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Anonymous credentials for server (NodeJS) and browser (WebAssembly, asm.js). Allows an issuer (typically a server) to issue (private) credentials to a user so that the user can sign messages proving possession of such credentials, but in a way that signatures performed with the same credentials cannot be linked together. Optionally, signatures can have a basename, which makes two signatures done with the same credentials linkable if and only if the basenames used in each are the same.

The concrete implemented operations are the ones described in (based on Camenisch-Lysyanskaya signatures), but without a Trusted Platform Module in the join operation (therefore, only software).

For the underlying elliptic curve bilinear pairing primitives, we use MIRACL Core (formerly known as Apache Milagro Cryptographic Library). Even if the core implementation is in C, we target server (NodeJS native module) and client (WebAssembly, asm.js): currently only to be used in a JavaScript environment. Therefore, only the JavaScript API is documented.


There are three build targets: NodeJS native module, WebAssembly and asm.js. The node native module is faster than the WebAssembly version, but it is not built by default. See Building for instructions on this.

const getCredentialManager = require('anonymous-credentials'); // Returns the first working version of [native, web]

// Requiring concrete versions
const getCredentialManager = require('anonymous-credentials/lib/native'); // NodeJS native module
const getCredentialManager = require('anonymous-credentials/lib/wasm'); // WebAssembly version
const getCredentialManager = require('anonymous-credentials/lib/asmjs'); // asm.js (slower fallback if WebAssembly is not supported)
const getCredentialManager = require('anonymous-credentials/lib/web'); // Chooses between wasm or asm.js, depending on the environment support

Once required, we can create instances of CredentialManager class:

async function myfunc() {
  // CredentialManager class must be obtained asynchronously.
  const CredentialManager = await getCredentialManager();

  // Same class can be used for three different roles
  const signer = new CredentialManager();
  const issuer = new CredentialManager();
  const verifier = new CredentialManager();

See API for an explanation of the instance operations.


All parameters are Uint8Array. If not specified, assume undefined is returned. If a return value is specified, assume it is Uint8Array unless explicitly stated.

Common for Signers, Verifiers and Issuers

  • seed(entropy) : Must be called before any other operation. It expects at least 128 bytes of entropy. crypto.getRandomValues (browser) or crypto.randomBytes (NodeJS) can be used.


  • setupGroup() : Generates new (random) group keys and sets them internally. Does not return anything, but once executed private and public group keys can be retrieved via getGroupPrivKey and getGroupPubKey.
  • getGroupPubKey() : Returns the internal group public key.
  • getGroupPrivKey() : Returns the internal group private key.
  • setGroupPrivKey(groupPrivKey) : Sets a group private key previously retrieved via getGroupPrivKey. It also sets the group public key.
  • processJoin(joinMessage, challenge) : Expects a joinMessage returned by startJoin, and the same challenge that the user used to call the method. Returns a joinResponse that must be sent to the user in order to finish the join protocol, receive credentials and be able to sign messages.


  • startJoin(challenge) : Given a challenge (or nonce, agreed with the issuer) it returns an object containing two keys:
    • gsk : User private key (Uint8Array), to be kept secret until a join response is received by the issuer.
    • joinmsg : Join message (Uint8Array) to be sent to the issuer together with the used challenge, so that we can receive a corresponding response and finish the join protocol. Notice that a received joinResponse will only be valid for the gsk that was returned together with the sent joinmsg.
  • finishJoin(groupPubKey, gsk, joinResponse) : Given a group public key (must be obtained from the issuer or verifier), a gsk returned by startJoin and a joinResponse received from an issuer via processJoin returns valid credentials that can be set using setUserCredentials.
  • setUserCredentials(credentials) : Needs to be called before being able to sign. It internally sets credentials returned by a successful finishJoin.
  • sign(message, basename) : Returns a signature on the received message and basename, with the property that two signatures performed with the same user credentials can be linked if and only if their basenames are equal. Otherwise, the only information that can be obtained is whether it is a valid signature from a member of the group (someone holding valid credentials obtained by the issuer).


  • setGroupPubKey(groupPubKey) : Sets a group public key internally (obtained from an issuer).
  • verify(message, basename, signature) : Returns a boolean indicating whether a signature is valid for the given message, basename and (internal) group public key (set via setGroupPubKey).
  • getSignatureTag(signature) : Returns tag that maps to the signature basename, that is, two tags from different signature will be equal if and only if they correspond to two signatures done with the same user credentials and basename.


The C code of the library that is used for all three build targets can be found in core. This is used in groupsign_napi.c to create a NodeJS module via N-API. The Emscripten bindings to build WebAssembly and asm.js versions are in pre.js.

To build, first checkout dependencies:

git submodule update --init --recursive

NodeJS native module (clang and cmake required):

npm run native-install

Note: the following commands assume that the user can run docker without sudo. If that is not the case, set the following variable:


WebAssembly and asm.js versions:

make build-javascript-lib

To build everything:


Running the tests

make test

Changing the curve

We currently use BN254 pairing-friendly curve, which according to our knowledge has roughly 100-bit security.

To move to a new curve, the following steps are required:

  1. Change CURVE to a pairing-friendly curve supported by AMCL library.
  2. Change so that the choice includes the selected curve.
  3. Run npm run native-install and ignore the errors.
  4. Run grep CURVE_Order_ _build/nativebuild/ecp_NEWCURVE.h and write down the result -> BIG_XXX.
  5. Add the required defines and typedefs in core/curve-specific.h. It should suffice to copy BN254 case, change BN254 -> NEWCURVE and change 256_56 -> to the XXX in the previous step.
  6. Run make && npm test. All tests should pass except regression ones (currently hardcoded to BN254).


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