Setting up a relayer node

On this page, you’ll learn:

  • How to set up a relayer node on a sidechain?

  • How to set up a relayer node on a mainchain?

The process of setting up a relayer node on a mainchain and sidechain are almost identical. The subsequent sections describe the steps to set up a relayer node.


To use this guide, it is assumed that the following criteria have been met:

  • An up-and-running node connected to the mainchain exists, see How to set up a Lisk Mainnet node.

  • An up-and-running node connected to the sidechain exists.

  • The sidechain must be registered to the mainchain as described in the How to register a sidechain guide.

  • The sidechain account on the mainchain must have either the registered or active status.

1. Installing the Chain Connector plugin

The chain connector plugin comes pre-installed with any chain which has been initialized with Lisk SDK v6. However, in case it is required to install it manually, run the following command in the root folder of the client.

npm install @liskhq/lisk-framework-chain-connector-plugin

2. Configuring the Chain Connector plugin

Once the plugin is installed, various configurations are available for the node operator to set. With these configurations, the details such as the receiving chain’s chainID and its IPC path or WS URL, CCU frequency, encrypted private key, etc. can be set.

The following table describes the available configuration options.

  • Configuration options

  • Sample configuration

Name Type Description Sample



The IPC path of a receiving node




The WS URL of a receiving node




Number of blocks after which a CCU should be created




Encrypted privateKey of the relayer

kdf=argon2id&cipher=aes-256-gcm&version=1& ciphertext=da36ef64cbf2687d62b0- 14dafdfa8ef8c823b2b1562ae78819599080e4500529- b75e80093fba066879f0767e0de83abe285efb259dd9be5109b8a4ef66cfc52ec613314586c- 1aa1da3a6737c0f8b7f0de7fb4d1b85860cd23915bbcee774e1d85b357e342816a917e517f7- c702e1a1deb28dd69a4b69ae2ac67a5c4c4236101c&- mac=e253decce05dd50758400d5c7408532a162fedf583ff9cafcb7ad3e12f6b8011&- salt=40ab2dcdd387e4372ed1dbb948a9ef84&iv=4559dcaee67eb2c1a0957ecf&- tag=81c2c332d915454bed4be26018c598c5&iterations=1&parallelism=4&- memorySize=2024



The fee to be paid for each CCU transaction




Password to decrypt encryptedPrivateKey




Flag for the user to either save or send a CCU on creation. Sending a CCU is the default option.




Number of CCUs to save.




Maximum size of CCU to be allowed




Height at the time of registration on the receiving chain.




Chain ID of the receiving chain.


    // [...]
    "plugins": {
        "chainConnector": {
            "encryptedPrivateKey": "kdf=argon2id&cipher=aes-256-gcm&version=1&ciphertext=da36ef64cbf2687d62b014dafdfa8ef8c823b2b1562ae78819599080e4500529b75e80093fba066879f0767e0de83abe285efb259dd9be5109b8a4ef66cfc52ec613314586c1aa1da3a6737c0f8b7f0de7fb4d1b85860cd23915bbcee774e1d85b357e342816a917e517f7c702e1a1deb28dd69a4b69ae2ac67a5c4c4236101c&mac=e253decce05dd50758400d5c7408532a162fedf583ff9cafcb7ad3e12f6b8011&salt=40ab2dcdd387e4372ed1dbb948a9ef84&iv=4559dcaee67eb2c1a0957ecf&tag=81c2c332d915454bed4be26018c598c5&iterations=1&parallelism=4&memorySize=2024",
            "password": "lisk",
            "ccuFee": "100000000",
            "receivingChainIPCPath": "~/.lisk/lisk-core",
            "receivingChainID": "04000000"
A node operator must add either the value of receivingChainIPCPath or receivingChainWsURL in the chain connector’s config.

3. Enabling the Chain Connector plugin

A node operator can perform the following steps to enable the chain connector plugin and turn a node into a relayer node.

3.1. Creating an encrypted private key

  1. The first step is to create an encrypted private key. A node operator can use a REPL session to call the Lisk cryptography libraries.

    • Sidechain

    • Mainchain

    ./bin/run console
    Entering Lisk REPL: type `Ctrl+C` or `.exit` to exit
    lisk-core console
    Entering Lisk REPL: type `Ctrl+C` or `.exit` to exit
  2. The encryptedPrivateKey can be created by calling the encryptMessageWithPassword function. It accepts two arguments: a private key of the account which is supposed to be used as a relayer address and a password.

    The account should have sufficient balance so that the encrypted private key can be used for signing and sending the transaction.

