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Intent Signing

In Sui, an intent is a compact struct that serves as the domain separator for a message that a signature commits to. The data that the signature commits to is an intent message. All signatures in Sui must commit to an intent message, instead of the message itself.


In previous releases, Sui used a special Signable trait that attached the Rust struct name as a prefix to the serialized data. This is not ideal because it's:

  • Not compact: The prefix TransactionData:: is significantly larger than 1 byte.
  • Not user-friendly: Non-Rust applications need to maintain a list of Rust-struct names.

The intent signing standard provides a compact domain separator to the data being signed for both user signatures and authority signatures. It has several benefits, including:

  • The intent scope is replaced by a u8 representation instead of a Rust struct tag name string.
  • In addition to the intent scope, other important domain separators can be committed as well (such as intent version and app id).
  • The data itself no longer needs to implement the Signable trait, it just needs to implement Serialize.
  • All signatures can adopt the same intent message structure, including both user signatures (only to commit to TransactionData) and authority signature (commits to all internal intent scopes such as TransactionEffects, ProofOfPossession, and SenderSignedTransaction).


The IntentMessage struct consists of the intent and the serialized data value.

pub struct IntentMessage<T> {
pub intent: Intent,
pub value: T,

To create an intent struct, include the IntentScope (what the type of the message is), IntentVersion (what version the network supports), and AppId (what application that the signature refers to).

pub struct Intent {
scope: IntentScope,
version: IntentVersion,
app_id: AppId,

To see a detailed definition for each field, see each enum definition in the source code.

The serialization of an Intent is a 3-byte array where each field is represented by a byte.

The serialization of an IntentMessage<T> is the 3 bytes of the intent concatenated with the BCS serialized message.

User Signature

To create a user signature, construct an intent message first, and create the signature over the 32-byte Blake2b hash of the BCS serialized value of the intent message of the transaction data (intent || message).

Here is an example in Rust:

let intent = Intent::default();
let intent_msg = IntentMessage::new(intent, data);
let signature = Signature::new_secure(&intent_msg, signer);

Here is an example in TypeScript:

const intentMessage = messageWithIntent(
const signature = await this.signData(intentMessage);

Under the hood, the new_secure method in Rust and the signData method in TypesScript does the following:

  1. Serializes the intent message as the 3-byte intent concatenated with the BCS serialized bytes of the transaction data.
  2. Applies Blake2b hash to get the 32-byte digest
  3. Passes the digest to the signing API for each corresponding scheme of the signer. The supported signature schemes are pure Ed25519, ECDSA Secp256k1 and ECDSA Secp256r1. See Sui Signatures for requirements of each scheme.

Authority Signature

The authority signature is created using the protocol key. The data that it commits to is also an intent message intent || message. See all available intent scopes in the source code

How to Generate Proof of Possession for an Authority

When an authority request to join the network, the protocol public key and its proof of possession (PoP) are required to be submitted. PoP is required to prevent rogue key attack.

The proof of possession is a BLS signature created using the authority's protocol private key, committed over the following message: intent || pubkey || address || epoch. Here intent is serialized to [5, 0, 0] representing an intent with scope as "Proof of Possession", version as "V0" and app_id as "Sui". pubkey is the serialized public key bytes of the authority's BLS protocol key. address is the account address associated with the authority's account key. epoch is serialized to [0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0].

To generate a proof of possession in Rust, see implementation at fn generate_proof_of_possession. For test vectors, see fn test_proof_of_possession.


  1. Struct and enum definitions
  2. Test
  3. User transaction intent signing PR 1, PR 2
  4. Authority intent signing PR 1, PR 2