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Unchained Capital Keystore Utilities

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This library provides classes for integrating functionality from the following keystores into JavaScript applications:

  • Trezor hardware wallets (models: One, T)
  • Ledger hardware wallets (models: Nano)
  • Hermit

Full API documentation can be found at unchained-wallets.

This library was built and is maintained by Unchained Capital.


unchained-wallets is distributed as an NPM package. Add it to your application's dependencies:

$ npm install --save unchained-wallets


This library provides classes meant to wrap the interactions between an application and a keystore, e.g. - exporting a public key at a certain BIP32 path from a Trezor model T.

The classes are designed to be stateless; all keystore interaction state (are we currently talking to the Trezor?) is meant to be stored by the calling application.

The classes will also provide messages back to the developer suitable for display in user interfaces. All errors will also be percolated up to the developer to handle how they see fit.


The following top-level functions are the entry points to this API:

  • GetMetadata({keystore}) - obtain metadata about a device
  • ExportPublicKey({keystore, network, bip32Path}) - export an HD public key
  • ExportExtendedPublicKey({keystore, network, bip32Path}) - export an HD extended public key
  • SignMultisigTransaction({keystore, network, inputs, outputs, bip32Paths}) - sign a transaction with some multisig inputs
  • ConfirmMultisigAddress({keystore, network, bip32Path, multisig}) - confirm a multisig address

Not every keystore supported by this library implements each of these interactions.

Each interaction takes different arguments. See the API documentation for full details.


The following minimal React example shows how an application developer would use the ExportPublicKey API function of this library to export a public key from a Trezor hardware wallet.

// This is a React example but a similar
// pattern would work for other frameworks.
import React from "react";
import PropTypes from 'prop-types';

// The `unchained-bitcoin` library is used by `unchained-wallets`.
import {MAINNET} from "unchained-bitcoin";

import {
  // This is the interaction we are implementing.

  // These are the keystores we want to support.  They both
  // work identically as far as this minimal UI is concerned.
  // Other keystores are supported but they would require a
  // different UI.

  // These are  possible states our keystore could be in.
} from "unchained-wallets";

export class HardwareWalletPublicKeyImporter extends React.Component {

  // For this example, the required arguments are
  // passed into this component via `props`.
  // A more realistic example would provide a UI for
  // entering this or pull it from somewhere else.
  static propTypes = {
    network: PropTypes.string.isRequired,
    bip32Path: PropTypes.string.isRequired,
    keystore: PropTypes.string.isRequired,

  // The interaction is stateless so can be instantiated
  // on the fly as needed, with appropriate arguments.
  interaction() {
    const {keystore, network, bip32Path} = this.props;
    return ExportPublicKey({keystore, network, bip32Path});

  constructor(props) {
    // Keystore state is kept in the React component
    // and passed to the library.
    this.state = {
      keystoreState: (this.interaction().isSupported() ? PENDING : UNSUPPORTED),
      publicKey: '',
      error: '',
    this.importPublicKey = this.importPublicKey.bind(this);

  render() {
    const {keystoreState, publicKey, error} = this.state;
    const {bip32Path} = this.props;
    if (publicKey) {
      return (
          <p>Public key for BIP32 path {bip32Path}:</p>
    } else {
      return (
          <p>Click here to import public key for BIP32 path {bip32Path}.</p>
          <button disabled={keystoreState !== PENDING} onClick={this.importPublicKey}>Import Public Key</button>
          {error && <p>{error}</p>}

  renderMessages() {
    const {keystoreState} = this.state;
    // Here we grab just the messages relevant for the
    // current keystore state, but more complex filtering is possible...
    const messages = this.interaction().messagesFor({state: keystoreState});
    return (

  renderMessage(message, i) {
    // The `message` object will always have a `text` property
    // but may have additional properties useful for display.
    return <li key={i}>{message.text}</li>;

  async importPublicKey() {
    this.setState({keystoreState: ACTIVE});
    try {
      // This is where we actually talk to the hardware wallet.
      const publicKey = await this.interaction().run();
      // If we succeed, reset the keystore state
      // and store the imported public key.
      this.setState({keystoreState: PENDING, publicKey});
    } catch(e) {
      // Something went wrong; revert the keystore
      // state and track the error message.
      this.setState({keystoreState: PENDING, error: e.message});

This simple example illustrates several useful patterns:

  • The interaction() method builds an entire interaction object from the relevant parameters, bip32Path and network. In this example, these parameters are passed in via props but they could be specified by the user or a server application. The interaction object has no internal state and is cheap to create so building it "fresh" each time it is needed is fine and actually the preferred approach.

