95bc8

Using a web3.js library has its benefits since it already adds 0x.

eth_getBlockReceipts response

The response returned by this method will be an array of transaction receipts for all the transactions included in the block specified in the method call.

So, what is a transaction receipt? A transaction receipt is a record of a transaction that has been processed by the network. When you send a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, for example, the transaction is broadcast to all nodes on the network. Once the transaction has been included in a block and added to the blockchain, a receipt is generated that contains information about the transaction.

Here is an example of such a response:

{
         "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
         "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
         "contractAddress":null,
         "cumulativeGasUsed":"0x2aa60",
         "effectiveGasPrice":"0x1033e0d411",
         "from":"0xeb00c0f8bb1ddf074b464dbcbe32164ad00e1a4b",
         "gasUsed":"0x2aa60",
         "logs":[
            {
               "address":"0xc02aaa39b223fe8d0a0e5c4f27ead9083c756cc2",
               "topics":[
                  "0xe1fffcc4923d04b559f4d29a8bfc6cda04eb5b0d3c460751c2402c5c5cc9109c",
                  "0x0000000000000000000000007a250d5630b4cf539739df2c5dacb4c659f2488d"
               ],
               "data":"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000058d15e17628000",
               "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
               "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
               "transactionIndex":"0x0",
               "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
               "logIndex":"0x0",
               "removed":false
            },
            {
               "address":"0xc02aaa39b223fe8d0a0e5c4f27ead9083c756cc2",
               "topics":[
                  "0xddf252ad1be2c89b69c2b068fc378daa952ba7f163c4a11628f55a4df523b3ef",
                  "0x0000000000000000000000007a250d5630b4cf539739df2c5dacb4c659f2488d",
                  "0x0000000000000000000000009ac96265a4e63dacc86c6e3f4ab547fbcf93e899"
               ],
               "data":"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000058d15e17628000",
               "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
               "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
               "transactionIndex":"0x0",
               "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
               "logIndex":"0x1",
               "removed":false
            },
            {
               "address":"0xa6cd7dbfb83e2d963d6867eb3d65c64013217fc7",
               "topics":[
                  "0xddf252ad1be2c89b69c2b068fc378daa952ba7f163c4a11628f55a4df523b3ef",
                  "0x0000000000000000000000009ac96265a4e63dacc86c6e3f4ab547fbcf93e899",
                  "0x000000000000000000000000a6cd7dbfb83e2d963d6867eb3d65c64013217fc7"
               ],
               "data":"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000039d4c88723482c",
               "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
               "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
               "transactionIndex":"0x0",
               "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
               "logIndex":"0x2",
               "removed":false
            },
            {
               "address":"0xa6cd7dbfb83e2d963d6867eb3d65c64013217fc7",
               "topics":[
                  "0xddf252ad1be2c89b69c2b068fc378daa952ba7f163c4a11628f55a4df523b3ef",
                  "0x0000000000000000000000009ac96265a4e63dacc86c6e3f4ab547fbcf93e899",
                  "0x000000000000000000000000eb00c0f8bb1ddf074b464dbcbe32164ad00e1a4b"
               ],
               "data":"0x000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000044acae2079e7280",
               "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
               "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
               "transactionIndex":"0x0",
               "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
               "logIndex":"0x3",
               "removed":false
            },
            {
               "address":"0x9ac96265a4e63dacc86c6e3f4ab547fbcf93e899",
               "topics":[
                  "0x1c411e9a96e071241c2f21f7726b17ae89e3cab4c78be50e062b03a9fffbbad1"
               ],
               "data":"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000016978e1b70b8b28fa0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001c0576b9739871d1",
               "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
               "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
               "transactionIndex":"0x0",
               "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
               "logIndex":"0x4",
               "removed":false
            },
            {
               "address":"0x9ac96265a4e63dacc86c6e3f4ab547fbcf93e899",
               "topics":[
                  "0xd78ad95fa46c994b6551d0da85fc275fe613ce37657fb8d5e3d130840159d822",
                  "0x0000000000000000000000007a250d5630b4cf539739df2c5dacb4c659f2488d",
                  "0x000000000000000000000000eb00c0f8bb1ddf074b464dbcbe32164ad00e1a4b"
               ],
               "data":"0x00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000058d15e1762800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000004849faa8ec1baac0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000",
               "blockNumber":"0xf959a7",
               "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
               "transactionIndex":"0x0",
               "blockHash":"0x72b42a924425d37e4529b9e1bb0082bfad4d6b13761878a2ba641b13cad7d21f",
               "logIndex":"0x5",
               "removed":false
            }
         ],
         "logsBloom":"0x00200000000000000000000080000000000000020000000000010000000000000000000000200000000000000000004082000000080000000000000000000000000000000000804000000008000000600000000000000000000000008000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000010000000000000000000000000004000000000000000000001000000080000004000000800000000000800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002000000000000000000000000000000000000001000000000808020000000200000c00000000000800000000000000000000000410000000000000000",
         "status":"0x1",
         "to":"0x7a250d5630b4cf539739df2c5dacb4c659f2488d",
         "transactionHash":"0x0edddb16d2ab807043427090f46a7bc2196908d4a1d4ae2125ce220d4a9c0a4d",
         "transactionIndex":"0x0",
         "type":"0x2"
      },

📘

Check the details about the eth_getBlockReceipts response in the Chainstack docs.

