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Indexing Moonbeam with Subsquid

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Subsquid is a query node framework for Substrate-based blockchains. In very simple terms, Subsquid can be thought of as an ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) tool, with a GraphQL server included. It enables comprehensive filtering, pagination, and even full-text search capabilities

Subsquid has native and full support for both the Ethereum Virtual Machine and Substrate data. This allows developers to extract on-chain data from any of the Moonbeam networks and process EVM logs as well as Substrate entities (events, extrinsics and storage items) in one single project and serve the resulting data with one single GraphQL endpoint. With Subsquid, filtering by EVM topic, contract address, and block range are all possible.

This guide will explain how to create a Subsquid project (also known as a "Squid") that indexes ERC-721 token transfers on the Moonriver network. As such, you'll be looking at the Transfer EVM event topics. This guide can be adapted for Moonbeam or Moonbase Alpha.

The information presented herein is for informational purposes only and has been provided by third parties. Moonbeam does not endorse any project listed and described on the Moonbeam docs website (

Checking Prerequisites

For a Squid project to be able to run, you need to have the following installed:

Create a Project

You can create a project by using the template repository made available by Subsquid. To get started, you can take the following steps:

  1. Vist the squid-template repository on GitHub
  2. Click the Use this template button
  3. Select the account and repository name for your project
  4. Clone the created repository (be careful of changing <account> with your own GitHub account):

    git clone<account>/squid-template.git
  5. Then you can install the dependencies from within the project directory:

    cd squid-template && npm i
  6. You'll also need to install a few additional dependencies to index EVM data:

    npm i @ethersproject/abi ethers @subsquid/substrate-evm-processor @subsquid/evm-typegen

Image from Gyazo

The next sections will take the template and customize it, one aspect at a time, to obtain the right data and process it. To view the complete project, you can check out the squid-evm-template repository on GitHub.

Define Entity Schema

In order to customize the project for the purposes of this guide, you'll need to make changes to the schema and define the entities to keep track of. These entities include:

  • Token transfers
  • Ownership of tokens
  • Contracts and their minted tokens

To make these changes, you can edit the schema.graphql file:

type Token @entity {
  id: ID!
  owner: Owner
  uri: String
  transfers: [Transfer!]! @derivedFrom(field: "token")
  contract: Contract

type Owner @entity {
  id: ID!
  ownedTokens: [Token!]! @derivedFrom(field: "owner")
  balance: BigInt

type Contract @entity {
  id: ID!
  name: String
  symbol: String
  totalSupply: BigInt
  mintedTokens: [Token!]! @derivedFrom(field: "contract")

type Transfer @entity {
  id: ID!
  token: Token!
  from: Owner
  to: Owner
  timestamp: BigInt!
  block: Int!
  transactionHash: String!

It's worth noting a couple of things in this schema definition:

  • @entity - signals that this type will be translated into an ORM model that is going to be persisted in the database
  • @derivedFrom - signals the field will not be persisted on the database, it will rather be derived
  • type references (i.e. from: Owner) - establishes a relation between two entities

To generate TypeScript entity classes for the schema definition, you'll run the codegen tool:

npx sqd codegen

You will find the auto-generated files under src/model/generated.

Subsquid Project structure

ABI Definition and Wrapper

Subsquid offers support for automatically building TypeScript type-safe interfaces for Substrate data sources (events, extrinsics, storage items). Changes are automatically detected in the runtime. To generate TypeScript interfaces and decode functions specifically for EVM logs, you can use Subsquid's evm-typegen tool.

To extract and process ERC-721 data, it is necessary to obtain the definition of its Application Binary Interface (ABI). This can be obtained in the form of a JSON file, which will be imported into the project.

  1. Create an abis foldet and create a JSON file for the ERC-721 ABI

    mkdir src/abis
    touch src/abis/ERC721.json
  2. Copy the ABI for the ERC-721 Interface and paste it in the ERC721.json file


The ERC-721 ABI defines the signatures of all events in the contract. The Transfer event has three arguments, named: from, to, and tokenId. Their types are, respectively, address, address, and uint256. As such, the actual definition of the Transfer event looks like this: Transfer(address, address, uint256).

