I am creating transactions using web3j and passing some private data in that transaction. The transaction is also getting mined . I have subscribed to the mined blocks, where I am fetching the transactions added in the mined block. I want to retrieve the input data passed earlier, but unable to get it. Please help me here.

Code for transacting using web3j:

RawTransactionManager rawTransactionManager =  new RawTransactionManager(web3j ,credentials,100,1000 * 15);

EthSendTransaction send = rawTransactionManager.sendTransaction(gasPrice, Transfer.GAS_LIMIT, toAddress, "<some private data>", BigInteger.valueOf(1));

String hash = send.getTransactionHash();

I also get the hash properly. Then, I subscribed to the blocks as follows:

Subscription subscriptionToBlocks = web3j.blockObservable(true).subscribe(block -> {
        List<TransactionResult> transactions = block.getBlock().getTransactions();
        if(transactions.size > 0){
            transactions.forEach(tx -> {
                  EthBlock.TransactionObject transaction = (EthBlock.TransactionObject) tx.get();
                  System.out.println("transaction data:"+transaction.getInput());

But this results in hex string, however, i want it decrypted again to process it further. Let me know how can i get the original data that was sent

  • 1
    Did you try to convert from Hex to UTF8 using web3.utils.toutf8 method ? Dec 18, 2018 at 16:39
  • 1
    @KakiMasterOfTime I am not using web3, but using web3j. I am parsing this data in java. Dec 19, 2018 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


Presumably your <some private data> is ASCII encoded and Ethereum converts everything in byte code (machine readable) and returns everything in hexadecimal (base16) which mess up the encoding.

So the solution consist in encoding your message in ASCII hex before sending the transaction.

public static String ASCIItoHEX(String ascii)  { 
    // Initialize final String 
    String hex = ""; 

    // Make a loop to iterate through 
    // every character of ascii string 
    for (int i = 0; i < ascii.length(); i++) { 

        // take a char from 
        // position i of string 
        char ch = ascii.charAt(i); 

        // cast char to integer and 
        // find its ascii value 
        int in = (int)ch; 

        // change this ascii value 
        // integer to hexadecimal value 
        String part = Integer.toHexString(in); 

        // add this hexadecimal value 
        // to final string. 
        hex += part; 
    // return the final string hex 
    return hex; 

So when you send you transaction, you only need to convert your message in Hex:

RawTransactionManager rawTransactionManager =  new RawTransactionManager(web3j, credentials, 4, 1000 * 15);
EthSendTransaction send = rawTransactionManager.sendTransaction(BigInteger.valueOf(1000000000000L), BigInteger.valueOf(100000L), "0xDD6325C45aE6fAbD028D19fa1539663Df14813a8", ASCIItoHEX("hello"), BigInteger.valueOf(1));
String hash = send.getTransactionHash();

You can see now the input data is correct: https://rinkeby.etherscan.io/tx/0xd3b67f1e67c4607cb0d6a2f02066d1d382843da0619d9f02bb8da5f1fc0bb66a

When you get the transaction after it's being mined, you only need to do the opposite:

String hexString = transaction.getInput();

// Remove the prefix 0x 
if(hexString.startsWith("0x")) {
    hexString = hexString.substring(2);

// Convert Base16 into a byte array 
byte[] byteArray = new BigInteger(hexString, 16).toByteArray();

// Pass the byte array to a String will re-encode it in ASCII.
String asciiString = new String(byteArray);



Useful links

  • 1
    Actually, <some private data> was my stringified json object Dec 19, 2018 at 1:39
  • 1
    For eg: I tried to save "hello", input property has "0xffdfef". Dec 19, 2018 at 2:41
  • 1
    Hey, I updated my answer! forgot that web3j mix up the encoding so you need to encode your input in hex. Dec 19, 2018 at 9:17

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