Get and use a Blockstack ID

Through the Blockstack Browser you can create an identity. Your identity is a point of contact as you interact with others through DApps. Others may be individual users or companies or software. Unless you allow it, none of these others have access to anything other than your identity label, for example moxiegirl.id.blockstack. Typically, others must ask to learn more about you, and you can choose to share – or not.

This document explains one type of identity, the Blockstack ID. You learn how to create them, as well as when and how to restore them. It contains the following sections:

Understand how identities function in the Blockstack Ecosystem

In this section, you learn about identity so you can use it securely.

Why is an identity not an account

On the internet of today, an account you create for an applications stays with the company providing that app. This company keeps data you enter about yourself and data about how you use their application. When you close your account, the company retains that data.

In decentralized, blockchain software, identity is a combination of username and key. The data associated with that identity stays with it, this means applications or central authorities do not keep our control access to your data.

You give a DApp access to your data but when you decide to no longer use that application, you withdraw that access. The DApp developer can no longer access information about you.

How do you get an identity

Think of the ID as a form of identification, like a drivers license. Like drivers’ licenses, each identity is unique, but this license identifies you on the virtual internet highway. An identity is created through a registrar of which there are many.

For DApps in the Blockstack Ecosystem, Blockstack maintains an identity registrar. The Blockstack Browser is Blockstack’s DApp for creating and managing identities in the Blockstack registration space. An example of a registered Blockstack ID is the larry.id ID. The .id designation is required, the larry portion is a unique string.

The Blockstack Browser allows new users to create free IDs. These free IDs have included the word blockstack in the ID, like this moxiegirl.id.blockstack. The additional blockstack portion of the name is called a namespace. It just means all the names belong to a particular entity. You don’t have to use a free id.blockstack identity. You can also buy an identity that just has a unique name and the .id portion.

This first ID you create is a primary ID. Once you create a primary identity, you can add other, sub-identities to it. Sub-identities can have the id.blockstack or the .id format. You might created sub-identities for the same reason you have a work and home email.

What is a key?

IDs have keys. These key unlock your identity like opening the door to a private home. You should keep your ID secret and in a safe place. When you create an ID, Blocktack creates the key for you. When you create an ID, Blockstack sends you an email with a recovery code you can use to view your key.

  • secret recovery key which is a sequence of words applied binge crisp pictorial fiery dancing agreeable frogs light finish ping apple
  • recovery code an encrypted string, for example, 36mWivFdy0YPH2z31EflpQz/Y0UMrOrJ++lH=0EI7c3mop2JuRBm5W1P0BwXxSTazJsUjOAmC55rFUWINqDqGccLio0iwzGclAhaHGZQ5M52

You receive the recovery code only once. When you get this email, You should View Secret Recovery Key immediately and save to a secure location such as a password manager.

When Blockstack registers your human-readable ID and the recovery key. _You_ must record the:

  • recovery key
  • recovery code (in the order the words appear)
  • initial password (the password lasts until you **RESET** the browser)

Blockstack does not store them, so it can't give them to you later if they are lost.

Where can you use a Blockstack ID

You can use your Blockstack ID with every DApp in the Blockstack Ecosystem. To create an ID, you use a DApp called the Blockstack Browser. Any DApp data you create is linked to this ID.

For example, if you add a picture to a DApp, the picture appears in the DApp, but the picture’s bits and bytes are stored in your personal storage. When you log into another DApp with your ID, that application can ask for access to your storage.

Create an initial Blockstack ID

To create an initial Blockstack ID, do the following:

  1. Open the Blockstack web application in your browser.

    The application prompts you to create or restore an ID.

  2. Choose Create new ID.

    The browser prompts you to register a unique username in the id.blockstack domain. This is a free Blockstack identity and the format of the ID is:

    username.id.blockstack

    You’ll use this initial ID to access the Blockstack Browser and other DApps.

    The Check Availability buttom makes sure your name is unique.

  3. Press Continue when you find an available name you like.

    The application prompts you to enter a password. Blockstack uses this password to encrypt your recovery code. You must record and save this initial password.

    NOTE:The Blockstack team cannot restore your password for you.

  4. Enter a password, confirm it, and press Register ID.

    Blockstack creates an id for you and then prompts you for an email.

    Blockstack uses this email address to send you recovery information.

  5. Press Next.

    Blockstack presents you with the completed ID.

    The system prompts you to save your recovery code.

  6. Click Secret Recovery Key to record your key.

    A recovery code is a sequence of words. These words allow you to recover an id.blockstack that you’ve created. You should store the words along with their order, for example, #1 applied and so forth.

  7. Copy your Magic Recovery Code and Secret Recovery key.

Congratulations you have created your first ID. You are now ready to start using DApps.

Restore a Blockstack ID

When you return to the Blockstack Browser, the browser prompts you to create a new Blockstack ID or restore an existing Blockstack ID. If you have a Blockstack identity, you can open the browser by restoring the identity. To restore an identity, there are two available methods.

Method 1: Supply the identity recovery code (36mWivFdy0YPH2z31E...) and the password you provided when you initially created your identity. Method 2: Supply the recovery key which is a sequence of words (applied binge ...)

If you loose either the recovery code or the password you provided when you initially created your identity, you can no longer use method 1 to restore your identity. If you lose the recovery key, you can no longer use method 2. Once you no longer have access to either method, your identity is estranged and not accessible by anyone.

Restore with a recovery key

  1. Open the Blockstack web application in your browser.
  2. Choose Restore a Blockstack ID.

    The system displays a dialog where you can enter your recovery code or a recovery key.

  3. Enter the recovery key.

    The recovery key is a squence of words.

  4. Press Next.

    The system prompts you for an email address. This email can be one you entered previously or an entirely new one. Blockstack doesn’t store this address; it is used during your current Blockstack browser interaction to communicate important information with you.

  5. Enter an email and press Next.

    The system prompts you for a password and its confirmation. This password can be one you entered previously or an entirely new one. Write this password down. You can use the password during your current Blockstack browser interaction to reveal your keychain or change your password. Blockstack does not store this information past the session.

  6. Enter a password and press Next.

    The system welcomes you back.

    At this point, you can go onto work with DApps or you can review your recovery key.

Restore with a recovery code and original password

  1. Open the Blockstack web application in your browser.
  2. Choose Restore a Blockstack ID.

    The system displays a dialog where you can enter your recovery code or a recovery key.

  3. Enter your recovery code.

The recovery code is an encrypted string.

  1. Press Next.

    The system prompts you for an email address. This email can be one you entered previously or an entirely new one. Blockstack doesn’t store this address; it is used during your current Blockstack browser interaction to communicate important information with you.

  2. Enter an email and press Next.

    The system prompts you for a password. This must be the password entered when you first created your identity. If you have forgotten this password, Blockstack cannot provide it to you. Instead, you must switch to using your recovery key rather than your code to restore your identity.

  3. Enter your origin password and press Next.

The system welcomes you back.

At this point, you can go work with DApps or you can review your recovery key.