Adjust TypeScript Configuration

In order to be able to read and import the ABI JSON file in TypeScript code, you need to add an option to the tsconfig.json file. Open the file and add the "resolveJsonModule": true option to the "compilerOptions" section:

// tsconfig.json
  "compilerOptions": {
    "resolveJsonModule": true

Use the ABI to Get and Decode Event Data

To automatically generate TypeScript interfaces from an ABI definition, and decode event data, simply run this command from the project's root folder:

npx squid-evm-typegen --abi src/abi/ERC721.json --output src/abi/erc721.ts

The abi parameter points at the JSON file previously created, and the output parameter is the name of the file that will be generated by the command itself.

Define and Bind Event Handler(s)

The Subsquid SDK provides users with a processor class, named SubstrateProcessor or, in this specific case SubstrateEvmProcessor. The processor connects to the Subsquid archive to get chain data. It loops from the configured starting block, until the configured end block, or until new data is added to the chain.

The processor exposes methods to "attach" functions that will "handle" specific data such as Substrate events, extrinsics, storage items, or EVM logs. These methods can be configured by specifying the event or extrinsic name, or the EVM log contract address, for example. As the processor loops over the data, when it encounters one of the configured event names, it will execute the logic in the "handler" function.

Before getting started with the event handler, it is necessary to define some constants and some helper functions to manage the EVM contract. You can create an additional file for these items:

touch src/contract.ts

Manage the EVM contract

In the src/contract.ts file, you'll take the following steps:

  1. Define the chain node endpoint (optional but useful)
  2. Create a contract interface to store information such as the address and ABI
  3. Define functions to fetch a contract entity from the database or create one
  4. Define the processTransfer EVM log handler, implementing logic to track token transfers
// src/contracts.ts
import { assertNotNull, Store } from "@subsquid/substrate-evm-processor";
import { ethers } from "ethers";
import * as erc721 from "./abi/erc721";
import { Contract } from "./model";

export const CHAIN_NODE = "wss://";

export const contract = new ethers.Contract(
  new ethers.providers.WebSocketProvider(assertNotNull(CHAIN_NODE))

export function createContractEntity(): Contract {
  return new Contract({
    id: contract.address,
    name: "Moonsama",
    symbol: "MSAMA",
    totalSupply: 1000n,

let contractEntity: Contract | undefined;

export async function getContractEntity({
}: {
  store: Store;
}): Promise<Contract> {
  if (contractEntity == null) {
    contractEntity = await store.get(Contract, contract.address);
  return assertNotNull(contractEntity);

async function processTransfer(ctx: EvmLogHandlerContext): Promise<void> {
  const transfer =

  let from = await, transfer.from);
  if (from == null) {
    from = new Owner({ id: transfer.from, balance: 0n });

  let to = await,;
  if (to == null) {
    to = new Owner({ id:, balance: 0n });

  let token = await, transfer.tokenId.toString());
  if (token == null) {
    token = new Token({
      id: transfer.tokenId.toString(),
      uri: await contract.tokenURI(transfer.tokenId),
      contract: await getContractEntity(ctx),
      owner: to,
  } else {
    token.owner = to;

    new Transfer({
      id: ctx.txHash,
      timestamp: BigInt(ctx.substrate.block.timestamp),
      block: ctx.substrate.block.height,
      transactionHash: ctx.txHash,

The "handler" function takes in a Context of the correct type (EvmLogHandlerContext, in this case). The context contains the triggering event and the interface to store data, and is used to extract and process data and save it to the database.


For the event handler, it is also possible to bind an "arrow function" to the processor.

Create Processor and Attach Handler

Now you can attach the handler function to the processor and configure the processor for execution. This is done by editing the src/processor.ts file.

