How to use NBitcoin for BIP32 wallets



I'm using c# NBitcoin to generate master key at an offline server

ExtKey privateKey = new ExtKey("[My seed]");
ExtPubKey pubKey = privateKey.Neuter();

I will need to give the online server the master public key, and it can generate as many addresses it needs, my questions are:

How do I pass the master public key (pubKey) to this code in the online server ?

BitcoinAddress address1 = **pubKey**.Derive([some client data]).PubKey.GetAddress(Network.Main);

What is the best practice to listen for a payment received on this new address ? I'm working with web requests to[address1]
My language is c# server side.

Haddar Macdasi

Posted 2015-04-03T14:10:38.657

Reputation: 930



when you are doing

BitcoinAddress address1 = **pubKey**.Derive([some client data]).PubKey.GetAddress(Network.Main);

You are getting the bitcoin address, but not the master public key. (ExtPubKey) A HD pub key have more information than just the pubkey.

The correct code is

string wifStr = **pubkey**.Derive([some client data]).ToString(Network.Main)

Then you can reload it

ExtPubKey key = ExtPubKey.Parse(wifStr)

In fact, the string format of an ExtPubKey have the Network to which it belong, that's why you also have the type "BitcoinExtKey" which represent in object oriented form both : the ExtPubKey AND the Network. If you need it :

BitcoinExtPubKey wif = **pubkey**.GetWif(Network.Main)

Take a look at my book, there is other code samples around HD keys.

Concerning the best practices, there is no silver bullet right now. I created an API called RapidBase which permit you to create wallet and add addresses to monitor in this wallet. (You can find it on github)

You can try it if you want, but it is very unstable for now (API wise), so expect things to change in the future. If you are using blockr, I think your best bet is to request each addresses as you are doing.

If you are using bitcoinq RPC, you can add address, but it takes time since bitcoin core will rescan the blockchain for fetching the relevant transactions each time.

I might be wrong, but for now there is no easy to use solution, exception rapidbase I developed, that is not very stable for now.

Nicolas Dorier

Posted 2015-04-03T14:10:38.657

Reputation: 729

1But he's not interested in the chaincode - he doesn't need the extended child key. What he needs is a way to monitor an address. – Nick ODell – 2015-04-03T16:15:09.543

Well, this is a two part question

"How do I pass the master public key (pubKey) to this code in the online server ?"

This is a response to this one.

I'm editing the response for his second question. – Nicolas Dorier – 2015-04-03T16:18:37.337

Ah, I see. I didn't see that first question. – Nick ODell – 2015-04-03T16:19:20.310

didn't see the second one :D – Nicolas Dorier – 2015-04-03T16:24:23.400

See my answer, I wanted to save the Neuter so I can use it as the master public key from which all childs created. If I save the wifStr and publish it on the online server if some hacker find the wifStr can he create from it the master private key ? – Haddar Macdasi – 2015-04-03T21:04:22.610

1you have a wif version of both : ExtKey and ExtPubKey, if you have the ExtKey and want the ExtPubKey, just do extKey.Neuter().ToString(Network.Main) – Nicolas Dorier – 2015-04-03T22:31:52.890


////////////////1st offline SERVER//////////////////
//Create Master Private Key with a seed
ExtKey privateKey = new ExtKey("16236c2028fd2018eb7049825e6b4f0191de4dbff003579918de7b7348ff06ac");
//create master public key from this privateKey
ExtPubKey pubKey = privateKey.Neuter();
//save it's wifStr as key to the next server to use and generate all child keys 
string wifStr = pubKey.ToString(Network.Main);

////////////////2nd online SERVER//////////////////
ExtPubKey key = ExtPubKey.Parse(wifStr);
//The payment server receive an order, note the server does not need the private key to generate the address
uint orderID = 1001;
BitcoinAddress address = key.Derive(orderID).PubKey.GetAddress(Network.Main);

////////////////3rd admin SERVER//////////////////
//Now on the server that have access to the private key, you get the private key from the orderID
ExtKey mPrivateKey = new ExtKey("16236c2028fd2018eb7049825e6b4f0191de4dbff003579918de7b7348ff06ac");
Key key1 = mPrivateKey.Derive(orderID).Key;
BitcoinSecret secret = key1.GetBitcoinSecret(Network.Main);
Console.WriteLine(secret); //Print a nice secret key string

Haddar Macdasi

Posted 2015-04-03T14:10:38.657

Reputation: 930

1the code is right, except new ExtKey(string) does not exist. If you have the private ExtKey, use ExtKey.ToString(Network) / ExtKey.Parse(wif) – Nicolas Dorier – 2015-04-03T22:32:40.000