Accounts

Introduction

Stacks 2.0 accounts are entities that own assets, like Stacks (STX) tokens. An account has an address, private key, nonce, and one or more asset balances.
The encryption algorithm used in Stacks 2.0 is secp256k1.
Additionally, Ed25519 is also used just for the VRF (Verifiable Random Function).
Assets cannot leave an account without an action from the account owner. All changes to assets (and the balances of the account) require a corresponding transaction.
The transaction type doesn't need to be a token transfer - contract deploy and contract call transactions can change the balances of an account

Creation

An account is generated from a 24-word mnemonic phrase. This is often referred to as the seed phrase. The seed phrase provides access to Stacks 2.0 accounts.
If the seed phrase is lost, access to the associated account cannot be restored. No person or organization can recover a lost seed phrase.
The easiest way to generate a new Stacks 2.0 account is to use the Stacks CLI:
# install CLI globally
npm install --global @stacks/cli
​
# generate a new account and store details in a new file
# '-t' option makes this a testnet account
stx make_keychain -t > cli_keychain.json
make_keychain creates the following file:
{
"mnemonic": "aaa bbb ccc ddd ...",
"keyInfo": {
"privateKey": "5a3f1f15245bb3fb...",
"address": "STJRM2AMVF90ER6G3RW1QTF85E3HZH37006D5ER1",
"btcAddress": "biwSd6KTEvJcyX2R8oyfgj5REuLzczMYC1",
"wif": "L4HXn7PLmzoNW...",
"index": 0
}
}
Check out the Stacks CLI reference for more details
Field
Description
mnemonic
A 24-word seed phrase used to access the account, generated using BIP39 with 256 bits of entropy
keyInfo.privateKey
Private key for the account. Required for token transfers and often referred to as senderKey
keyInfo.address
Stacks address for the account
keyInfo.btcAddress
Corresponding BTC address for the account.
keyInfo.wif
Private key of the btcAddress in compressed format.
keyInfo.index
Nonce for the account, starting at 0
Note that a new account automatically exists for each new private key. There is no need to manually instantiate an account on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain.
Addresses are created by generating the RIPEMD-160 hash of the SHA256 of the public key. BTC addresses are encoded with Base58Check. For Stacks addresses, c32check is used. Deriving an address from a public key can be done without internet access, for instance using the c32check c32addressDecode method.
Alternatively to the CLI creation, the Stacks Transactions JS library can be used:
import {
makeRandomPrivKey,
privateKeyToString,
getAddressFromPrivateKey,
TransactionVersion,
getPublicKey,
} from "@stacks/transactions";
​
const privateKey = makeRandomPrivKey();
​
// Get public key from private
const publicKey = getPublicKey(privateKey);
​
const stacksAddress = getAddressFromPrivateKey(
privateKeyToString(privateKey),
TransactionVersion.Testnet // remove for Mainnet addresses
);
A second alternative would be to use stacks-gen. This tool will generate all the keys you need in one place, including the values needed for calling the stacking contract, and also a WIF key for use with bitcoind.
stacks-gen prerequisite
Install npx if not already installed. (npx will check whether <command> exists in $PATH, or in the local project binaries, and execute that. If <command> is not found, it will be installed prior to execution).
npm install -g npx
stacks-gen usage
npx -q stacks-gen sk --testnet
​
{
"phrase": "guide air pet hat friend anchor harvest dog depart matter deny awkward sign almost speak short dragon rare private fame depart elevator snake chef",
"private": "0351764dc07ee1ad038ff49c0e020799f0a350dd0769017ea09460e150a6401901",
"public": "022d82baea2d041ac281bebafab11571f45db4f163a9e3f8640b1c804a4ac6f662",
"stacks": "ST16JQQNQXVNGR8RZ1D52TMH5MFHTXVPHRV6YE19C",
"stacking": "{ hashbytes: 0x4d2bdeb7eeeb0c231f0b4a2d5225a3e3aeeed1c6, version: 0x00 }",
"btc": "mnYzsxxW271GkmyMnRfiopEkaEpeqLtDy8",
"wif": "cMh9kwaCEttgTQYkyMUYQVbdm5ZarZdBHErcq7mXUChXXCo7CFEh"
}
The stacking object with hashbytes and a version represents the bitcoin address derived from the Stacks address. Read more about the bitcoin address format.
Full documentation available at stacks-gen.

Querying

Get Stacks (STX) balance and nonce

STX balance and nonce can be obtained through the GET /v2/accounts/<stx_address> endpoint:
# for mainnet, replace `testnet` with `mainnet`
curl 'https://stacks-node-api.testnet.stacks.co/v2/accounts/<stx_address>'
Sample response:
{
"balance": "0x0000000000000000002386f26f3f40ec",
"nonce": 17
}
The balance string represents an unsigned 128-bit integer (big-endian) in hex encoding

Get all token balances

All token balances can be obtained through the GET /extended/v1/address/<stx_address>/balances endpoint:
# for mainnet, replace `testnet` with `mainnet`
curl 'https://stacks-node-api.testnet.stacks.co/extended/v1/address/<stx_address>/balances'
Sample response:
{
"stx": {
"balance": "0",
"total_sent": "0",
"total_received": "0"
},
"fungible_tokens": {},
"non_fungible_tokens": {}
}
Stacks accounts cannot hold bitcoins. The best way to obtain corresponding BTC balances is to derive the BTC address from the Stacks address (using c32check) and query the Bitcoin network.

Get all asset events

All asset events associated with the account can be obtained through the GET /extended/v1/address/<stx_address>/assets endpoint:
# for mainnet, replace `testnet` with `mainnet`
curl 'https://stacks-node-api.testnet.stacks.co/extended/v1/address/<stx_address>/assets'
Sample response:
{
"limit": 20,
"offset": 0,
"total": 0,
"results": [
{
"event_index": 5,
"event_type": "non_fungible_token_asset",
"asset": {
"asset_event_type": "transfer",
"asset_id": "ST2W14YX9SFVDB1ZGHSH40CX1YQAP9XKRAYSSVYAG.hello_world::hello-nft",
"sender": "SZ2J6ZY48GV1EZ5V2V5RB9MP66SW86PYKKQ9H6DPR",
"recipient": "SM2J6ZY48GV1EZ5V2V5RB9MP66SW86PYKKQVX8X0G",
"value": {
"hex": "0x0100000000000000000000000000000001",
"repr": "u1"
}
}
},
{
"event_index": 3,
"event_type": "fungible_token_asset",
"asset": {
"asset_event_type": "mint",
"asset_id": "ST2W14YX9SFVDB1ZGHSH40CX1YQAP9XKRAYSSVYAG.hello_world::novel-token-19",
"sender": "",
"recipient": "SZ2J6ZY48GV1EZ5V2V5RB9MP66SW86PYKKQ9H6DPR",
"amount": "12"
}
}
]
}