Updated on March 17, 2020

Events and logs

Transaction mining causes smart contracts to emit events and write logs to the blockchain.

The smart contract address is the link to the logs and the blockchain includes the logs, but contracts cannot access logs. Log storage is cheaper than contract storage (that is, it costs less gas) so storing and accessing the required data in logs reduces the cost. For example, use logs to display all transfers made using a specific contract, but not the current state of the contract.

A Dapp front end can either access logs using the JSON-RPC API filter methods or subscribe to logs using the RPC Pub/Sub API.

Use admin_generateLogBloomCache to improve log retrieval performance.

Topics

Log entries contain up to four topics. The first topic is the event signature hash and up to three topics are the indexed event parameters.

Example

A log entry for an event with one indexed parameter:

{
  "logIndex": "0x0",
  "removed": false,
  "blockNumber": "0x84",
  "blockHash": "0x5fc573d76ec48ec80cbc43f299ebc306a8168112e3a4485c23e84e9a40f5d336",
  "transactionHash": "0xcb52f02342c2498df82c49ac26b2e91e182155c8b2a2add5b6dc4c249511f85a",
  "transactionIndex": "0x0",
  "address": "0x42699a7612a82f1d9c36148af9c77354759b210b",
  "data": "0x",
  "topics": [
    "0x04474795f5b996ff80cb47c148d4c5ccdbe09ef27551820caa9c2f8ed149cce3",
    "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001"
  ]
}

Event parameters

Up to three event parameters can have the indexed attribute. Logs store these indexed parameters as topics. Indexed parameters are searchable and filterable.

Topics are 32 bytes. If an indexed argument is an array (including string and byte datatypes), the log stores the keccak-256 hash of the paramater as a topic.

Log data includes non-indexed parameters but is difficult to search or filter.

Example

A Solidity contract storing one indexed and one non-indexed parameter and has an event emitting the value of each parameter:

pragma solidity ^0.5.1;
contract Storage {
  uint256 public valueIndexed;
  uint256 public valueNotIndexed;

  event Event1(uint256 indexed valueIndexed, uint256 valueNotIndexed);

  function setValue(uint256 _valueIndexed, uint256 _valueNotIndexed) public {
    valueIndexed = _valueIndexed;
    valueNotIndexed = _valueNotIndexed;
    emit Event1(_valueIndexed, _valueNotIndexed);
  }
}

Example

A log entry created by invoking the contract in the previous example with valueIndexed set to 5 and valueNotIndexed set to 7:

 {
   "logIndex": "0x0",
   "removed": false,
   "blockNumber": "0x4d6",
   "blockHash": "0x7d0ac7c12ac9f622d346d444c7e0fa4dda8d4ed90de80d6a28814613a4884a67",
   "transactionHash": "0xe994022ada94371ace00c4e1e20663a01437846ced02f18b3f3afec827002781",
   "transactionIndex": "0x0",
   "address": "0x43d1f9096674b5722d359b6402381816d5b22f28",
   "data": "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000007",
   "topics": [
    "0xd3610b1c54575b7f4f0dc03d210b8ac55624ae007679b7a928a4f25a709331a8",
    "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000005"
   ]
 }

Event signature hash

The first topic in a log entry is always the event signature hash. The event signature hash is a keccak-256 hash of the event name and input argument types, with argument names ignored. For example, the event Hello(uint256 worldId) has the signature hash keccak('Hello(uint256)'). The signature identifies to which event log topics belong.

Example

A Solidity contract with two different events:

     pragma solidity ^0.5.1;
     contract Storage {
     uint256 public valueA;
     uint256 public valueB;

     event Event1(uint256 indexed valueA);
     event Event2(uint256 indexed valueB);

     function setValue(uint256 _valueA) public {
       valueA = _valueA;
       emit Event1(_valueA);
     }

     function setValueAgain(uint256 _valueB) public {
       valueB = _valueB;
       emit Event2(_valueB);
     }
   }

The event signature hash for event 1 is keccak('Event1(uint256)') and the event signature hash for event 2 is keccak('Event2(uint256)'). The hashes are:

  • 04474795f5b996ff80cb47c148d4c5ccdbe09ef27551820caa9c2f8ed149cce3 for event 1
  • 06df6fb2d6d0b17a870decb858cc46bf7b69142ab7b9318f7603ed3fd4ad240e for event 2.

Tip

You can use a library keccak (sha3) hash function, such as provided in Web3.js, or an an online tool, such as https://emn178.github.io/online-tools/keccak_256.html, to generate event signature hashes.

Example

Log entries from invoking the Solidity contract in the previous example:

[
  {
    "logIndex": "0x0",
    "removed": false,
    "blockNumber": "0x84",
    "blockHash": "0x5fc573d76ec48ec80cbc43f299ebc306a8168112e3a4485c23e84e9a40f5d336",
    "transactionHash": "0xcb52f02342c2498df82c49ac26b2e91e182155c8b2a2add5b6dc4c249511f85a",
    "transactionIndex": "0x0",
    "address": "0x42699a7612a82f1d9c36148af9c77354759b210b",
    "data": "0x",
    "topics": [
      "0x04474795f5b996ff80cb47c148d4c5ccdbe09ef27551820caa9c2f8ed149cce3",
      "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001"
    ]
  },
  {
    "logIndex": "0x0",
    "removed": false,
    "blockNumber": "0x87",
    "blockHash": "0x6643a1e58ad857f727552e4572b837a85b3ca64c4799d085170c707e4dad5255",
    "transactionHash": "0xa95295fcea7df3b9e47ab95d2dadeb868145719ed9cc0e6c757c8a174e1fcb11",
    "transactionIndex": "0x0",
    "address": "0x42699a7612a82f1d9c36148af9c77354759b210b",
    "data": "0x",
    "topics": [
      "0x06df6fb2d6d0b17a870decb858cc46bf7b69142ab7b9318f7603ed3fd4ad240e",
      "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002"
    ]
  }
]

Topic filters

Filter options objects have a topics key to filter logs by topics.

Topics are order-dependent. A transaction with a log containing topics [A, B] matches with the following topic filters:

  • [] - Match any topic
  • [A] - Match A in first position
  • [[null], [B]] - Match any topic in first position AND B in second position
  • [[A],[B]] - Match A in first position AND B in second position
  • [[A, C], [B, D]] - Match (A OR C) in first position AND (B OR D) in second position.

Example

The following filter option object returns log entries for the Event Parameters example contract with valueIndexed set to 5 or 9:

{
  "fromBlock":"earliest",
  "toBlock":"latest",
  "address":"0x43d1f9096674b5722d359b6402381816d5b22f28",
  "topics":[
   ["0xd3610b1c54575b7f4f0dc03d210b8ac55624ae007679b7a928a4f25a709331a8"],
   ["0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000005", "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000009"]
  ]
}