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Interface for multihash, multicodec, multibase and CID


This library defines common interfaces and low level building blocks for various interrelated multiformat technologies (multicodec, multihash, multibase, and CID). They can be used to implement custom base encoders / decoders / codecs, codec encoders /decoders and multihash hashers that comply to the interface that layers above assume.

This library provides implementations for most basics and many others can be found in linked repositories.

import { CID } from 'multiformats/cid'
import * as json from 'multiformats/codecs/json'
import { sha256 } from 'multiformats/hashes/sha2'

const bytes = json.encode({ hello: 'world' })

const hash = await sha256.digest(bytes)
const cid = CID.create(1, json.code, hash)
//> CID(bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea)

Creating Blocks

import * as Block from 'multiformats/block'
import * as codec from '@ipld/dag-cbor'
import { sha256 as hasher } from 'multiformats/hashes/sha2'

const value = { hello: 'world' }

// encode a block
let block = await Block.encode({ value, codec, hasher })

block.value // { hello: 'world' }
block.bytes // Uint8Array
block.cid   // CID() w/ sha2-256 hash address and dag-cbor codec

// you can also decode blocks from their binary state
block = await Block.decode({ bytes: block.bytes, codec, hasher })

// if you have the cid you can also verify the hash on decode
block = await Block.create({ bytes: block.bytes, cid: block.cid, codec, hasher })

Multibase Encoders / Decoders / Codecs

CIDs can be serialized to string representation using multibase encoders that implement MultibaseEncoder interface. This library provides quite a few implementations that can be imported:

import { base64 } from "multiformats/bases/base64"
//> 'mAYAEEiCTojlxqRTl6svwqNJRVM2jCcPBxy+7mRTUfGDzy2gViA'

Parsing CID string serialized CIDs requires multibase decoder that implements MultibaseDecoder interface. This library provides a decoder for every encoder it provides:

CID.parse('mAYAEEiCTojlxqRTl6svwqNJRVM2jCcPBxy+7mRTUfGDzy2gViA', base64.decoder)
//> CID(bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea)

Dual of multibase encoder & decoder is defined as multibase codec and it exposes them as encoder and decoder properties. For added convenience codecs also implement MultibaseEncoder and MultibaseDecoder interfaces so they could be used as either or both:

CID.parse(cid.toString(base64), base64)

Note: CID implementation comes bundled with base32 and base58btc multibase codecs so that CIDs can be base serialized to (version specific) default base encoding and parsed without having to supply base encoders/decoders:

const v1 = CID.parse('bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea')
//> 'bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea'

const v0 = CID.parse('QmdfTbBqBPQ7VNxZEYEj14VmRuZBkqFbiwReogJgS1zR1n')
//> 'QmdfTbBqBPQ7VNxZEYEj14VmRuZBkqFbiwReogJgS1zR1n'
//> 'bafybeihdwdcefgh4dqkjv67uzcmw7ojee6xedzdetojuzjevtenxquvyku'

Multicodec Encoders / Decoders / Codecs

This library defines BlockEncoder, BlockDecoder and BlockCodec interfaces. Codec implementations should conform to the BlockCodec interface which implements both BlockEncoder and BlockDecoder. Here is an example implementation of JSON BlockCodec.

export const { name, code, encode, decode } = {
  name: 'json',
  code: 0x0200,
  encode: json => new TextEncoder().encode(JSON.stringify(json)),
  decode: bytes => JSON.parse(new TextDecoder().decode(bytes))

Multihash Hashers

This library defines MultihashHasher and MultihashDigest interfaces and convinient function for implementing them:

import * as hasher from 'multiformats/hashes/hasher'

const sha256 = hasher.from({
  // As per multiformats table
  name: 'sha2-256',
  code: 0x12,

  encode: (input) => new Uint8Array(crypto.createHash('sha256').update(input).digest())

const hash = await sha256.digest(json.encode({ hello: 'world' }))
CID.create(1, json.code, hash)

//> CID(bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea)


This library contains higher-order functions for traversing graphs of data easily.

walk() walks through the links in each block of a DAG calling a user-supplied loader function for each one, in depth-first order with no duplicate block visits. The loader should return a Block object and can be used to inspect and collect block ordering for a full DAG walk. The loader should throw on error, and return null if a block should be skipped by walk().

import { walk } from 'multiformats/traversal'
import * as Block from 'multiformats/block'
import * as codec from 'multiformats/codecs/json'
import { sha256 as hasher } from 'multiformats/hashes/sha2'

// build a DAG (a single block for this simple example)
const value = { hello: 'world' }
const block = await Block.encode({ value, codec, hasher })
const { cid } = block
//> CID(bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea)

// create a loader function that also collects CIDs of blocks in
// their traversal order
const load = (cid, blocks) => async (cid) => {
  // fetch a block using its cid
  // e.g.: const block = await fetchBlockByCID(cid)
  return block

// collect blocks in this DAG starting from the root `cid`
const blocks = []
await walk({ cid, load: load(cid, blocks) })

//> [CID(bagaaierasords4njcts6vs7qvdjfcvgnume4hqohf65zsfguprqphs3icwea)]

Legacy interface

blockcodec-to-ipld-format converts a multiformats BlockCodec into an interface-ipld-format for use with the ipld package. This can help bridge IPLD codecs implemented using the structure and interfaces defined here to existing code that assumes, or requires interface-ipld-format. This bridge also includes the relevant TypeScript definitions.


By default, no base encodings (other than base32 & base58btc), hash functions, or codec implementations are exposed by multiformats, you need to import the ones you need yourself.

Multibase codecs

bases import repo
base16 multiformats/bases/base16 multiformats/js-multiformats
base32, base32pad, base32hex, base32hexpad, base32z multiformats/bases/base32 multiformats/js-multiformats
base64, base64pad, base64url, base64urlpad multiformats/bases/base64 multiformats/js-multiformats
base58btc, base58flick4 multiformats/bases/base58 multiformats/js-multiformats

Other (less useful) bases implemented in multiformats/js-multiformats include: base2, base8, base10, base36 and base256emoji.

Multihash hashers

hashes import repo
sha2-256, sha2-512 multiformats/hashes/sha2 multiformats/js-multiformats
sha3-224, sha3-256, sha3-384,sha3-512, shake-128, shake-256, keccak-224, keccak-256, keccak-384, keccak-512 @multiformats/sha3 multiformats/js-sha3
identity multiformats/hashes/identity multiformats/js-multiformats
murmur3-128, murmur3-32 @multiformats/murmur3 multiformats/js-murmur3
blake2b-*, blake2s-* @multiformats/blake2 multiformats/js-blake2

IPLD codecs (multicodec)

codec import repo
raw multiformats/codecs/raw multiformats/js-multiformats
json multiformats/codecs/json multiformats/js-multiformats
dag-cbor @ipld/dag-cbor ipld/js-dag-cbor
dag-json @ipld/dag-json ipld/js-dag-json
dag-pb @ipld/dag-pb ipld/js-dag-pb
dag-jose dag-jose ceramicnetwork/js-dag-jose


$ npm i multiformats

Browser <script> tag

Loading this module through a script tag will make it's exports available as Multiformats in the global namespace.

<script src=""></script>

API Docs


Licensed under either of


Unless you explicitly state otherwise, any contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the work by you, as defined in the Apache-2.0 license, shall be dual licensed as above, without any additional terms or conditions.