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VotePeer authentication using Identity Protocol

VotePeer implements bchidentity protocol for user authentication.

Any client supporting this protocol can login to the site.

This document how the bchidentity protocol is implemented in the VotePeer web portal, where we use Firebase as the application backend.


A user accessing the website login:

  1. Identifies using anonymous login.
  2. Requests a challenge.
  3. Signs the challenge using a Bitcoin Cash address of own choice.
  4. Submits to firebase for verification.
  5. Receives authentication token on successful verification.
  6. Authenticates using token.


First, the user initiates anonymous login with Firebase. Anonymous login creates a temporary account that allows database access.

After a successful anonymous login, it's possible to proceed with authentication using the bchidentity protocol.

The user calls a REST call request_challenge, that is implemented as a firebase function.

request_challenge creates a random string called challenge. The challenge is stored in firebase together with the anonymous login identity. The challenge is returned to the user.

The user then signs this challenge using a Bitcoin Cash address he wishes to authenticate with. The user submits the address and signature using the REST call identify.

The identify REST call validates that the signature is signed with the address provided. If the signature is valid, a firebase custom token is returned to the user.

The token is stored locally in the users web browser, then a call to firebase to authenticate with a custom token is performed. The anonymous login session is "promoted" and the user has successfully authenticated using a Bitcoin Cash address.