Version: 0.3.0

Tezos Domain-Specific Operations

LIGO is a programming language for writing Tezos smart contracts. It would be a little odd if it did not have any Tezos specific functions. This page will tell you about them.

Pack and Unpack

As Michelson provides the PACK and UNPACK instructions for data serialization, so does LIGO with Bytes.pack and Bytes.unpack. The former serializes Michelson data structures into a binary format, and the latter reverses that transformation. Unpacking may fail, so the return type of Byte.unpack is an option that needs to be annotated.

⚠️ PACK and UNPACK are Michelson instructions that are intended to be used by people that really know what they are doing. There are several risks and failure cases, such as unpacking a lambda from an untrusted source or casting the result to the wrong type. Do not use the corresponding LIGO functions without doing your homework first.

function id_string (const p : string) : option (string) is block {
const packed : bytes = Bytes.pack (p)
} with (Bytes.unpack (packed) : option (string))

Note that bytes_pack and bytes_unpack are deprecated.

Hashing Keys

It is often desirable to hash a public key. In Michelson, certain data structures such as maps will not allow the use of the key type. Even if this were not the case, hashes are much smaller than keys, and storage on blockchains comes at a cost premium. You can hash keys with a predefined functions returning a value of type key_hash.

function check_hash_key (const kh1 : key_hash; const k2 : key) : bool * key_hash is
block {
var ret : bool := False;
var kh2 : key_hash := Crypto.hash_key (k2);
if kh1 = kh2 then ret := True else skip
} with (ret, kh2)

Note that hash_key is deprecated. Please use Crypto.hash_key.

Checking Signatures

Sometimes a contract will want to check that a message has been signed by a particular key. For example, a point-of-sale system might want a customer to sign a transaction so it can be processed asynchronously. You can do this in LIGO using the key and signature types.

⚠️ There is no way to generate a signed message in LIGO. This is because that would require storing a private key on chain, at which point it is not... private anymore.

function check_signature
(const pk : key;
const signed : signature;
const msg : bytes) : bool
is Crypto.check (pk, signed, msg)

Note that crypto_check is deprecated.

Contract's Own Address

Often you want to get the address of the contract being executed. You can do it with Tezos.self_address.

Note that self_address is deprecated.

⚠️ Due to limitations in Michelson, Tezos.self_address in a contract is only allowed at the top-level. Using it in an embedded function will cause an error.

const current_addr : address = Tezos.self_address

Origination of a contract

Tezos.create_contract allows you to originate a contract given its code, delegate (if any), initial balance and initial storage. The return value is a pair of type (operation * address).

⚠️ Due to limitations in Michelson, Tezos.create_contract first argument must be inlined and must not contain references to free variables

const origination : operation * address = Tezos.create_contract (
function (const p : nat; const s : string): list(operation) * string is ((nil : list(operation)), s),
(None : option(key_hash)),
3tz,
"initial_storage")