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exonum-client

Light Client for Exonum Blockchain

Build status npm version Coverage Status js-standard-style

Compatible with Exonum v0.5.

A JavaScript library to work with Exonum blockchain from browser and Node.js. Used to sign transactions before sending to blockchain and verify blockchain responses using cryptographic proofs. Contains numerous helper functions.

Find out more information about the architecture and tasks of light clients in Exonum.

Getting started

There are several options to include light client library in the application:

The most preferred way is to install Exonum Client as a package from npm registry:

npm install exonum-client

Otherwise you can download the source code from GitHub and compile it before use in browser.

Include in browser:

<script src="node_modules/exonum-client/dist/exonum-client.min.js"></script>

Usage in Node.js:

let Exonum = require('exonum-client')

Data types

The definition of data structures is the main part of each application based on Exonum blockchain.

On the one hand, each transaction must be signed before sending into blockchain. Before the transaction is signed it is converted into byte array under the hood.

On the other hand, the data received from the blockchain should be converted into byte array under the hood before it will be possible to verify proof of its existence using cryptographic algorithm.

Converting data into a byte array is called serialization. To get the same serialization result on the client and on the service side, there must be a strict serialization rules. This rules are formed by the data structure definition.

Define data type

let type = Exonum.newType({
  size: 12,
  fields: {
    balance: {type: Exonum.Uint32, size: 4, from: 0, to: 4},
    name: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 4, to: 12}
  }
})

Exonum.newType function requires a single argument of Object type with next structure:

Property Description Type
size The total length in bytes. Number
fields List of fields. Object

Field structure:

Field Description Type
type Definition of the field type. Built-in type, array or custom data type defined by the developer.
size Total length of the field in bytes. Number
from The beginning of the field segment in the byte array. Number
to The end of the field segment in the byte array. Number

Built-in types

There are several primitive types are built it into the library. These types must be used when constructing custom data types.

Name Size Description Type
Int8 1 Number in a range from -128 to 127. Number
Int16 2 Number in a range from -32768 to 32767. Number
Int32 4 Number in a range from -2147483648 to 2147483647. Number
Int64 8 Number in a range from -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807. Number or String*
Uint8 1 Number in a range from 0 to 255. Number
Uint16 2 Number in a range from 0 to 65535. Number
Uint32 4 Number in a range from 0 to 4294967295. Number
Uint64 8 Number in a range from 0 to 18446744073709551615. Number or String*
String 8** A string of variable length consisting of UTF-8 characters. String
Hash 32 Hexadecimal string. String
PublicKey 32 Hexadecimal string. String
Digest 64 Hexadecimal string. String
Bool 1 Value of boolean type. Boolean

*JavaScript limits minimum and maximum integer number. Minimum safe integer in JavaScript is -(2^53-1) which is equal to -9007199254740991. Maximum safe integer in JavaScript is 2^53-1 which is equal to 9007199254740991. For unsafe numbers out of the safe range use String only. To determine either number is safe use built-in JavaScript function Number.isSafeInteger().

**Size of 8 bytes is due to the specifics of string serialization using segment pointers. Actual string length is limited only by the general message size limits which is depends on OS, browser and hardware configuration.

Nested data types

Custom data type defined by the developer can be a field of other custom data type.

A nested type, regardless of its real size, always takes 8 bytes in the parent type due to the specifics of its serialization using segment pointers.

An example of a nested type:

// Define a nested data type
let date = Exonum.newType({
  size: 4,
  fields: {
    day: {type: Exonum.Uint8, size: 1, from: 0, to: 1},
    month: {type: Exonum.Uint8, size: 1, from: 1, to: 2},
    year: {type: Exonum.Uint16, size: 2, from: 2, to: 4}
  }
})
 
// Define a data type
let payment = Exonum.newType({
  size: 16,
  fields: {
    date: {type: date, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8},
    amount: {type: Exonum.Uint64, size: 8, from: 8, to: 16}
  }
})

There is no limitation on the depth of nested data types.

Arrays

The array in the light client library corresponds to the vector structure in the Rust language.

Exonum.newArray function requires a single argument of Object type with next structure:

Property Description Type
size Length of the nested field type. Number
type Definition of the field type. Built-in type, array or custom data type defined by the developer.

An array, regardless of its real size, always takes 8 bytes in the parent type due to the specifics of its serialization using segment pointers.