A eth_getBlockReceipts call will return the following parameters:

  • result — an array of objects with:
    • Transaction receipt — the object with:
      • blockHash — the block hash. Identifies the block in which the transaction was included. This field is null for transactions that have not yet been included in a block.
      • blockNumber — the number of the block in which the transaction was included. This field is null for transactions that have not yet been included in a block.
      • contractAddress — the address of the contract created by the transaction if it was a contract creation transaction. Otherwise, the value is null.
      • cumulativeGasUsed — the total amount of gas used in the block until this transaction was executed.
      • effectiveGasPrice — the actual value deducted from the sender's account for this transaction.
      • from — the address of the sender who initiated the transaction.
      • gasUsed — the amount of gas used by this specific transaction alone.
      • logs — an array of log objects generated by this transaction, if any. Logs are generated by smart contracts.
      • logsBloom — the bloom filter used by light clients to quickly retrieve logs related to the transaction.
      • status — the success status of the transaction, represented as 1 for success or 0 for failure.
      • to — the address of the recipient of the transaction if it was a transaction to an address. For contract creation transactions, this field is null.
      • transactionHash — the hash that uniquely identifies the transaction.
      • transactionIndex — the index of the transaction within the block.
      • type — the type of the transaction. 0 indicates a regular transfer; 2 indicates a contract creation or smart contract function call.

Transaction receipts contain details such as the transaction hash (a unique identifier for the transaction), the block number and hash in which the transaction was included, the amount of gas used by the transaction, and the status of the transaction (whether it was successful or encountered an error). Receipts also include the contract address of any contract created as a result of the transaction.

Transaction receipts are useful because they provide a way to track the success or failure of a transaction, as well as the amount of gas used and any logs emitted by the transaction.

Difference between eth_getBlockReceipts and eth_getBlockByNumber

At this point, you are probably wondering why I’m talking about this specific method when eth_getBlockByNumber and eth_getBlockByHash are available in Geth and can also return the detail of each transaction in a block if we call it with the second parameter as true. The difference is that eth_getBlockReceipts returns the receipt directly, including extra information you might want to extract.

More noticeably, the receipt returns the event logs that might have been emitted by a smart contract during the transaction, the status of the transaction (1 if successful and 0 if failed), gas used, and more.

Of course, you can use eth_getTransactionReceipt to get the receipt of a transaction that you might have identified using eth_getBlockByNumber instead of eth_getBlockReceipts, but why make more requests when you can be more efficient?

📘

Erigon code base on GitHub

Check out the Erigon code base on GitHub to see the source code of this method and how the data is retrieved:

Deploy an Erigon node with Chainstack

Chainstack supports the Erigon client on Ethereum, Polygon, and BNB smart chain archive nodes. This option is available on the Business subscription plan and higher on elastic nodes or starting from the Growth subscription plan for dedicated nodes.

Follow the steps to deploy an archive node running Erigon on elastic nodes:

  1. Sign up with Chainstack.
  2. Create a project.

After you created a project:

  1. Select the project with the network.
  2. Select the network.
  3. Click Add node.
  4. Provide a node name.
  5. Under Type, select Elastic.
  6. Under Mode, select Archive. With an archive node, you can query historical states for the entire chain.
  7. Under Debug and trace APIs, select On.
  8. Under Hosting, select Chainstack.
  9. For Chainstack hosting, select a cloud provider and a region.
  10. Review your changes and click Add node.

The node status will change from Pending to Running once deployed. You will also see the Debug and trace tag next to the node name. You can then verify in the Chainstack console that the client running is indeed Erigon. To do that, open your node details and check the Clients column.

Now you only need to copy your RPC endpoint and go BUIDL cool stuff.

Let’s BUIDL

Now that you know how eth_getBlockReceipts works and how to get a node running Erigon for it, I want to show you how to use it with a practical example.

For this project, we’ll use ethers.js to build a ‘smart contracts watcher’ tool that can examine a block using eth_getBlockReceipts, identify which transaction deploys a new smart contract, and give us details about it.

