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Secrets

The Verifiable Data Platform is a custodial cyber security platform, which means that you can trust it securely store and make use of your private keys. This section introduces the relationship between the two types of secrets which can be managed on VDP: mnemonics and keys.
An important note to make for both these types of secrets is they can never be retrieved in plain text from the platform – that is what makes them secrets. Their values are kept encrypted on the platform and can only be used by indirect references.

Mnemonics

A Mnemonic is an ordered sequence of 12 words which can be used as a seed to generate private keys. The idea with a mnemonic is that it is easier to remember than a “raw” cryptographic key.

Creating Mnemonics

Create a Mnemonic by clicking “+”.
Mnemonics page in application
Mnemonics page in application
You will see a popup similar to this:
Generate mnemonic modal
Generate mnemonic modal
Give the mnemonic descriptive “Name” and “Description”. These are used later to identify and use this mnemonic.
Mnemonic key type
Mnemonic key type
“Type” lets you choose how the means by which the mnemonic gets turned into private keys. Beyond “Default”, VDP is preset with how this is done on “Bitcoin” (hdPath: m/44’/0’/0’/0/0, key type: secp256k1) and “Ethereum” (hdPath: m/44’/60’/0’/0/0, key type: secp256k1).
Custom key type for mnemonic
Custom key type for mnemonic
You can also Customize this, allowing you to choose your own Key Type and HD Path:
  • Key Type allows you to select the cryptography algorithm for generated keys. The following key types are available:
    • Ed25519: For use with Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm (EdDSA).
    • X25519: Also known as Curve25519, for use with Elliptic-curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH).
    • secp256k1: Made popular by Bitcoin, for use with Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA).
  • HD Paths is a standardized way to create not just one, but infinitely many private keys from the same mnemonic. Specifying the HD Path allows you control over how this is done. The HD Path standard also ensures full interoperability with crypto currencies, which you can also choose to manage on VDP.
Finally, make sure to take note of the mnemonic if you wish to keep a copy outside VDP. From the Mnemonic 12 words seed and its type you can re-generate keys at a later point.
NOTE! This is the only time the mnemonic will be visible on the platform! If you wish to keep the mnemonic outside of VDP, this is your only chance to do so. If you choose to keep the mnemonic outside of the platform, make sure to keep safe!

Recover Keys from Seed Mnemonic

If you already have a mnemonic which you wish to add and use on your VDP organization, replace the 12 word seed and select the appropriate mnemonic type. This way you can re-generate your keys and use them on VDP.
Once created, the mnemonic will be listed on this Mnemonic page. Expanding a mnemonic reveals its technical details, as well as an overview of the keys derived from it.
Mnemonic detail view
Mnemonic detail view

Deleting Mnemonics

If you wish to delete a Mnemonic, select “Delete” from the list item menu.
You will be asked to type in the Mnemonic identifier as a precaution to avoid deleting Mnemonics mistakenly.
Delete a mnemonic
Delete a mnemonic

Keys

Keys are sets of public and private cryptographic key pairs. The private key is kept as a platform secret, from where it can be used to carry out actions such as authentication and credential assertions.
Your platform organization comes pre-configured with a couple of keys, as can be seen on the “Keys” page.
Private keys from onboarding
Private keys from onboarding

Deriving Keys

Click the “+” to derive a new Key from a Mnemonic.
Modal to derive a private key
Modal to derive a private key
Give the Key a suitable Name and Description. This is used to make sure you find and use the right key for various purposes later on. Some examples of assigned keys could be:
  • Employee’s (“Jane’s signing key”)
  • Products (“Smart device #123456”)
  • Organizational (“Key for certificate issuing”)
You can also give the Key a list of tags to further assist this management.
Select a Mnemonic from the drop down which the Key should be derived from.
Click “Derive Private Key” to derive the Key:
Private key details view
Private key details view

Key-Mnemonic Relationship

Notice that the mnemonic HD Path and Key Type is shown on the expanded Key view. The last integer of the mnemonic is its index, which VDP increments every time a key is derived. Here, for example a fourth key was derived from index 4:
Private key HD-path and key type
Private key HD-path and key type
Similarly, on the corresponding Mnemonics detail view, you can see the current derived keys for a given Mnemonic:
Private keys generated from mnemonic
Private keys generated from mnemonic

Deleting Keys

If you wish to delete a Key, select “Delete” from the list item menu.
You will be asked to type in the Key identifier as a precaution to avoid deleting Keys mistakenly.
Deleting a private key
Deleting a private key