# Cryptography overview Key Concept

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

# Cryptoaccount

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

Within unikname.network we call these accounts the cryptoaccounts to be more meaningful. These cryptoaccounts are represented by a couple of a PublicKey and PrivateKey, and also by 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.

Then unikname.network cryptoaccounts handle both the UNIK protocol tokens, and UNIKNAME Non Fungible Tokens representing @unikname. They're protected and secured by a passphrase.

# unikid

Every @unikname is encoded within the unikname.network blockchain with a hashcode, its unikid. Every unikid is "embedded" into a public key and can't exists without it. The unikid is the public part of a @unikname, the human-readable string representing a @unikname is not public, unless its owner decide to disclose it.

# Overview


# Resolving a cryptoaccount

Here is an example of the public address of a cryptoaccount on unikname.network: UVxGz3EKDqx4h8LLz2ao2GoDNPx4uHf25k

For every public address there's a public key, associated with a private key, and encrypted with a passphrase. Here is an example of on-chain public informations 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 @unikname has a single cryptoaccount, but a cryptoaccount can embed multiple @unikname.


To know the cryptoaccount of a @unikname you can use the universal resolver.

$ uns resolve @jack-sparrow?*


$ uns resolve @jack-sparow?*

return the same cryptoaccount in this example.

# Passphrase

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

So, do not lose your Passphrase, and do not share it with others. You could lose access to your UNIK tokens but above all you could loose access to all website you're connected to. If you lose your passphrase, or if it is stolen, there is nothing we can do to help you. We CANNOT recover any lost passphrases.

The passphrase is used to directly calculate the PrivateKey of an unikname.network blockchain 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 its account.

We can technically use any word, phrase, or string as a passphrase which will result in a valid unikname.network cryptoaccount; however, it is heavily discouraged as the security of an address relies on the randomness of its Passphrase. Humans are bad at creating randomness, and 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 is 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 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


An 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).