# Cryptography overview Key Concept

In the blockchain world you must rely on cryptography to make it happen! unikname.network blockchain cryptography is based on ARK.IO (opens new window) basics augmented with specificities related to Decentralized Identifiers and Decentralized Public Key Infrastructure requirements.

# Cryptoaccount

Traditional blockchain accounts are represented by a public and private key pair. These accounts handle a balance of fungible tokens (e.g. coin or utility token).

Within unikname.network we call these accounts the crypto-accounts to be more meaningful. These crypto-accounts are represented by a PublicKey and PrivateKey pair, as well as a public address and a passphrase. The address is built via a combination of RIPEMD160 hashing and Base58Check encoding prefixed by a single network byte.

unikname.network crypto-accounts handle both the $UNIK protocol tokens, and UNIKNAME Non Fungible Tokens representing UniknameID. They are protected and secured by a passphrase.

# unikid

Every UniknameID is represented within the unikname.network blockchain as a UNIKNAME NFT. Each UNIKNAME is encoded on the chain with a hashcode, its unikid. Every unikid is "embedded" into a public key and can't exist without it. The unikid is the obfuscated, public part of a UniknameID, the human-readable string representing a UniknameID is not public, unless its owner decides to disclose it.

# Overview


# Resolving a crypto-account

Here is an example of the public address of a crypto-account on unikname.network: UVxGz3EKDqx4h8LLz2ao2GoDNPx4uHf25k

Public addresses are derived from the associated public key. The public key is calculated from the private key, that is itself derived from the passphrase. This is why a crypto-account's passphrase is enough to recover all of the cryptographic material of this crypto-account. It should therefore be protected from theft and from loss.

Here is an example of on-chain public information available when you query this public address on unikname.network.

  "data": {
    "address": "UVxGz3EKDqx4h8LLz2ao2GoDNPx4uHf25k",
    "publicKey": "03c583c31c0ed365fecaf1dc88edd003e78d6bbded8923b355d878489284ea54ec",
    "secondPublicKey": "022b3d124aa60fb6ac0eb7576877a4c6197f8fd5aaa772f884c6269bf7829ba31e",
    "balance": 95,
    "token": "uns",
    "isDelegate": false,
    "vote": "02b43b9786808a4f415dbbdc5adab7e17bd0dde904d3dc6dd869bf11ae0f7a054d",
    "nfts": {
      "unik": 2
    "tokens": {
      "unik": [

Every UniknameID is associated (and owned) by a single crypto-account. A crypto-account however can be associated with multiple UniknameID.


To find the crypto-account associated with a UniknameID, you can use the universal resolver.

$ uns resolve @jack-sparrow?*


$ uns resolve @jack-sparow?*

return the same crypto-account in this example.

# Passphrase

The passphrase is the master password (key) for your $UNIK and UNIKNAME tokens. Every unikname.network address has its own unique passphrase. With the passphrase you can sign transactions to send your $UNIK, and manage your UniknameID represented by UNIKNAME tokens. More important is that the combination of your passphrase and a pincode or a fingerprint on your smartphone enable you to sign-in and sign-up everywhere.

Do not loose your passphrase, and do not share it with others! You could loose access to your $UNIK tokens as well as your access to all of the websites you are used to connect to. If you loose your passphrase, or if it is stolen, there is nothing we can do to help you. Unikname CANNOT recover any lost passphrases.

The passphrase is used to directly calculate the PrivateKey of a unikname.network crypto-account and should never be shared, stored irresponsibly, or transmitted over the internet. The only person that should ever have access to a passphrase is the owner of the associated crypto-account.

You can technically use any word, phrase, or string as a passphrase which will result in a valid unikname.network crypto-account; however, it is heavily discouraged as the security of a crypto-account is heavily dependant on the randomness of its passphrase. Humans are bad at creating randomness. Entering sequences of random letters and numbers isn't easy to do accurately.

unikname.network passphrases are implemented using ARK.IO cryptography (opens new window), based on the BIP39 Protocol, and are a combination of twelve words.

# PrivateKey

A PrivateKey is a 256-bit integer represented by a 32-byte Hex-encoded string of 64 characters obtained via SHA256 hashing (opens new window) of a Passphrase.

To understand the significance of this large number, consider the following:


"this is a top secret passphrase"

PrivateKey HEX (base 16) / SHA256 of Passphrase:


PrivateKey DEC(base 10 encoded):


The DEC representation is the "base 10" interpretation of our PrivateKey and gives us a little insight into the size of the numbers we're dealing with "under the hood". This large integer is also referred to as a "BigNumber" or UINT256.

