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Precautions and Limits


As a state channel participant, it is advised to check the FixedPart of any channel before joining it. The section on states explains these checks.


There are also some limits to be aware of, which apply to the VariablePart. We describe these limits via some exported constants:

import {
} from "@statechannels/nitro-protocol";
Constant Notes
MAX_TX_DATA_SIZE Reflects the typical effective maximum size for ethereum transaction data. This is set by ethereum clients such as geth. At the time of writing this is 128KB.
NITRO_MAX_GAS An upper limit on the gas consumed by a transaction that we consider "safe" in the sense that it is below the block gas limit on mainnet and most testnets. At the time of writing this constant is set to 6M gas.
MAX_OUTCOME_ITEMS Denotes a safe upper limit on the number of allocationItems that may be stored in an outcome. We deem this number safe because the resulting transaction size is less than MAX_TX_DATA_SIZE and the transaction consumes less than NITRO_MAX_GAS (as confirmed by our test suite). This is for the challenge transaction, with the other fields in the state set to modest values (e.g. 2 participants). If those fields grow, MAX_OUTCOME_ITEMS may no longer be safe. At the time of writing this constant is set to 2000 allocation items.

Paying out tokens from a state channel is potentially one of the most expensive operations from a gas perspective (if the recipient does not have any already, the transaction will consume 20K gas per pay out). The same is true of channels paying out (ETH or tokens) to other channels on chain. Bear this in mind when deciding whether to transfer one, many-at-a-time or all-at-once of the tokens from a finalized channel outcome. NITRO_MAX_GAS / 20000 would be a sensible choice. Remember to leave some headroom for the transfer method's intrinsic gas costs: our test suite confirms that at least 100 Token payouts are possible.

TLDR: stick to outcomes withe fewer than MAX_OUTCOME_ITEMS entries, and don't try to transfer many more than NITRO_MAX_GAS / 20000 tokens in one transfer transaction.