  • The keystoreState is stored in and controlled by the React component. In importPublicKey the component explicitly handles changes to keystoreState. In renderMessages the component queries the interaction for messages, passing in the current keystoreState as a filter.

  • The messagesFor and renderMessages methods will work regardless of the values of network, bip32Path, or keystore. If a user is allowed to change these input values, appropriate warning and informational messages will be rendered for each keystore given the arguments. This makes handling "edge cases" between keystores much easier for developers.

More on Messages

Interactions with keystores are mediated via objects which implement the Interaction API. This API surfaces rich data to the user via the messages() and related methods.

The messages() method returns an array of messages (see below) about the interaction. The application calling messages() is expected to pass in the keystore state, and other filtering properties.

A message in the messages() array is an object with the following keys:

  • code -- a dot-separated string describing the message (e.g. - device.connect)
  • state -- the keystore state the message is for (e.g. - pending, active, or unsupported)
  • level -- the level of the message (e.g. - info, warning, or error)
  • text -- the message text (e.g. - Make sure your Trezor hardware wallet is plugged in.)
  • version -- (optional) a version string or range/spec describing which versions of the keystore this message applies to
  • image -- (optional) an object with label, mimeType, and base64-encoded data for an image
  • steps -- (optional) an array of sub-messages for this message. code, state, and level are optional for sub-messages.

Messages are hierarchical and well-structured, allowing applications to display them appropriately.

Several methods such as hasMessage, messageTextFor(), &c. are available to filter and extract data from messages.

See the API documentation for more details on messages.


Developers who want to work on this library should clone the source code and install dependencies:

$ git clone`
$ cd unchained-wallets
$ npm install

Development proceeds in one of three ways:

  1. Working on the unchained-wallets library itself.

  2. Implementing interactions to support a new keystore.

  3. Adding or modifying existing interactions for a supported keystores.

Work on (1) should hopefully slow over time as this library reaches a mature state of flexibility.

Work on (2) should be considered carefully. If a new keystore doesn't support most of the existing API of this library, then integration may be a poorer return than expected.

Work on (3) should proceed in an even-handed way. Most of all we want inter-compatibility between keystores. Implementing features which increase complexity and reduce inter-compatibility should be discouraged.

Developing against local Trezor connect

If for some reason you need to use a local instance of Trezor Connect The module that unchained-wallets uses to connect will need to be initialized with a custom connectSrc option. To enable this automatically, make sure to start the process that unchained-wallets is running in with the TREZOR_DEV environment variable set to true (e.g. TREZOR_DEV=true npm run start).

Currently this will tell the Trezor interaction to access connect at https://localhost:8088 which is the default. Custom ports not currently supported.

DirectInteraction classes

Some devices (such as a Trezor) support "direct" interactions -- JavaScript code can directly obtain a response from the device.

Developers implementing these kinds of interactions should subclass DirectInteraction and provide an async run() method which performs the interaction with the keystore and returns the required data.

IndirectInteraction classes

Some devices (such as a QR-code based air-gapped laptop) support "indirect" interactions -- JavaScript code cannot directly obtain a response from the device. A user must manually relay a request and then separately input a response.

Developers implementing these kinds of interactions should subclass IndirectInteraction and provide two methods:

  • request() which returns appropriate data for a request
  • parse(response) which parses a response


Unit tests are implemented in Jest and can be run via

$ npm test


Unchained Capital welcomes bug reports, new features, and better documentation for this library.

If you are fixing a bug or adding a feature, please first check the GitHub issues page to see if there is any existing discussion about it.

To contribute, create a pull request (PR) on GitHub against the Unchained Capital fork of unchained-wallets.

Before you submit your PR, make sure to update and run the test suite!


Javascript library providing a shared API across multiple bitcoin wallets







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