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Contributors: Dan MacDonald, Jack Smith (Longview Labs)
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Wallets and Keys

Arweave Wallets

On Arweave a wallet secures a unique address on the blockchain. The address is used to keep track of your $AR balance, and interact with the Arweave network - such as sending transactions, or interacting with SmartWeave Contracts.

Like most blockchains, the concept of a wallet on Arweave is slightly misleading.

A Wallet does not "hold" any tokens itself; token balances are stored on the blockchain and linked to the wallets address. Instead a wallet holds the cryptographic public-private key pair that can be used to sign transactions to post data or transfer tokens. The wallet owner (the person with access to the wallet's private key) is the only one who can sign transactions for the address and access its funds.

Keypair and Wallet Format

Arweave uses 4096bit RSA-PSS key-pairs stored using the JWK (JSON Web Keys) format. The JWK format can be used to store many types of cryptographic keys, not just RSA key-pairs.

Shown here is the contents of a JWK file which describes an RSA-PSS key-pair. The values are abbreviated so they are not accidentally used as the sender or recipient of an on-chain transaction. When storing RSA-PSS key-pairs the value associated with n in the JWK is your wallets public key and can be shared safely without compromising the security of your wallet.

	"d": "cgeeu66FlfX9wVgZr5AXKlw4MxTlxSuSwMtTR7mqcnoE...",
	"dp": "DezP9yvB13s9edjhYz6Dl...",
	"dq": "SzAT5DbV7eYOZbBkkh20D...",
	"e": "AQAB",
	"ext": true,
	"kty": "RSA",
	"n": "o4FU6y61V1cBLChYgF9O37S4ftUy4newYWLApz4CXlK8...",
	"p": "5ht9nFGnpfW76CPW9IEFlw...",
	"q": "tedJwzjrsrvk7o1-KELQxw...",
	"qi": "zhL9fXSPljaVZ0WYhFGPU..."

Your private key is also stored in the JWK, primarily under the value associated with d but it is also partially derived from some of the other values in the JWK. The private key is like the password for your wallet - which can be used to create digital signatures (such as for signing transactions), or decrypting data.

These JWKs are actual json files created and exported from a wallet app such as Arweave.appopen in new window or generated through code using arweave-jsopen in new window.

When using a wallet app to generate your key-pair your private key can also be represented as a mnemonic seed phrase, which in some cases can be used as an alternative to sign transactions and/or recover your wallet.

Wallet Safety

Your private key must be kept confidential at all times as it has the ability to transfer tokens from your address to someone elses. As a developer, make sure not to include your keyfile in any public GitHub repositories or host it anywhere else publicly.

Wallet Addresses

Interestingly the address of your wallet is derived from its public key. While it's safe to share your public key with others, a 4096bit public key is a bit large to pass around conveniently. To reduce that overhead and keep wallet addresses a little more human readable, the SHA-256 hash of the public key is Base64URL encoded and used as the wallet address. This security and deterministically links a unique 43 character wallet address to the wallets public-key and provides a convenient shorthand that anyone with the public-key can verify.


Arweave.appopen in new window - Arweave web wallet to deploy permanent data, connect your accounts securely to decentralized applications, and navigate the weave.

ArConnectopen in new window - Arweave Wallet Browser Extension

Sources and Further Reading:

Arweave Docsopen in new window

JSON Web Key Format (RFC 7517)open in new window