5. SubscribeΒΆ

Obelisk tries to avoid storing state as much as possible, but for listening to changes to a Bitcoin address we need a subscription system. There are 2 strong reasons for this.

  1. We want to see the changes for an address come from the same blockchain, rather than updates from various inconsistent blockchains.
  2. Polling is inefficient for both client and server.

Subscriptions are managed through a series of request-reply messages.

  1. Send address.subscribe, receive reply for successful subscription.
  2. Receive address.update messages.
  3. Periodicially send address.renew every 2 minutes.
Request address_version_byte(1) + address_hash(20)
Reply ec(4)

subscribe begins a new subscription.

Reply address_version_byte(1) + address_hash(20) + height(4) + block_hash(32) + tx

The server can send address.update messages at any time.

Request address_version_byte(1) + address_hash(20)
Reply ec

Periodicially sent every 2 minutes to keep our subscription renewed.

A process flow for working with an address might look like:

  1. Subscribe to address, start buffering any changes that come in.
  2. Fetch history for address.
  3. Play buffered changes on top. Receive updates.

When combined with a client that saves state on exit, the client will need to:

  1. Probe the previously subscribed worker is up. Otherwise re-fetch history.
  2. Fetch current history from last point (using saved block height and fetch_history() from_height parameter).
  3. Check the block hash at the from_height hasn’t changed (because of a reorganization). If it has changed then discard history and re-fetch from_height=0.

Previous topic

4. API Calls

This Page