The projects structure

The project is built in node.js and interacts with the blockchain using the Ethers library.

📘

Project source code

Find the full code in the repository:

This is what the structure looks like:

├── Root directory
    ├── index.js
    │
    │── src
    │   ├── provider.js
    │   ├── analyzer.js
    │ 	├── latestBlock.js
    │ 	├── parser.js
    │ 	├── ToHex.js
    │  
    ├──.env

Let’s explain what each file does:

FileExplanation
index.jsThe entry point of the project. It runs the main program.
provider.jsCreates a provider instance to be used from the other scripts.
latestBlock.jsIt holds the function to retrieve the latest block using ethers.js.
ToHex.jsIt has a function to convert a decimal number to hexadecimal using ethers.js utils.
analyzer.jsThis file uses the functions from toHex.js and latestBlock.js; it calls eth_getBlockReceipts on the latest block and looks for new smart contract deployments.
parser.jsIt extracts the desired data from the transaction receipt and prints them to the console.
.envIt holds the node RPC URL.

Inside the code

The bulk of the process is managed by the function in the analyzer.js file, which connects to the node and calls the eth_getBlockReceipts method.

// Import the support scripts
const provider = require('./provider');
const { toHex } = require('./toHex')
const { latestBlock } = require('./latestBlock')
const { parseTransaction } = require('./parser')

const findSmartContract = async () => {

    // Find the latest block
    const blockToAnalyze = await latestBlock();

    // Convert the latest block to Hex
    const blockInHex = toHex(blockToAnalyze)

    // Sometimes Erigon returns an invalid response; try/catch will tell you if something is wrong.
    try {

        // Get the transaction receipts
        const blockReceipt = await provider.send("eth_getBlockReceipts", [blockInHex]);
        //console.log(blockReceipt);

        // Iterate over the transactions in the block
        for (const tx of blockReceipt) {

            if (tx.contractAddress != null) {

                // This function parses and prints the result
                parseTransaction(tx)
            }
        }
    } catch (error) {
        console.log(`An error occurred, please try again. \n ERROR: ${error}`)
    }
}

module.exports = {
    findSmartContract
}

This modular design helps keep the code clean and organized. Now onto the meat and potatoes.

The findSmartContract calls the latestBlock function to find the latest block on the network. It converts this block to hexadecimal format using the toHex function and then uses the eth_getBlockReceipts method of the provider instance to get the transaction receipts for the specified block.

📘

The provider instance is created in the provider.js file and exported to be used where necessary.

The function then iterates over the transaction receipts in the block. For each transaction that has a non-null contractAddress field, it calls the parseTransaction function and passes the transaction as an argument. The logic here is that if the contractAddress field of the receipt is not empty, a new smart contract is deployed, and the field holds its address.

The parseTransaction then isolates the fields we are interested in and prints them to the console.

Sometimes the latestBlock and toHex functions might return a ‘non-iterable object’ from Erigon; this stops the program. For this, we use a try-catch block, and the error message will be logged to the console. You can also add some logic that does not stop the program in case there is an error and tries again automatically.

Finally, the function exports an object containing the findSmartContract function so that it can be imported and used by other parts of the program, the main function in index.js in this case.

This is a very simple example of how you can use eth_getBlockReceipts in the real world, and you can, for instance, add a listener to pick up every new block header and automatically scan the block for new contracts if you want to make it more advanced.

This is what you will get when the watcher finds a new smart contract:

$ npm run start
> [email protected] start
> node index.js

New smart contract detected! 
New smart contract address: 0x00e9a503b88732ee3e28a0fec3343c405f5e963d
Deployed by address: 0x984380fc12cc3bdb894e1f35111dd992fb52a231
Deployed by transaction: 0xad8d3a6647a4ad7e2f8eedef258b4c3233d54e5999a855ca59500f5df70d35de

📘

Note that you might need to run the script multiple times before you find a contract deployment on mainnet.

Conclusion

In summary, the eth_getBlockReceipts method is a powerful tool for developers working with the Erigon client. It allows them to retrieve the receipts for all of the transactions in a given block, which can be very useful to avoid calling multiple methods and keep programs easy and efficient.

Chainstack supports the Erigon client on Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, and Polygon.

In this article, we also showed you a program that uses the eth_getBlockReceipts method to find new smart contracts deployed on the blockchain. It then uses the eth_getBlockReceipts method to retrieve the transaction receipts for the block and iterates over these receipts to find transactions deploying new smart contracts.

📘

See also

About the author

Davide Zambiasi

🥑 Developer Advocate @ Chainstack
🛠️ BUIDLs on EVM, The Graph protocol, and Starknet
💻 Helping people understand Web3 and blockchain development
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