    • Sidechain

    • Mainchain

    Creating an encrypted key on a sidechain node
    sidechain_client> lisk.cryptography.encrypt.stringifyEncryptedMessage(await lisk.cryptography.encrypt.encryptMessageWithPassword('0d7501d3d5c9accaefb3c0b6a569473b59391ae406f6324f98fa6dd70e119368a6454f898d3b82c41b158206c72ecfe917a1071c8084b496a0c5867afc10830b', 'lisk'))
    Encrypted key
    Creating an encrypted key on a mainchain node
    lisk-core> lisk.cryptography.encrypt.stringifyEncryptedMessage(await lisk.cryptography.encrypt.encryptMessageWithPassword('0d7501d3d5c9accaefb3c0b6a569473b59391ae406f6324f98fa6dd70e119368a6454f898d3b82c41b158206c72ecfe917a1071c8084b496a0c5867afc10830b', 'lisk'))
    Encrypted key

    The encryptMessageWithPassword function will return an encrypted key, which should be added to the config of the blockchain.

3.2. Prepare config for chain connector plugin

Each node whether a mainchain or a sidechain expects mandatory configurations as shown in the following snippets.

  • Sidechain

  • Mainchain

"chainConnector": {
    "encryptedPrivateKey": "kdf=argon2id&cipher=aes-256-gcm&version=1&ciphertext=57db80457db93a1abeceee5c6f951ca04579c447a06f45cf5e8b5398e207a26da53a6b191a02c479ede455950eacb48f32d6609f2cd4b5a1a51e895b210b587ef046e6c3151ef2212efd0808b45328742d09a279e7d667f1670ff02a2fd5c91f4afd0a08efb8e6e90b0b11e93b15da8daaeea543a0ff54f3dd51c66cac3b04c6&mac=7822258b12e0c787f5bd622c562914438a9d74ca1e11e11b840f3001a678b04f&salt=d4d051a123326ad2b82c022603e790b6&iv=0bb9e76cd5163d6c5af9d89d&tag=fbcdb355b5135d48df948841de5fcdf5&iterations=1&parallelism=4&memorySize=2024",
    "password": "lisk", // The password used to create the encryptedPrivateKey
    "ccuFee": "100000000",
    "receivingChainIPCPath": "~/.lisk/lisk-core"
    "receivingChainID": "04000000"
"chainConnector": {
    "encryptedPrivateKey": "kdf=argon2id&cipher=aes-256-gcm&version=1&ciphertext=f4dd49061a128d06184308a235311dc487737b7c4a688409224ed39b7d8e76a6cdd814500dd7221297ed122d277af8ba46d42ebd340d228fe6c77132543b303c97ab89e151ecd9f2739284c60c66ab68c0f3531ffc6cbdedad2acc431e8d8e48dffd7c7eda3dfe5f404e00ef7ae825d34da7787bf792b6ecb84ea1bfe10e9ca6&mac=363141e645d5564a150a2634060bd273276b0c987a65cf64513a7871565c3f2a&salt=93213d2d1c11e91d64771c173f8bf3c1&iv=0132fa14a4ed289deb07ee11&tag=7b64ed4a0453302d54bba29d4f7a68ea&iterations=1&parallelism=4&memorySize=2024",
    "password": "lisk", // The password used to create the encryptedPrivateKey
    "ccuFee": "100000000",
    "receivingChainIPCPath": "~/.lisk/relayer",
    "receivingChainID": "04000002"

Once the configuration is ready, update the config.json file of the respective client such as mainchain or sidechain.

3.3. Register plugin

Once the config.json has been updated, it is required to register the plugin with the client. The process differs for both sidechain and mainchain.

  • Sidechain

  • Mainchain

On a sidechain, the plugin can be enabled using the --enable-chain-connector-plugin flag whilst starting the blockchain client.

./bin/run start --enable-chain-connector-plugin --overwrite-config

Alternatively, the plugins.ts file of the client can be updated to have the following options:

import { Application } from 'lisk-sdk';
// Import the 'ChainConnectorPlugin'
import { ChainConnectorPlugin } from '@liskhq/lisk-framework-chain-connector-plugin';

export const registerPlugins = (app: Application): void => {
    // Register the ChainConnectorPlugin with the app
    app.registerPlugin(new ChainConnectorPlugin());

The client must be rebuilt to entertain the changes to the code.

npm run build

The client can then be started with the following command:

./bin/run start --overwrite-config

On a mainchain, the plugin can be enabled using the --enable-chain-connector-plugin flag whilst starting the blockchain client.

lisk-core start --network alphanet --enable-chain-connector-plugin --overwrite-config

Since the config of the chain is updated during the process, the node operator must update the existing config with the --overwrite-config flag.

3.4. Result

Once the client is running, the node operators should see the following log messages, depending on the type of node.

  • Sidechain

  • Mainchain

2023-03-17T14:42:30.426Z INFO XYZ.local application 96733 No valid CCU can be generated for the height: 58
2023-03-17T14:42:30.426Z INFO XYZ.local plugin_chainConnector 96899 No valid CCU can be generated for the height: 58

Since we just set up a relayer node and haven’t sent a CCU/CCM, the aforementioned log messages are expected.

The messages suggest that the blockchain doesn’t have any finalized block height for which we can create a certificate, or there are no pending CCUs/CCMs to send across the chain.

The relayer node will start relaying CCUs to the receiving chain, once the finalized height is reached.