CAIP-10: Account ID Specification Source

Author Pedro Gomes
Discussions-To https://github.com/ChainAgnostic/CAIPs/pull/10
Status Review
Type Standard
Created 2020-03-13
Updated 2022-10-23
Requires 2

Simple Summary

CAIP-10 defines a way to identify an account in any blockchain specified by CAIP-2 blockchain id.

Abstract

This proposal aims to facilitate specifying accounts for any blockchain extending CAIP-2 chain id specification. This is useful for both decentralized applications and wallets to communicate user accounts (EOA in EVM terminology) or smart contracts/abstraction for multiple chains using string identifiers specific to each chain. Currently, wallets are usually designed for each chain and multi-chain wallets use proprietray data structures to differentiate accounts. This proposal aims to standardize these identifiers for accounts to allow interoperability.

Motivation

The motivation for proposal stem from designing a chain-agnostic protocol for communication between dapps and wallets that was independent of any blockchain but provide the flexibility to be backwards compatible with existing applications.

Specification

The account id specification will be prefixed with the CAIP-2 blockchain ID and delimited with a colon sign (:)

Syntax

The account_id is a case-sensitive string in the form

account_id:        chain_id + ":" + account_address
chain_id:          [-a-z0-9]{3,8}:[-a-zA-Z0-9]{1,32} (See [CAIP-2][])
account_address:   [-.%a-zA-Z0-9]{1,64}

Note that -, % and . characters are allowed, but no other non-alphanumerics such as :, / or \. Implementers are recommended to use “URL encoding” (% + 2-character codes, canonically capitalized) as per Section 2 of RFC 3986 to escape any further non-alphanumeric characters, and to consider homograph attack surfaces in the handling of any non-alphanumerics.

Semantics

The chain_id is specified by the CAIP-2 which describes the blockchain id. The account_address is a case sensitive string which its format is specific to the blockchain that is referred to by the chain_id.

Rationale

The goals of the general account ID format is:

  • Uniqueness between chains regardless if they are mainnet or testnet
  • Readibility using the prefix of a chainId to quickly identify before parsing the address
  • Restricted to constrained set of characters and length for parsing

Canonicalization

Note that some namespaces like the EVM offer canonicalization schemes that use capitalization (e.g. EIP-55), an option suffix (e.g. HIP-15), or some other transformation. At the present time, this specification does NOT require canonicalization, and implementers are advised to consider deduplication or canonicalization in their consumption of CAIP-addresses. CAIP-10 profiles in CASA namespaces may contain additional information per namespace.

Test Cases

This is a list of manually composed examples

# Ethereum mainnet (canonicalized with [EIP-55][] checksum)
eip155:1:0xab16a96D359eC26a11e2C2b3d8f8B8942d5Bfcdb

# Bitcoin mainnet
bip122:000000000019d6689c085ae165831e93:128Lkh3S7CkDTBZ8W7BbpsN3YYizJMp8p6

# Cosmos Hub
cosmos:cosmoshub-3:cosmos1t2uflqwqe0fsj0shcfkrvpukewcw40yjj6hdc0

# Kusama network
polkadot:b0a8d493285c2df73290dfb7e61f870f:5hmuyxw9xdgbpptgypokw4thfyoe3ryenebr381z9iaegmfy

# Dummy max length (64+1+8+1+32 = 106 chars/bytes)
chainstd:8c3444cf8970a9e41a706fab93e7a6c4:6d9b0b4b9994e8a6afbd3dc3ed983cd51c755afb27cd1dc7825ef59c134a39f7

# Hedera address (with optional checksum suffix per [HIP-15][])
hedera:mainnet:0.0.1234567890-zbhlt

Backwards Compatibility

Previously, the character set was much more restrictive for CAIP-10s, allowing no non-alphanumeric characters. See pre-2022-10-23 version of specification for details.

Before that, legacy CAIP-10 schema was defined by appending as suffix the CAIP-2 chainId delimited by the at sign (@). See pre-2021-08-21 version of specification for details.

# Legacy example pre-2021-08-21
0xab16a96d359ec26a11e2c2b3d8f8b8942d5bfcdb@eip155:1

Changelog

  • 2022-10-23: expanded charset to include -,., and %; also added canonicalization section and links
  • 2022-03-10: update RegEx to incorporate CAIP-2 reference
  • 2021-08-11: switch from {account id}@{chain id} to {chain id}:{account id} syntax
  • IETF RFC 3986 - the IETF standard for URL, URI and URN syntax
  • CAIP-2 - CASA Chain ID specification
  • EIP-55 - Ethereum Improvement Proposal for canonicalizing ethereum addresses to by deterministic capitalization of a-f characters
  • HIP-15 - Hedera Improvement Proposal defining a checksum suffix for addresses

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

Citation

Please cite this document as:

Pedro Gomes, "CAIP-10: Account ID Specification," Chain Agnostic Improvement Proposals, no. 10, March 2020. [Online serial]. Available: https://github.com/ChainAgnostic/CAIPs/blob/master/CAIPs/caip-10.md