0.5.0 • Published 11 months ago

orbit-db-identity-provider v0.5.0

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11 months ago


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Default identity provider for OrbitDB

Identities is a package to manage identities in @OrbitDB

Table of Contents


This project uses npm and nodejs

$ npm i --save orbit-db-identity-provider


The Identity object contains signatures proving possession of some external identifier and an OrbitDB public key. This is included to allow proof of ownership of an external identifier within OrbitDB.

Creating an identity

import Identities from 'orbit-db-identity-provider'
const options = { id: 'local-id'}
const identity = await Identities.createIdentity(options)

// prints
  id: '045757bffcc7a4f4cf94c0cf214b3d3547a62195a09588df36b74aff837b2fdc14551360a323bf9de2ac8fb2eda9bd1bae5de53577a8db41ee2b46b4bf8cd7be33',
  publicKey: '04b5c54ef8f2514a58338e64aa08aa6052c3cfef1225a10b51017f2ad63a92fb166e7a19cba44321c9402ab1b62c940cd5e65e81e4d584c1208dbd021f6e22c6f5',
  signatures:  {
    id: '3046022100aab534483f474bd3791eb9dcf1f61b6bdb4b07f70e8eca1ea7b530ac0ca13ca1022100e9d95eeeacc9813808400eb37f8aae6be7873df460d2a03e7a19132e34f0bd16',
    publicKey: '30440220514b6fee38cbec96d9851905e575d6e209834c94be5e009a8261737d4ef23dfc0220794fa8dee564701d337b68fdbeef76bb81d777154c211d84ac345ec287a2a8e1'
  type: 'orbitdb'

If options.type is not specified, Identities will default to creating an identity with type 'orbitdb', meaning the signing key will sign another OrbitDB public key. This public key can be an already-existing OrbitDB key allowing you to link several keys to a 'master' OrbitDB key to, for example, link keys across devices.

To use an existing keystore, you can pass it as an argument in the options as follows:

const identity = await Identities.createIdentity({ id: 'local-id', keystore: existingKeystore })

Creating an identity with a DID

Decentralized Identifiers (DID) is a common way to represent a digital identity. Below is an example using the did:key method (specifically key-did-provider-ed25519).

import { Ed25519Provider } from 'key-did-provider-ed25519'
import KeyResolver from 'key-did-resolver'
import Identities from 'orbit-db-identity-provider'

const seed = // 32 bytes of entropy (Uint8Array)
const didProvider = new Ed25519Provider(seed)
const identity = await Identities.createIdentity({ type: 'DID', didProvider })

Creating an identity with an Ethereum wallet

Identities can also be created using Ethereum wallets. The example below uses ethers to open a users wallet and sign the identity.

import Identities from "orbit-db-identity-provider";
import { ethers } from "ethers";

const provider = new ethers.providers.Web3Provider(/* window.ethereum */);
const wallet = provider.getSigner();
const identity = await Identities.createIdentity({
  type: "ethereum",

Note: If you don't supply a wallet, a random one will be created for you.

Create identity using existing keys

To create an identity using existing keys, you need to install localstorage-level-migration

import Identities from 'orbit-db-identity-provider'
import migrate from 'localstorage-level-migration'
const options = { id: 'new-id', migrate: migrate('/path/to/keys') }
const identity = await Identities.createIdentity(options)

// prints
  id: '<new-id>',
  publicKey: '<compressed-original-key>',
  signatures:  {
    id: '<new-id-signed-by-public-key>',
    publicKey: '<public-key-signed-by-id>'
  type: 'orbitdb'

Adding a custom identity signer and verifier

To link an OrbitDB signing key with an external identity, you must provide a custom class which implements the IdentityProvider interface.

class MyIdentityProvider extends IdentityProvider {
  static get type () { return 'MyIdentityType' } // return type
  async getId () { } // return identifier of external id (eg. a public key)
  async signIdentity (data) { } //return a signature of data (signature of the OrbtiDB public key)
  static async verifyIdentity (identity) { } //return true if identity.sigantures are valid


// to create an identity of type `MyIdentityType`
const identity = await Identities.createIdentity({ type: `MyIdentityType`})



Returns the ID of the external identity.


Returns the signing key used to sign OrbitDB entries.


Returns an object containing two signatures

{ id: <id-signature>, publicKey: <pub-key+id-siganture> }

The first signature, id, is identity.id signed by identiy.publicKey. This allows the owner of id to prove they own the private key associated with publicKey. The second signature publicKey is created by signing the concatenation identity.signature.id + identity.publicKey using identity.id. This links the two identifiers.


Please, feel free to contribute! Take a look at the issues, and comment on an existing issue or create a new one if you have questions, bugs, or suggestions. For larger PRs, open an issue first if you could - drive-by PRs are also welcomed.

Please abide by the Code of Conduct. For more on contributing to @OrbitDB, check out the docs in orbitdb/welcome.


Run tests with:

$ npm test


The build script will build the distribution file for browsers.

$ npm run build


Please use standard. To check,

$ npm run lint


MIT © 2018 Haja Networks Oy