  1. Remove the preexisting code
  2. Update the imports to include the CHAIN_NODE and contract constant, the getContractEntity and createContractEntity helper functions, the processTransfer handler function, and events mapping
  3. Create a processor using the SubstrateEvmProcessor and pass in a name of your choice. For this example, you can use moonriver-substrate or feel free to update it for the network you're developing on
  4. Update the data source and types bundle
  5. Attach the EVM log handler function and a pre-block hook which will create and save a contract entity in the database
// src/processor.ts
import {
} from "@subsquid/substrate-evm-processor";
import { lookupArchive } from "@subsquid/archive-registry";
import { CHAIN_NODE, contract, createContractEntity, getContractEntity, processTransfer } from "./contract";
import { events } from "./abi/erc721";
import { Owner, Token, Transfer } from "./model";

const processor = new SubstrateEvmProcessor("moonriver-substrate");

  chain: CHAIN_NODE,
  archive: lookupArchive("moonriver")[0].url,

processor.addPreHook({ range: { from: 0, to: 0 } }, async (ctx) => {

    filter: [events["Transfer(address,address,uint256)"].topic],

If you are adapting this guide for Moonbeam or Moonbase Alpha, be sure to update the data source to the correct network:

  chain: CHAIN_NODE,
  archive: lookupArchive("moonbeam")[0].url,
  chain: CHAIN_NODE,
  archive: lookupArchive("moonriver")[0].url,
  chain: CHAIN_NODE,
  archive: lookupArchive("moonbase")[0].url,


The lookupArchive function is used to consult the archive registry and yield the archive address, given a network name. Network names should be in lowercase.

Launch and Set Up the Database

When running the project locally, as it is the case for this guide, it is possible to use the docker-compose.yml file that comes with the template to launch a PostgreSQL container. To do so, run the following command in your terminal:

docker-compose up -d

Image from Gyazo


The -d parameter is optional, it launches the container in daemon mode so the terminal will not be blocked and no further output will be visible.

Squid projects automatically manage the database connection and schema, via an ORM abstraction.

To set up the database, you can take the following steps:

  1. Build the code

    npm run build
  2. Remove the template's default migration:

    rm -rf db/migrations/*.js
  3. Make sure the Postgres Docker container, squid-template_db_1, is running

    docker ps -a
  4. Drop the current database (if you have never run the project before, this is not necessary), create a new database, create the initial migration, and apply the migration

    npx sqd db drop
    npx sqd db create
    npx sqd db create-migration Init
    npx sqd db migrate

    Drop the database, re-create it, generate a migration and apply it

Launch the Project

To launch the processor (this will block the current terminal), you can run the following command:

node -r dotenv/config lib/processor.js

Image from Gyazo

Finally, in a separate terminal window, launch the GraphQL server:

npx squid-graphql-server

Visit localhost:4350/graphql to access the GraphiQl console. From this window, you can perform queries such as this one, to find out the account owners with the biggest balances:

query MyQuery {
  owners(limit: 10, where: {}, orderBy: balance_DESC) {

Or this other one, looking up the tokens owned by a given owner:

query MyQuery {
  tokens(where: {owner: {id_eq: "0x495E889d1A6cEB447a57dcc1C68410299392380c"}}) {
    contract {

GraphiQL playground with some sample queries

Have some fun playing around with queries, after all, it's a playground!

Publish the Project

Subsquid offers a SaaS solution to host projects created by its community. Please refer to the Deploy your Squid tutorial on Subquid's documentation site for more information.

You can also check out other projects hosted there, by heading to the Aquarium, because that's where Squids are!

Example Project Repository

You can view the finalized and complete project on GitHub.

Subsquid's documentation contains informative material and it's the best place to start, if you are curious about some aspects that were not fully explained in this guide.

The information presented herein has been provided by third parties and is made available solely for general information purposes. Moonbeam does not endorse any project listed and described on the Moonbeam Doc Website ( Moonbeam Foundation does not warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of this information. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. Moonbeam Foundation disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on this information by you or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents. All statements and/or opinions expressed in these materials are solely the responsibility of the person or entity providing those materials and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Moonbeam Foundation. The information should not be construed as professional or financial advice of any kind. Advice from a suitably qualified professional should always be sought in relation to any particular matter or circumstance. The information herein may link to or integrate with other websites operated or content provided by third parties, and such other websites may link to this website. Moonbeam Foundation has no control over any such other websites or their content and will have no liability arising out of or related to such websites or their content. The existence of any such link does not constitute an endorsement of such websites, the content of the websites, or the operators of the websites. These links are being provided to you only as a convenience and you release and hold Moonbeam Foundation harmless from any and all liability arising from your use of this information or the information provided by any third-party website or service.