An example of an array type field:

// Define an array
let year = Exonum.newArray({
  size: 2,
  type: Exonum.Uint16
})
 
// Define a data type
let type = Exonum.newType({
  size: 8,
  fields: {
    years: {type: year, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8}
  }
})

An example of an array nested in an array:

// Define an array
let distance = Exonum.newArray({
  size: 4,
  type: Exonum.Uint32
})
 
// Define an array with child elements of an array type
let distances = Exonum.newArray({
  size: 8,
  type: distance
})
 
// Define a data type
let type = Exonum.newType({
  size: 8,
  fields: {
    measurements: {type: distances, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8}
  }
})

Serialization

Each serializable data type has its (de)serialization rules, which govern how the instances of this type are (de)serialized from/to a binary buffer. Check serialization guide for details.

Signature of serialize function:

type.serialize(data, cutSignature)
Argument Description Type
data Data to serialize. Object
type Definition of the field type. Custom data type or transaction.
cutSignature This flag is relevant only for transaction type. Specifies whether to not include a signature into the resulting byte array. Optional. Boolean

An example of serialization into a byte array:

// Define a data type
let user = Exonum.newType({
  size: 21,
  fields: {
    firstName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8},
    lastName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 8, to: 16},
    age: {type: Exonum.Uint8, size: 1, from: 16, to: 17},
    balance: {type: Exonum.Uint32, size: 4, from: 17, to: 21}
  }
})
 
// Data to be serialized
const data = {
  firstName: 'John',
  lastName: 'Doe',
  age: 28,
  balance: 2500
}
 
 
// Serialize
let buffer = user.serialize(data) // [21, 0, 0, 0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 25, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 0, 0, 28, 196, 9, 0, 0, 74, 111, 104, 110, 68, 111, 101]

The value of the buffer array:

Serialization example

Hash

Exonum uses cryptographic hashes of certain data for transactions and proofs.

Different signatures of the hash function are possible:

Exonum.hash(data, type)
type.hash(data)
Argument Description Type
data Data to be processed using a hash function. Object
type Definition of the data type. Custom data type or transaction.

An example of hash calculation:

// Define a data type
let user = Exonum.newType({
  size: 21,
  fields: {
    firstName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8},
    lastName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 8, to: 16},
    age: {type: Exonum.Uint8, size: 1, from: 16, to: 17},
    balance: {type: Exonum.Uint32, size: 4, from: 17, to: 21}
  }
})
 
// Data that has been hashed
const data = {
  firstName: 'John',
  lastName: 'Doe',
  age: 28,
  balance: 2500
}
 
// Get a hash
let hash = user.hash(data) // 1e53d91704b4b6adcbea13d2f57f41cfbdee8f47225e99bb1ff25d85474185af

It is also possible to get a hash from byte array:

Exonum.hash(buffer)
Argument Description Type
buffer Byte array. Array or Uint8Array.

An example of byte array hash calculation:

const arr = [132, 0, 0, 5, 89, 64, 0, 7]
 
let hash = Exonum.hash(arr) // 9518aeb60d386ae4b4ecc64e1a464affc052e4c3950c58e32478c0caa9e414db

Signature

The procedure for signing data using signing key pair and verifying of obtained signature is commonly used in the process of data exchange between the client and the service.

Built-in Exonum.keyPair helper function can be used to generate a new random signing key pair.

Sign data

The signature can be obtained using the secret key of the signing pair.

There are three possible signatures of the sign function:

Exonum.sign(secretKey, data, type)
type.sign(secretKey, data)
Exonum.sign(secretKey, buffer)
Argument Description Type
secretKey Secret key as hexadecimal string. String
data Data to be signed. Object
type Definition of the data type. Custom data type or transaction.
buffer Byte array. Array or Uint8Array.

The sign function returns value as hexadecimal String.

An example of data signing:

// Define a data type
let user = Exonum.newType({
  size: 21,
  fields: {
    firstName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8},
    lastName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 8, to: 16},
    age: {type: Exonum.Uint8, size: 1, from: 16, to: 17},
    balance: {type: Exonum.Uint32, size: 4, from: 17, to: 21}
  }
})
 
// Data to be signed
const data = {
  firstName: 'John',
  lastName: 'Doe',
  age: 28,
  balance: 2500
}
 
// Define the signing key pair 
const publicKey = 'fa7f9ee43aff70c879f80fa7fd15955c18b98c72310b09e7818310325050cf7a'
const secretKey = '978e3321bd6331d56e5f4c2bdb95bf471e95a77a6839e68d4241e7b0932ebe2b' +
 'fa7f9ee43aff70c879f80fa7fd15955c18b98c72310b09e7818310325050cf7a'
 
// Sign the data
let signature = Exonum.sign(secretKey, data, user) // '41884c5270631510357bb37e6bcbc8da61603b4bdb05a2c70fc11d6624792e07c99321f8cffac02bbf028398a4118801a2cf1750f5de84cc654f7bf0df71ec00'

Verify signature

The signature can be verified using the author's public key.