# PublicKey

A PublicKey is like an ID or Passport. It is a mathematical proof of identity and is derived from a PrivateKey via ECDSA or SECP256K1 computation.

unikname.network also uses "Point Compression" to obtain compressed PublicKeys that are 33-bytes in length.

# Network Prefixes

Network dec hex Prefix Example address
Livenet 68 0x44 U UYWaMkArHJjMecuHgs6LYapFtvV27QeafX
Sandbox 63 0x3F S SMoCXZbMHTBLFtg15GnRYuFyUFk2gt44zb

# Signature

A Signature is essentially a proof that a message or transaction was "signed" by a particular PrivateKey / Passphrase.

Remember that this same PrivateKey also has a matching PublicKey. That means a Signature is computationally linked to its corresponding PublicKey using ECDSA and SECP256K1 standards.

unikname.network Signatures use DER Encoding.

# Algorithms


ECDSA (opens new window) is a "Digital Signature Algorithm" (opens new window) variant based on and "Modular Arithmetic" (opens new window).

It is a standard to sign and verify transactions/messages and Signatures using Elliptical Curve Cryptography (opens new window).

ECDSA Equation
y2 = x3 + ax + b

# SECP256K1

SECP256K1 (opens new window) defines the set of ECDSA parameters used to produce output "deterministically", meaning the same input will always result in the same output. Additionally, no two inputs will ever produce the same output; It is also hard to reverse. This is known as the Discrete Logarithm Problem (opens new window) and is the basis for Curve Cryptography.

Curve Parameters
a = 0
b = 7
SECP256K1 Equation
y2 = x3 + (0)x + (7)
y2 = x3 + 7

Can the reader say what two numbers multiplied together will produce the number 8616460799? I think it unlikely that anyone but myself will ever know.

~ William S Jevons, The Principles of Science, 1874

# Encoding


A unikname.network Signature is DER Encoded (opens new window) using BIP66 (opens new window) standards.

Upon obtaining a Signature from the ECDSA/SECP256K1 algorithm, it will first be in its raw form known as an "r" and "s" value.

Signature (r, s):

(0fb4adddd1f1d652b544ea6ab62828a0a65b712ed447e2538db0caebfa68929e, 5ecb2e1c63b29879c2ecf1255db506d671c8b3fa6017f67cfd1bf07e6edd1cc8)

In our example, the "r" and "s" values are each 32-bytes in length. Each of the "r" and "s" sequence identifiers are also 1-byte in length. Additionally, the slots for the size of "r" and "s" each occupy 1-byte.

This means that the length of the "r" and "s" values is 64-bytes. The (r,s) section identifiers and their sizes occupy a total of 4-bytes.

The total length of our signature is 68-bytes (0x44 in hex).

Identifier Size (dec) Size (hex)
r sequence 1 0x1
r size 1 0x1
r-value: 32 0x20
s sequence 1 0x1
s size 1 0x1
s-value 32 0x20
total length 68 0x44

The very first byte of an encoded signature is the sequence identifier 30.

To encode the (r, s) values, we place 30 as the leading byte, followed by the total signature length (0x44 in this example).

We then place the sequence identifier for "r" (02), proceeded by the size of "r" in hex (0x20), proceeded by the r-value itself (0fb4adddd1f1d652b544ea6ab62828a0a65b712ed447e2538db0caebfa68929e).

Finally, we place the sequence identifier for "s" (02), proceeded by the size of "s" in hex (0x20), proceeded by the s-value itself (5ecb2e1c63b29879c2ecf1255db506d671c8b3fa6017f67cfd1bf07e6edd1cc8).

DER Encoded Signature:


# BASE58check

Base58Check (opens new window) encoding is used to produce human readable/typeable text from a hash.

It is used to encode a PrivateKey and is also the final step to encoding an unikname.network address.

# Hashing


RIPEMD160 (opens new window) is a subset of the RIPEMD (opens new window) family of cryptographic hash functions (opens new window).

As its name suggests, RIPEMD160 hashes are 160-bits in length.

# SHA256

SHA256 is a subset of the SHA-2 (opens new window) family of cryptographic hash functions (opens new window).

As its name suggests, SHA256 hashes are 256-bits in length.

# More about cryptography

For more cryptographic information about we recommend to read the ARK.IO documentation (opens new window).