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Archethic's wallet specification

Onchain wallet (aka Keychain) is a wallet stored on Archethic blockchain in encrypted form.

This keychain aims to support several way to identify a user and its transaction chains. It can also support multichains identification through the use of key derivation and derivation path.

A keychain is then a wallet which stores a main master seed, with a list of services (Archethic chains / other crypto identification) encrypted and only accessible by a list of authorized public keys


  • w_{e} = Encoded Onchain Archethic Wallet
  • wk_{aes} = AES256 CTR Key used to encrypt w_{e}
  • enc(w_{e}) = AES256 CTR Encryption of w_{e} using wk_{aes}
  • ew_{aes} = Encoded enc(w_{e})
  • aes_key = AES256 CBC Key used to encrypt wk_{aes}
  • enc(wk_{aes}) = AES256 CBC Encryption of wk_{aes} using aes_key
  • ewk_{aes} = Encoded enc(wk_{aes})
  • encode(pub_key) = Encoded Public Key.
  • arch_address = Encoded Account Address.
  • o_{priv} = Origin Device Private Key
  • o_{pub} = Origin Device Public Key (raw 04xy)
  • encode(o_{pub}) = Encoded Origin Device Public Key
  • e_{key} = Ephemeral Key Pair
  • e_{pub} = Ephemeral Public Key (raw 04xy)
  • e_{priv} = Ephemeral Private Key


Derivation path

Archethic's keychain is using hierarchical derivation key scheme inspired by BIP32 to define a way to generate keys and addresses.

Because Archethic cryptography and transaction chain paradigm differs from traditional blockchain (used in BIP32/BIP44) we adapted it to use specific derivation scheme (as describe in the BIP43)

The main derivation path of Archethic keychain is: m/650'/account/index (where 650 is the Archethic transaction chain purpose - in the BIP43 terminology)

The account can be anything, by default 0 is the main uco transaction chain, but it could be customized to create more entropy.

The index is the number of transaction in the chain, used to compute the derived keys and addresses

Key derivation

In order to derive the keys using the derivation path mentioned above, we implemented our own key derivation scheme, which takes inspiration from BIP32 but simplifies it a bit.

Replace the derivation path index

Given the derivation path: m/650'/0/0, we change the last number (the transaction's index in the chain) we some variable provided by the application(ie: m/650'/0/1 will give the 1st transaction's address on the chain)

Hash of the derivation path

Once the derivation path index is replaced we hashed it to give a constant size through SHA256

hashedPath = SHA256(ReplaceDerivationPath(derivationPath, index))

Derive private key

Then we have to derive the private key based on the hashedPath and the master seed by using HMAC and extracting the first 32 bytes of the result

extendedSeed = HMAC-SHA512(Key=MasterSeed, Data=hashedPath)
extendedPrivateKey = extendedSeed.slice(0, 32)

Derive public key

Now with the given private key we can easily extract the public key for the given curve specified in the Keychain's service

{ publicKey, private } = generateKeyPair(extendedPrivateKey, curve)


The keychain is using a double encryption scheme where:

  • the wallet is encrypted with AES
  • the aes_key is encrypted with elliptic curve cryptography using ECIES (Elliptic Curve Integration Encryption Scheme): wk_{aes} for the authorized public keys

Ephemeral key is used to perform ECDH with authorized public key, in order to derive aes_key. This aes_key is then used to encrypt the wk_{aes}. This is called ECIESE(Elliptic Curve Integration Encryption Scheme Ephemeral)

Then to guarantee the security of the wallet, only the authorized public keys are able to decrypt the encrypted aes key(enc(aes_key)) to be able to decrypt the encrypted wallet (wk_{aes})

Encrypting the Onchain Wallet

The onchain encoded wallet w_{e} is encrypted using symmetric encryption AES256 CTR key wk_{aes} as follows:

wallet_iv [16 bytes], reserved [16 bytes] = sha256(sha256(wk_{aes})) 
enc(w_{e}) = aes256(mode=ctr, key = wk_{aes}, iv = wallet_iv, data = w_{e})

Encoding of Encrypted Wallet

The above encrypted wallet enc(w_{e}) is stored on the Archethic Blockchain with the following format.

enc(w_{e}) [bytes]

Encrypting Wallet Encryption Key

The key (wk_{aes}) which encrypts the wallet (w_{e}) is subsequently encrypted using Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme to support different authorized public keys and to reduce the increased space overhead of the encryptions.

Algorithm$ for encrypting wk_{aes}= ECIES (ECDH + AES256 CBC)

ecdh_secret = ecdh_point_x(e_{pub}, o_{priv}) = ecdh_point_x(e_{priv}, o_{pub}) 

aes_key [32 bytes], iv [16 bytes], auth_seed [16 bytes] = sha512(sha512(ecdh\_secret))

enc(wk_{aes}) = aes256(mode=cbc, key = aes\_key, iv = iv, data = wk_{aes})

auth_key = sha256(auth_seed)

auth_tag [16 bytes], reserved [16 bytes] = hmac256(key = auth_key, data = enc(wk_{aes}))

Encoding of Encrypted Wallet Key

The above encrypted key enc(wk_{aes}) is stored on the Archethic Blockchain with the following format.

e_{pub} 04xy [bytes]auth_tag [16 bytes]enc(wk_{aes}) [32 bytes]


The wallet before encryption is encoding into a binary format

Encoding of wallet

VersionSeed sizeSeedNb servicesService name sizeService nameDerivation path lengthDerivation pathCurve typeHash type...
4 bytes1 byteN bytes1 byte1 byteN bytes1 byteN bytes1 byte1 byte...

Encoding of Curve Types

The curve_type is a 1 byte long field, hex encoded. Currently, following curves are supported:

  • 0: ED25519
  • 1: NISTP256
  • 2: SECP256K1

Encoding of Hash Types

The hash_type is a 1 byte long field, hex encoded. Currently, following hashes are supported:

  • 0: SHA256 (sha2)
  • 1: SHA512 (sha2)
  • 2: SHA3_256 (keccak)
  • 3: SHA3_512 (keccak)
  • 4: BLAKE2B

Transaction representation

- Data:
- Ownerships:
Secret: Encrypted Wallet,
Authorized Keys:
Public Key: Origin Device / Password Public Key,
Encrypted Secret Key: Encrypted AES Key for the authorized public key


Public Key Format

When clients have to produce public key, an origin type identification byte have to prepend before the key material as well as the curve type.

Curve IDOrigin IDKey material
1 byte1 byteN bytes

The origin_type is a 1 byte long field, hex encoded. Currently, following origins are defined:

  • 0: Onchain Wallet
  • 1: Software Wallet (Node, Mobile App, Desktop, etc.)
  • 2: TPM (Node)
  • 3: Yubikey (Node, Hardware Wallet)
  • 4: Ledger (Hardware Wallet)

Account Address Format

Archethic addresses following a specific format to version algorithms used helping to evolve easily between curves and hash algorithms.

Curve TypeHash algohash(encode(pub_key))
1 byte1 byteN bytes