Public-Key Cryptography

Consensus-critical data is authenticated using ECDSA with the curves: Secp256k1 or Ed25519.


The Secp256k1 key type is used by accounts that submit transactions to be included in Celestia.


A highly-optimized library is available in C (, with wrappers in Go ( and Rust (


Secp256k1 public keys can be compressed to 257-bits (or 33 bytes) per the format described here.


Cosmos addresses are 20 bytes in length.


Deterministic signatures (RFC-6979) should be used when signing, but this is not enforced at the protocol level as it cannot be for Secp256k1 signatures.

Signatures are represented as the r and s (each 32 bytes) values of the signature. r and s take on their usual meaning (see: SEC 1, 4.1.3 Signing Operation). Signatures are encoded with protobuf as described here.

Human Readable Encoding

In front-ends addresses are prefixed with the Bech32 prefix celestia. For example, a valid address is celestia1kj39jkzqlr073t42am9d8pd40tgudc3e2kj9yf.


The Ed25519 key type is used by validators.


Public Keys

Ed25519 public keys are 32 bytes in length. They often appear in validator configuration files (e.g. genesis.json) base64 encoded:

      "pub_key": {
        "type": "tendermint/PubKeyEd25519",
        "value": "DMEMMj1+thrkUCGocbvvKzXeaAtRslvX9MWtB+smuIA="


Ed25519 addresses are the first 20-bytes of the SHA256 hash of the raw 32-byte public key:

address = SHA256(pubkey)[:20]


Ed25519 signatures are 64 bytes in length.