The state contains information whose cryptographic digest is included in block headers, and thus is necessary for validating new blocks. For instance, the validators set and the results of transactions are never included in blocks, but their Merkle roots are: the state keeps track of them.

The State object itself is an implementation detail, since it is never included in a block or gossiped over the network, and we never compute its hash. The persistence or query interface of the State object is an implementation detail and not included in the specification. However, the types in the State object are part of the specification, since the Merkle roots of the State objects are included in blocks and values are used during validation.

type State struct {
    ChainID        string
    InitialHeight  int64

    LastBlockHeight int64
    LastBlockID     types.BlockID
    LastBlockTime   time.Time

    Version     Version
    LastResults []Result
    AppHash     []byte

    LastValidators ValidatorSet
    Validators     ValidatorSet
    NextValidators ValidatorSet

    ConsensusParams ConsensusParams

The chain ID and initial height are taken from the genesis file, and not changed again. The initial height will be 1 in the typical case, 0 is an invalid value.

Note there is a hard-coded limit of 10000 validators. This is inherited from the limit on the number of votes in a commit.

Further information on Validator’s, ValidatorSet’s and ConsensusParams’s can be found in data structures


State gets updated at the end of executing a block. Of specific interest is ResponseEndBlock and ResponseCommit

type ResponseEndBlock struct {
	ValidatorUpdates      []ValidatorUpdate       `protobuf:"bytes,1,rep,name=validator_updates,json=validatorUpdates,proto3" json:"validator_updates"`
	ConsensusParamUpdates *types1.ConsensusParams `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=consensus_param_updates,json=consensusParamUpdates,proto3" json:"consensus_param_updates,omitempty"`
	Events                []Event                 `protobuf:"bytes,3,rep,name=events,proto3" json:"events,omitempty"`


type ValidatorUpdate struct {
	PubKey crypto.PublicKey `protobuf:"bytes,1,opt,name=pub_key,json=pubKey,proto3" json:"pub_key"`
	Power  int64            `protobuf:"varint,2,opt,name=power,proto3" json:"power,omitempty"`


type ResponseCommit struct {
	// reserve 1
	Data         []byte `protobuf:"bytes,2,opt,name=data,proto3" json:"data,omitempty"`
	RetainHeight int64  `protobuf:"varint,3,opt,name=retain_height,json=retainHeight,proto3" json:"retain_height,omitempty"`

ValidatorUpdates are used to add and remove validators to the current set as well as update validator power. Setting validator power to 0 in ValidatorUpdate will cause the validator to be removed. ConsensusParams are safely copied across (i.e. if a field is nil it gets ignored) and the Data from the ResponseCommit is used as the AppHash


type Version struct {
  consensus Consensus
  software string

Consensus contains the protocol version for the blockchain and the application.


The total size of a block is limited in bytes by the ConsensusParams.Block.MaxBytes. Proposed blocks must be less than this size, and will be considered invalid otherwise.

Blocks should additionally be limited by the amount of “gas” consumed by the transactions in the block, though this is not yet implemented.


For evidence in a block to be valid, it must satisfy:

block.Header.Time-evidence.Time < ConsensusParams.Evidence.MaxAgeDuration &&
 block.Header.Height-evidence.Height < ConsensusParams.Evidence.MaxAgeNumBlocks

A block must not contain more than ConsensusParams.Evidence.MaxBytes of evidence. This is implemented to mitigate spam attacks.


Validators from genesis file and ResponseEndBlock must have pubkeys of type ∈ ConsensusParams.Validator.PubKeyTypes.

Decorative Orb