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📦➿📦➿📦 Intuitive and insightful blockchain explorer 🔎


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Implementation of an intuitive and insightful blockchain explorer. The Columbus project is a project aiming to facilitate the visualization of the Byzcoin blockchain by providing a unified and interactive visualization tool.

This tool is a web based application written in typescript, bundled with webpack, and using the d3 and rxjs librairies.

👌 Quick TL;DR setup:

  1. Rename src/roster.ts.template to src/roster.ts
  2. Install dependencies with npm install
  3. Bundle the app with npm run bundle
  4. You are ready to go, open index.html

Play with it


"Browsable" chain

Browse the chain with your mouse with drag and zoom. Blocks will naturally load. Actions are also accessible through buttons.

Explore block

Click on blocks to check their content. Many element display additional hints.

Follow evolution of an instance

Check the evolution of a smart contract instance. You can get blocks and instruction related to a particular instance.

Perform search

Use the top search bar to retrieve a particular block. You can select among many different search attribute.

... and many more

Additional features include:

  • Block export to json
  • Tutorial to introduce functionalities to new users
  • Upload of a custom roster
  • Statistics and status about the chain
  • Ability to follow block links


  • Typescript, as the frontend language
  • NPM, as the package manager
  • Webpack, as the bundler
  • d3, as the visualization library
  • RxJS, as the reactive programming library
  • UIkit, as the CSS framework

Setup (ubuntu)

See details

Install nodejs and npm:

sudo apt-get install nodejs
sudo apt-get install npm

Rename src/roster.ts.template to src/roster.ts. By default it uses the DEDIS roster.

Otherwise, follow instructions in the next section to run a local conode and get a local roster configuration.

Finally, install dependencies with npm install.

You are ready to use the app: bundle it with npm run bundle and open index.html.

If you need to run a local blockchain

If you are developing on Columbus you will need to use a local blockchain in order to avoid over-loading a node running the production blockchain.

Download and extract the latest binaries from Choose the folder corresponding to your environment (only Mac and Linux is supported) and run the byzcoin binary in "proxy" mode. You need to provide an existing database. You can download a cached database reflecting the production data at

Then, run the node in "proxy" mode with :

./byzcoin proxy <MY_DATABASE.db>

That's it ! This will run a node listening on

You can stop it with ctrl + C.

There are additional options that you can spot with ./byzcoin proxy -h.

You can then use the following roster in your roster.ts:

  Url = ""
  Suite = "Ed25519"
  Public = "0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000"

Some useful commands

Bundle the project (from the root): npm run bundle
Watch for source code changes and automatically bundle: npm run watch
Check TypeScript code formatting: npm run lint
Check if the code is well formatted: npm run isPretty
Format the code: npm run makePretty

Recommendations for Visual Studio Code

See details


Add vertical lines at columns 80 and 100: editor.rulers -> Edit in settings.json -> "editor.rulers": [80,100]


Live Server

Purpose: Automatically refresh the html upon compile
Install: ritwickdey.liveserver

  • Right click on index.html
  • Open with Live Server

Prettier - Code formatter

Purpose: Automatically format the code
Install: esbenp.prettier-vscode
Setup: setting editor.defaultFormatter -> select esbenp.prettier-vscode

  • Open Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P)
  • Format Document

TypeScript Hero

Purpose: Automatically organize TypeScript imports
Install: rbbit.typescript-hero

  • Open Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P)
  • TS Hero: Organize imports


Purpose: Automatically reformat comments to a given line length (default is 80)
Install: stkb.rewrap

  • Open Command Palette (Ctrl+Shift+P)
  • Rewrap Comment / Text

Comment Anchor

Purpose: Place anchor tags within comments for easy file & workspace navigation. Install: ext install ExodiusStudios.comment-anchors Use:

  • Use \\ANCHOR and \\SECTION to delimitate code regions
  • Use \\TODO, \\FIXME to mark specific areas
  • Read the documentation for more features

Production deployment

A change on the production branch automatically triggers a deployment on

The production branch must only be used that way:

# Trigger a deployment:
git push origin master:production

Dev deployment

A change on the deploy-dev branch automatically triggers a deployment on

The deploy-dev branch must only be used that way:

# Trigger a deployment:
git push origin <source branch>:deploy-dev


Generate the documentation: npm run doc

Design Guidelines

Can be found in the most recent report


Supervision and integration

  • Noémien Kocher

Student project Spring 2020:

Student project Fall 2020:

  • Sophia Artioli
  • Lucas Trognon

Common report

Student project Spring 2021:

  • Rosa Jose Sara
  • Pilar Marxer

Common report