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The registry service is responsible for managing a registry of runtime, entity and node public keys and metadata.

The service interface definition lives in go/registry/api. It defines the supported queries and transactions. For more information you can also check out the consensus service API documentation.


The registry service manages different kinds of resources which are described from a high level perspective in this section.

Entities and Nodes

An entity managed by the registry service is a key pair that owns resources in the registry. It can represent an organization or an individual with stake on the network.

Currently, an entity can own the following types of resources:

  • nodes and
  • runtimes.

A node is a device (process running in a VM, on bare metal, in a container, etc.) that is participating in a committee on the Oasis Core network. It is identified by its own key pair.

The reason for separating entities from nodes is to enable separation of concerns. Both nodes and entities require stake to operate (e.g., to be registered in the registry and be eligible for specific roles). While entities have their own (or delegated) stake, nodes use stake provided by entities that operate them. Nodes need to periodically refresh their resource descriptor in the registry in order for it to remain fresh and to do this they need to have online access to their corresponding private key(s).

On the other hand entities’ private keys are more sensitive as they can be used to manage stake and other resources. For this reason they should usually be kept offline and having entities as separate resources enables that.


runtime is effectively a replicated application with shared state. The registry resource describes a runtime’s operational parameters, including its identifier, kind, admission policy, committee scheduling, storage, governance model, etc. For a full description of the runtime descriptor see the Runtime structure.

The chosen governance model indicates how the runtime descriptor can be updated in the future.

There are currently three supported governance models:

  • Entity governance where the runtime owner is the only one who can update the runtime descriptor via registry.RegisterRuntime method calls.
  • Runtime-defined governance where the runtime itself is the only one who can update the runtime descriptor by emitting a runtime message.
  • Consensus layer governance where only the consensus layer itself can update the runtime descriptor through network governance.


The following sections describe the methods supported by the consensus registry service.

Register Entity

Entity registration enables a new entity to be created. A new register entity transaction can be generated using NewRegisterEntityTx.

Method name:


The body of a register entity transaction must be a SignedEntity structure, which is a signed envelope containing an Entity descriptor. The signer of the entity MUST be the same as the signer of the transaction.

Registering an entity may require sufficient stake in the entity’s escrow account.

Deregister Entity

Entity deregistration enables an existing entity to be removed. A new deregister entity transaction can be generated using NewDeregisterEntityTx.

Method name:


The body of a register entity transaction must be nil. The entity is implied to be the signer of the transaction.

If an entity still has either nodes or runtimes registered, it is not possible to deregister an entity and such a transaction will fail.

Register Node

Node registration enables a new node to be created. A new register node transaction can be generated using NewRegisterNodeTx.

Method name:


The body of a register entity transaction must be a MultiSignedNode structure, which is a multi-signed envelope containing a Node descriptor. The signer of the transaction MUST be the node identity key.

The owning entity MUST have the given node identity public key whitelisted in the Nodes field in its Entity descriptor.

The node descriptor structure MUST be signed by all of the following keys:

  • Node identity key.
  • Consensus key.
  • TLS key.
  • P2P key.

Registering a node may require sufficient stake in the owning entity’s escrow account. There are two kinds of thresholds that the node may need to satisfy:

  • Global thresholds are the same for all runtimes and are defined by the consensus parameters (see Thresholds in staking consensus parameters).
  • In addition to the global thresholds, each runtime the node is registering for may define their own thresholds. The runtime-specific thresholds are defined in the Staking field in the runtime descriptor.

In case the node is registering for multiple runtimes, it needs to satisfy the sum of thresholds of all the runtimes it is registering for.

Unfreeze Node

Node unfreezing enables a previously frozen (e.g., due to slashing) node to be thawed so it can again be eligible for committee elections. A new unfreeze node transaction can be generated using NewUnfreezeNodeTx.

Method name:



type UnfreezeNode struct {
NodeID signature.PublicKey `json:"node_id"`


  • node_id specifies the node identifier of the node to thaw.

The transaction signer MUST be the entity key that owns the node.

Thawing a node requires that the node’s freeze period has already passed. The freeze period for any given attributable fault (e.g., double signing) is a consensus parameter (see Slashing in staking consensus parameters).

Register Runtime

Runtime registration enables a new runtime to be created. A new register runtime transaction can be generated using NewRegisterRuntimeTx.

Method name:


The body of a register runtime transaction must be a Runtime descriptor. The signer of the transaction MUST be the owning entity key.

Registering a runtime may require sufficient stake in either the owning entity’s (when entity governance is used) or the runtime’s (when runtime governance is used) escrow account.

Changing the governance model from entity governance to runtime governance is allowed. Any other governance model changes are not allowed.


Test Vectors

To generate test vectors for various registry transactions, run:

make -C go registry/gen_vectors

For more information about the structure of the test vectors see the section on Transaction Test Vectors.

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