Indexing Transactions

CometBFT allows you to index transactions and blocks and later query or subscribe to their results. Transactions are indexed by TxResult.Events and blocks are indexed by Response(Begin|End)Block.Events. However, transactions are also indexed by a primary key which includes the transaction hash and maps to and stores the corresponding TxResult. Blocks are indexed by a primary key which includes the block height and maps to and stores the block height, i.e. the block itself is never stored.

Each event contains a type and a list of attributes, which are key-value pairs denoting something about what happened during the method’s execution. For more details on Events, see the ABCI documentation.

An Event has a composite key associated with it. A compositeKey is constructed by its type and key separated by a dot.

For example:

"jack": [
  "account.number": 100

would be equal to the composite key of jack.account.number.

By default, CometBFT will index all transactions by their respective hashes and height and blocks by their height.

CometBFT allows for different events within the same height to have equal attributes.


Operators can configure indexing via the [tx_index] section. The indexer field takes a series of supported indexers. If null is included, indexing will be turned off regardless of other values provided.


# The backend database to back the indexer.
# If indexer is "null", no indexer service will be used.
# The application will set which txs to index. In some cases a node operator will be able
# to decide which txs to index based on configuration set in the application.
# Options:
#   1) "null"
#   2) "kv" (default) - the simplest possible indexer, backed by key-value storage (defaults to levelDB; see DBBackend).
#     - When "kv" is chosen "tx.height" and "tx.hash" will always be indexed.
#   3) "psql" - the indexer services backed by PostgreSQL.
# indexer = "kv"

Supported Indexers


The kv indexer type is an embedded key-value store supported by the main underlying CometBFT database. Using the kv indexer type allows you to query for block and transaction events directly against CometBFT’s RPC. However, the query syntax is limited and so this indexer type might be deprecated or removed entirely in the future.

Implementation and data layout

The kv indexer stores each attribute of an event individually, by creating a composite key of the event type, attribute key, attribute value, height and event sequence.

For example the following events:

Type: "transfer",
  Attributes: []abci.EventAttribute{
   {Key: []byte("sender"), Value: []byte("Bob"), Index: true},
   {Key: []byte("recipient"), Value: []byte("Alice"), Index: true},
   {Key: []byte("balance"), Value: []byte("100"), Index: true},
   {Key: []byte("note"), Value: []byte("nothing"), Index: true},
Type: "transfer",
  Attributes: []abci.EventAttribute{
   {Key: []byte("sender"), Value: []byte("Tom"), Index: true},
   {Key: []byte("recipient"), Value: []byte("Alice"), Index: true},
   {Key: []byte("balance"), Value: []byte("200"), Index: true},
   {Key: []byte("note"), Value: []byte("nothing"), Index: true},

will be represented as follows in the store:

Key                                 value
transferSenderBobEndBlock1           1
transferRecipientAliceEndBlock11     1
transferBalance100EndBlock11         1
transferNodeNothingEndblock11        1
---- event2 ------
transferSenderTomEndBlock12          1
transferRecipientAliceEndBlock12     1
transferBalance200EndBlock12         1
transferNodeNothingEndblock12        1

The key is thus formed of the event type, the attribute key and value, the event the attribute belongs to (EndBlock or BeginBlock), the height and the event number. The event number is a local variable kept by the indexer and incremented when a new event is processed.

It is an int64 variable and has no other semantics besides being used to associate attributes belonging to the same events within a height. This variable is not atomically incremented as event indexing is deterministic. Should this ever change, the event id generation will be broken.


The psql indexer type allows an operator to enable block and transaction event indexing by proxying it to an external PostgreSQL instance allowing for the events to be stored in relational models. Since the events are stored in a RDBMS, operators can leverage SQL to perform a series of rich and complex queries that are not supported by the kv indexer type. Since operators can leverage SQL directly, searching is not enabled for the psql indexer type via CometBFT’s RPC – any such query will fail.

Note, the SQL schema is stored in state/indexer/sink/psql/schema.sql and operators must explicitly create the relations prior to starting CometBFT and enabling the psql indexer type.


$ psql ... -f state/indexer/sink/psql/schema.sql

Default Indexes

The CometBFT tx and block event indexer indexes a few select reserved events by default.


The following indexes are indexed by default:


The following indexes are indexed by default:

Adding Events

Applications are free to define which events to index. CometBFT does not expose functionality to define which events to index and which to ignore. In your application’s DeliverTx method, add the Events field with pairs of UTF-8 encoded strings (e.g. “transfer.sender”: “Bob”, “transfer.recipient”: “Alice”, “transfer.balance”: “100”).


func (app *KVStoreApplication) DeliverTx(req types.RequestDeliverTx) types.Result {
    events := []abci.Event{
            Type: "transfer",
            Attributes: []abci.EventAttribute{
                {Key: []byte("sender"), Value: []byte("Bob"), Index: true},
                {Key: []byte("recipient"), Value: []byte("Alice"), Index: true},
                {Key: []byte("balance"), Value: []byte("100"), Index: true},
                {Key: []byte("note"), Value: []byte("nothing"), Index: true},
    return types.ResponseDeliverTx{Code: code.CodeTypeOK, Events: events}

If the indexer is not null, the transaction will be indexed. Each event is indexed using a composite key in the form of {eventType}.{eventAttribute}={eventValue}, e.g. transfer.sender=bob.

Querying Transactions Events

You can query for a paginated set of transaction by their events by calling the /tx_search RPC endpoint:

curl "localhost:26657/tx_search?query=\"message.sender='cosmos1...'\"&prove=true"

If the conditions are related to transaction events and the user wants to make sure the conditions are true within the same events, the match_events keyword should be used, as described below

Check out API docs for more information on query syntax and other options.

Subscribing to Transactions

Clients can subscribe to transactions with the given tags via WebSocket by providing a query to /subscribe RPC endpoint.

  "jsonrpc": "2.0",
  "method": "subscribe",
  "id": "0",
  "params": {
    "query": "message.sender='cosmos1...'"

Check out API docs for more information on query syntax and other options.

Querying Block Events

You can query for a paginated set of blocks by their events by calling the /block_search RPC endpoint:

curl "localhost:26657/block_search?query=\"block.height > 10 AND val_set.num_changed > 0\""

match_events keyword

The query results in the height number(s) (or transaction hashes when querying transactions) which contain events whose attributes match the query conditions. However, there are two options to query the indexers. To demonstrate the two modes, we reuse the two events where Bob and Tom send money to Alice and query the block indexer. We issue the following query:

curl "localhost:26657/block_search?query=\"sender=Bob AND balance = 200\""

The result will return height 1 even though the attributes matching the conditions in the query occurred in different events.

If we wish to retrieve only heights where the attributes occurred within the same event, the query syntax is as follows:

curl "localhost:26657/block_search?query=\"sender=Bob AND balance = 200\"&match_events=true"

Currently the default behavior is if match_events is set to false.

Check out API docs for more information on query syntax and other options.

Backwards compatibility

Storing the event sequence was introduced in CometBFT 0.34.25. As there are no previous releases of CometBFT, all nodes running CometBFT will include the event sequence. However, mixed networks running CometBFT v0.34.25 and greater and Tendermint Core versions before v0.34.25 are possible. On nodes running Tendermint Core, the match_events keyword is ignored and the data is retrieved as if match_events=false.

Additionally, if a node that was running Tendermint Core when the data was first indexed, and switched to CometBFT, is queried, it will retrieve this previously indexed data as if match_events=false (attributes can match the query conditions across different events on the same height).

Event attribute value types

Users can use anything as an event value. However, if the event attribute value is a number, the following restrictions apply:

Decorative Orb