There are two possible signatures of the verifySignature function:

Exonum.verifySignature(signature, publicKey, data, type)
type.verifySignature(signature, publicKey, data)
Argument Description Type
signature Signature as hexadecimal string. String
publicKey Public key as hexadecimal string. String
data Data that has been signed. Object
type Definition of the data type. Custom data type or transaction.

The verifySignature function returns value of Boolean type.

An example of signature verification:

// Define a data type
let user = Exonum.newType({
  size: 21,
  fields: {
    firstName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 0, to: 8},
    lastName: {type: Exonum.String, size: 8, from: 8, to: 16},
    age: {type: Exonum.Uint8, size: 1, from: 16, to: 17},
    balance: {type: Exonum.Uint32, size: 4, from: 17, to: 21}
  }
})
 
// Data that has been signed
const data = {
  firstName: 'John',
  lastName: 'Doe',
  age: 28,
  balance: 2500
}
 
// Define a signing key pair 
const publicKey = 'fa7f9ee43aff70c879f80fa7fd15955c18b98c72310b09e7818310325050cf7a'
const secretKey = '978e3321bd6331d56e5f4c2bdb95bf471e95a77a6839e68d4241e7b0932ebe2b' +
 'fa7f9ee43aff70c879f80fa7fd15955c18b98c72310b09e7818310325050cf7a'
 
// Signature obtained upon signing using secret key
const signature = '41884c5270631510357bb37e6bcbc8da61603b4bdb05a2c70fc11d6624792e07' +
 'c99321f8cffac02bbf028398a4118801a2cf1750f5de84cc654f7bf0df71ec00'
 
// Verify the signature
let result = Exonum.verifySignature(signature, publicKey, data, user) // true

Transactions

Transaction in Exonum is a operation to change the data stored in blockchain. Transaction processing rules is a part of business logic implemented on service side.

When creating a transaction on the client side, all the fields of transaction are first described using custom data types. Then signed using signing key pair. And finally can be sent to the service.

Read more about transactions in Exonum.

An example of a transaction definition:

let sendFunds = Exonum.newMessage({
  network_id: 0,
  protocol_version: 0,
  service_id: 130,
  message_id: 128,
  size: 72,
  fields: {
    from: {type: Exonum.Hash, size: 32, from: 0, to: 32},
    to: {type: Exonum.Hash, size: 32, from: 32, to: 64},
    amount: {type: Exonum.Uint64, size: 8, from: 64, to: 72}
  }
})

Exonum.newMessage function requires a single argument of Object type with next structure:

Property Description Type
network_id Network ID. Number
protocol_version Protocol version. Number
service_id Service ID. Number
message_id Message ID. Number
signature Signature as hexadecimal string. Optional. String
size The total length in bytes. Number
fields List of fields. Object

Field structure is identical to field structure of custom data type.

Examples of operations on transactions:

Cryptographic proofs

A cryptographic proof is a format in which a Exonum node can provide sensitive data from a blockchain. These proofs are based on Merkle trees and their variants.

Light client library validates the cryptographic proof and can prove the integrity and reliability of the received data.

Read more about design of cryptographic proofs in Exonum.

Merkle tree

let elements = Exonum.merkleProof(rootHash, count, tree, range, type)

The merkleProof method is used to validate the Merkle tree and extract a list of data elements.

Argument Description Type
rootHash The root hash of the Merkle tree as hexadecimal string. String
count The total number of elements in the Merkle tree. Number
proofNode The Merkle tree. Object
range An array of two elements of Number type. Represents list of obtained elements: [startIndex; endIndex). Array
type Definition of the elements type. Optional. The merkleProof method expects to find byte arrays as values in the tree if type is not passed. Custom data type

An example of verifying a Merkle tree.

Merkle Patricia tree

let data = Exonum.merklePatriciaProof(rootHash, proofNode, key, type)

The merklePatriciaProof method is used to validate the Merkle Patricia tree and extract a data.

Returns null if the tree is valid but data is not found.

