Algorand Rekeying

Druids
4 min readSep 20, 2020

Algorand Blockchain is designed to provide users with a smooth experience for maximum results. One of the ways Algorand technology achieves this user-oriented structure is by issuing rekey-to transactions. Rekeying in Algorand allows account holders to sustain a public address that is static with the ability to circulate or distribute the authoritative private spending key(s).

What makes Algorand rekeying a potent protocol feature is its capacity to carry out both actions simultaneously. The rekey-to transaction fits in the authorized address into the account object.

In rekeying, all impending transaction authorizations utilizing the account’s public address are supplied by spending key(s). These key(s) can be any of the following addresses:

  • MultiSig
  • Single
  • LogicSig

In Algorand Rekeying, ‘’auth-addr’’ fields are included in the balance record of every account. These fields help to define whichever authorized address due for evaluation during the authentication of a transaction.

To avoid excessive use of resources, ‘’auth-addr ‘’ fields are not stored or displayed until an authorized rekey-to transaction has been validated by the network.

This is as opposed to setting the ‘’auth-addr’’ field to the ‘’address’’ field of the account in question as well as making use of only the valid Private Spending Key created when such an account was generated.

In Algorand Rekeying, what a ‘’standard’’ account uses for authorization of Public Addresses is a Private Spending Key. Any account that has been rekeyed now possesses a unique authorized address that draws reference from a special foreign address. In light of this foreign address, a Private Spending Key is needed for the authorization of imminent transactions.

Another important concept this article will expatiate on is Rekey-to transactions.

What are they and how do they work?

Rekey-to transactions are a form of payment transaction consisting of a rekey-to parameter or factor affixed to a secure Algorand address. This transaction is thereon authorized by the current authorized address.

A Rekey-to transaction works by a developed payment transaction that provides a distinct address for the parameter of the rekey-to. following this, the required signature(s) are to be included from the existing authorized address. The last procedure is the sending and validation of the transaction on the network.

Key(s) play an important role in the Algorand structure and have become a popular choice for users who wish to manage Private Spending key with a safe, efficient method. Private Spending Key(s) and Public Address conventionally come in distinct pairs that cannot be separated.

Thus, users are required to change both instead of just one. Here is how this works. For a Private Spending Key to be changed in the event of tampering, users must not only open a new Private Spending Key but a Public Address account. Following this, all assets must be moved from the old account to the new one.

However, this procedure is not exactly efficient and can be tiresome for users. What Algorand Rekeying allows users to do is to simply change their Private Spending Key without changing their Public Address.

The Rekeying feature is a protocol that cuts back on unnecessary procedures that expose user transactions to compromise. It allows accounts to conduct trustless transactions with zero risks, enabling elasticity and efficiency in operations of Private Spending Keys. We will now demystify each concept that comes to play in Algorand Rekeying.

Private Spending Keys and Public Addresses are a unique combination in the blockchain. They are used primarily for protecting blockchain accounts. The purpose of the Private Spending Key is to provide authentication, security, and encryption of Public Address. Public Address, on the other hand, is used when an account needs to be identified.

Algorand Rekeying solves the problem of security breaches common with cryptography and the use of keys.

An interesting fact to note here is that keys have been in use since the early days of blockchain. What Algorand Rekeying offers to the blockchain is a dynamic technology that modifies the longstanding protocol of key(s). In clear outlines, Algorand Rekeying does the following:

  • Eliminate subsequent implications of frequent changes in Private Spending Key and Public Address.
  • Provide a safe, smooth method for users to change Public Address.
  • Prevent the disruption of any preset transactions for specific periods.
  • Avoid the hassles frequent changes can pose for vendors, contacts, or institutions who now have to keep track of the Public Address of the user.
  • Provide novation that is capable of reassigning ownership of the contract.
  • Enable outsized user bases for projects scheduled to be moved from one blockchain to the Algorand blockchain thereby reducing friction as much as possible with an easy set-up procedure.
  • Permits the creation of accounts by organizations for their users together with the option of reassigning them when necessary.
  • Keep user Private Spending Keys cold for custody providers, remove composite off-chain solutions, remove the chain of Public Address keys that have been in existence for a long time, foster a standardized schedule for key rotation as determined by security posture.

In comparison to the standard requirements for changing a Public Address, the flexibility of Algorand Rekeying cannot be overemphasized. Users can now maintain a consistent, solid identity as they engage with other actors in the blockchain. In the case of custody providers, it continues to be difficult for operations to run smoothly without weighty challenges.

This is because custody providers are required to form processes for clients around a constant flow of funds. Old chains of Public Address Keys must also be eliminated to remove the need to move funds after using the Private Spending Keys. In eliminating off-chain solutions, the purpose is to sustain a single Public Address while keeping control over the Private Spending Key to a great degree.

What Rekeying does is to activate distinctive functionalities or features every time an account is opened with the Algorand blockchain. These unique features open the door for a massive variety of opportunities in security, reduced operational overhead, swift changes in the private key.

For blockchain systems, Algorand provides some of the most effective and dynamic solutions to problems that arise during transactions and other engagements. Algorand Keying Resources is one of such solutions, helping users to conduct seamless on the blockchain.

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Druids

Senior Product Designer and Blockchain Evangelist