TypeScript icon, indicating that this package has built-in type declarations

1.0.1 • Public • Published

title: "NaCL DID Resolver and Manager" index: 0 category: "nacl-did" type: "reference" source: ""

NaCL DID Resolver and Manager

CircleCI Codacy Badge

FAQ and helpdesk support

This library is intended to use cryptographic keys from NaCL cryptographic suite as Decentralized Identifiers and generate an associated DID Document.

Motivation. There is a need for non updateable DID's for use in IOT and other applications, where lack of network, size of code base and other such concerns are paramount to adoption. These concerns need to be addressed while not lowering the overall security guarantees.

WARNING This should not be used for representing long term primary identities of end users. But should be seen as a useful building block for building Identity Applications together with other more complete DID methods.

What NaCL DID does:

  • Provides a single Ed25519 Signing Public Key for a DID
  • Provide a single Curve25519 Encryption Public Key for a DID
  • Small DID size

What it can not do:

  • It can NOT rotate keys
  • It can NOT add keys
  • It can NOT contain service end points

It supports the proposed Decentralized Identifiers spec from the W3C Credentials Community Group.

It requires the did-resolver library, which is the primary interface for resolving DIDs.

DID method

The base identifier is a Base64Url encoded Ed25519 public key.

To encode a DID for an HTTPS domain, simply prepend did:nacl: to the public key.

eg: PfFss0oSFiwSdJuZXO6EfGK2T37Bz5gPy-Dy8Hv-Izg -> did:nacl:PfFss0oSFiwSdJuZXO6EfGK2T37Bz5gPy-Dy8Hv-Izg

DID Document

The DID resolver generates a DID Document on the fly by adding signing public key from the DID and adds it to the publicKey and authentication arrays.

In addition it converts the Ed25519 Signing Public Key to a Curve25519 encryption public key and adds it to the publicKey array.

A DID Document for the did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI would look like this:

  '@context': '',
  id: 'did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI',
  publicKey: [{
    id: `did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI#key1`,
    type: 'ED25519SignatureVerification',
    owner: 'did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI',
    publicKeyBase64: 'Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI'
    id: `did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI#key2`,
    type: 'Curve25519EncryptionPublicKey',
    owner: 'did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI',
    publicKeyBase64: 'OAsnUyuUBISGsOherdxO6rgzUeGe9SnffDXQk6KpkAY'
  authentication: [{
       type: 'ED25519SigningAuthentication',
       publicKey: `did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI#key1`

Creating an Identity

The resolver presents a createIdentity() function that returns a ES6 Promise returning a Identity object containing a keyPair and DID.

import { createIdentity, loadIdentity } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
// the identity can be serialized using toJSON()
localStorage.setItem('naclId', JSON.stringify(identity.toJSON()))
// this can be similarly loaded using loadIdentity
const identity = loadIdentity(JSON.parse(localStorage.getItem('naclId')))

Signing Data

The sign() method can be used to sign raw data.

import { createIdentity, verifySignature } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
const message = 'Hello' // Use String, Uint8Array or Buffer
const signedData = identity.sign(message)
if (identity.verify(signedData)) {
if (verifySignature(signedData)) {

Signing JWT

The createJWT() method can be used as a minimal JWT implementation.

import { createIdentity, verifyJWT } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
const vc = identity.createJWT({sub: '', claim: { url: ''}})
// verifyJWT can verify JWT's but only signed by an issuer with a nacl-did
const {payload, did } = await verifyJWT(vc)

The built in JWT implementation only signs and verifies JWT's using the NaCL DID method. We recommend using DID-JWT for a more complete solution.


The NaCL DID method supports public key encryption using NaCL's x25519-xsalsa20-poly1305 (box) algorithm. If the to field is my own DID it uses NaCL's symmetric encryption xsalsa20-poly1305 (secret-box) algorithm instead.

Use the encrypt(to, data) and decrypt(encrypted) methods.

import { createIdentity } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
const encrypted = await identity.encrypt('did:nacl:PfFss0oSFiwSdJuZXO6EfGK2T37Bz5gPy-Dy8Hv-Izg', 'hello'})
const clear = identity.decrypt(encrypted)

Encryption Sessions

In many applications you will be encrypting data repeatedly to the same recipient. For these it is more eficient to open an Encryption Session.

Use the openSession(toDid) method.

import { createIdentity } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
const session = identity.openSession('did:nacl:PfFss0oSFiwSdJuZXO6EfGK2T37Bz5gPy-Dy8Hv-Izg')
const encrypted = await session.encrypt('hello')
const clear = session.decrypt(encrypted)

In cases that the counterparty identity (the recipient) does not have an encryption key in it's DID document you can pass in an optional encryption public key (base64url encoded) received through an external process, but it will also default to any public key in the DID document.

import { createIdentity } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
const session = identity.openSession('did:ethr:0x2Cc31912B2b0f3075A87b3640923D45A26cef3Ee', 'mJsioLTc7iyILsSUT8qmWyTnzytSKEmcg8bAeJ2R33U')
const encrypted = await session.encrypt('hello')
const clear = session.decrypt(encrypted)

In other cases you want to always encrypt data to yourself, even if the counterparty doesn't have a public key. Just pass in a true to the openSession.

import { createIdentity } from 'nacl-did'
const identity = createIdentity()
const session = identity.openSession('did:ethr:0x2Cc31912B2b0f3075A87b3640923D45A26cef3Ee', true)
const encrypted = await session.encrypt('hello')
const clear = session.decrypt(encrypted)

Resolving a DID document

The resolver presents a simple resolver() function that returns a ES6 Promise returning the DID document.

import { Resolver } from 'did-resolver'
import { resolver as naclDidResolver } from 'nacl-did'
const didResolver = new Resolver({ nacl: naclDidResolver })
didResolver.resolve('did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI').then(doc => console.log)
// You can also use ES7 async/await syntax
const doc = await didResolver.resolve('did:nacl:Md8JiMIwsapml_FtQ2ngnGftNP5UmVCAUuhnLyAsPxI')




Package Sidebar


Weekly Downloads






Unpacked Size

139 kB

Total Files


Last publish


  • simonas-notcat
  • mirceanis
  • uport-automation-bot
  • pelleb