Argument Description Type
rootHash The root hash of the Merkle Patricia tree as hexadecimal string. String
proofNode The Merkle Patricia tree. Object
key Searched data key as hexadecimal string. String
type Definition of the data type. Optional. The merklePatriciaProof method expects to find byte array as value in the tree if type is not passed. Custom data type

An example of verifying a Merkle Patricia tree.

Integrity checks

Verify block

Exonum.verifyBlock(data, validators, networkId)

Each new block in Exonum blockchain is signed by validators. To prove the integrity and reliability of the block, it is necessary to verify their signatures. The signature of each validator are stored in the precommits.

The merkleProof method is used to validate block and its precommits.

Returns true if verification is succeeded or false if it is failed.

Argument Description Type
data Structure with block and precommits. Object
validators An array of validators public keys as a hexadecimal strings. Array
networkId This field will be used to send inter-blockchain messages in future releases. For now, it is not used and must be equal to 0. Number

An example of block verification.

An example of checking the existence of data

In a real-world application, it is recommended to verify the entire path from the data to the block in which this data is written. Only such a verification can guarantee the integrity and reliability of the data.

An example of checking the existence of data.

Helpers

Generate key pair

const pair = Exonum.keyPair()
{
  publicKey: "...", // 32-byte public key
  secretKey: "..." // 64-byte secret key
}

Exonum.keyPair function generates a new random Ed25519 signing key pair using the TweetNaCl cryptographic library.

Get random number

const rand = Exonum.randomUint64()

Exonum.randomUint64 function generates a new random Uint64 number of cryptographic quality using the TweetNaCl cryptographic library.

Converters

Hexadecimal to Uint8Array

const hex = '674718178bd97d3ac5953d0d8e5649ea373c4d98b3b61befd5699800eaa8513b'
 
Exonum.hexadecimalToUint8Array(hex) // [103, 71, 24, 23, 139, 217, 125, 58, 197, 149, 61, 13, 142, 86, 73, 234, 55, 60, 77, 152, 179, 182, 27, 239, 213, 105, 152, 0, 234, 168, 81, 59]

Hexadecimal to String

const hex = '674718178bd97d3ac5953d0d8e5649ea373c4d98b3b61befd5699800eaa8513b'
 
Exonum.hexadecimalToBinaryString(hex) // '0110011101000111000110000001011110001011110110010111110100111010110001011001010100111101000011011000111001010110010010011110101000110111001111000100110110011000101100111011011000011011111011111101010101101001100110000000000011101010101010000101000100111011'

Uint8Array to Hexadecimal

const arr = new Uint8Array([103, 71, 24, 23, 139, 217, 125, 58, 197, 149, 61, 13, 142, 86, 73, 234, 55, 60, 77, 152, 179, 182, 27, 239, 213, 105, 152, 0, 234, 168, 81, 59])
 
Exonum.uint8ArrayToHexadecimal(arr) // '674718178bd97d3ac5953d0d8e5649ea373c4d98b3b61befd5699800eaa8513b'

Binary String to Uint8Array

const str = '0110011101000111000110000001011110001011110110010111110100111010110001011001010100111101000011011000111001010110010010011110101000110111001111000100110110011000101100111011011000011011111011111101010101101001100110000000000011101010101010000101000100111011'
 
Exonum.binaryStringToUint8Array(str) // [103, 71, 24, 23, 139, 217, 125, 58, 197, 149, 61, 13, 142, 86, 73, 234, 55, 60, 77, 152, 179, 182, 27, 239, 213, 105, 152, 0, 234, 168, 81, 59]

Binary String to Hexadecimal

const str = '0110011101000111000110000001011110001011110110010111110100111010110001011001010100111101000011011000111001010110010010011110101000110111001111000100110110011000101100111011011000011011111011111101010101101001100110000000000011101010101010000101000100111011'
 
Exonum.binaryStringToHexadecimal(str) // '674718178bd97d3ac5953d0d8e5649ea373c4d98b3b61befd5699800eaa8513b'

String to Uint8Array

const str = 'Hello world'
 
Exonum.stringToUint8Array(str) // [72, 101, 108, 108, 111, 32, 119, 111, 114, 108, 100]

Contributing

The contributing to the Exonum Client is based on the same principles and rules as the contributing to exonum-core.

Coding standards

The coding standards are described in the .eslintrc file.

To help developers define and maintain consistent coding styles between different editors and IDEs we used .editorconfig configuration file.

Test coverage

All functions must include relevant unit tests. This applies to both of adding new features and fixing existed bugs.

License

Exonum Client is licensed under the Apache License (Version 2.0). See LICENSE for details.