Learn about our RFC process, Open RFC meetings & more.Join in the discussion! »


3.0.1 • Public • Published


Build Status dependency status dev dependency status License

Nat(value) returns its argument if it represents a non-negative integer (i.e. a "natural number") that can be accurately represented as a JavaScript BigInt, a built-in object that can be used to represent arbitrarily large integers. If the argument is not a BigInt or the argument is negative, an exception is thrown. This makes it easy to use Nat() on incoming arguments, or as an assertion on generated values.

You can think of Nat() as a type enforcement.

How to use

Nat() can be used to enforce desired properties on account balances, where precision is important.

For instance, in a deposit scenario, you would want to defend against someone "depositing" a negative value. Use Nat to validate the amount to be deposited before proceeding:

deposit: function(amount) {
  amount = Nat(amount);

Any addition or subtraction expressions dealing with monetary amounts should protected with Nat() to guard against overflow/underflow errors. Without this check, the two balances might both be safe, but their sum might be too large to represent accurately, causing precision errors in subsequent computation:

Nat(myOldBal + amount);
const srcNewBal = Nat(srcOldBal - amount);

Non-monetary usage

Array indexes can be wrapped with Nat(), to guard against the surprising string coercion of non-integral index values:

const a = [2,4,6]
function add(index, value) {
  a[Nat(index)] = value;
add(3, 8); // works
add(2.5, 7); // throws rather than add a key named "2.5"

Nat can be used even in cases where it is not strictly necessary, for extra protection against human error.


Because Nat uses JavaScript's upcoming BigInt standard, the range of accurately-representable integers is effectively unbounded.


Nat comes from the Google Caja project, which tested whether a number was a primitive integer within the range of continguously representable non-negative integers.

For more, see the discussion in TC39 notes


npm i @agoric/nat

DownloadsWeekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

19.8 kB

Total Files


Last publish


  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar
  • avatar