Algorand Namespace - Chains

Author Jason Paulos
Status Draft
Type Standard
Created 2023-01-11
Requires CAIP-2


For context, see the [CAIP-2][] specification.


In CAIP-2 a general blockchain identification scheme is defined. This is the implementation of CAIP-2 for Algorand network.

Algorand Namespace

The namespace “algorand” refers to the wider Algorand ecosystem.


Algorand consists of multiple networks: a production network (MainNet), a testing network (TestNet), a network where new features are trialed (BetaNet), and many more, including private networks used for development. Each network has a unique genesis hash that can be used to identify it.

An identifier for an Algorand chain consists of the namespace prefix “algorand:” followed by a truncated form of the chain’s genesis hash.


Due to length and character limitations of CAIP-2 reference identifiers (references must adhere to [-_a-zA-Z0-9]{1,32}), the commonly referenced standard base64-encoded genesis hash of an Algorand chain cannot be used directly as a reference.

Instead, two changes must be made:

  1. The genesis hash must be encoded with a URL-safe base64 alphabet (i.e. the characters + and / must be replaced with - and _, respectively).
  2. Only the first 32 characters of the URL-safe base64-encoding will be used.

Resolution Method

To resolve the blockchain reference for an Algorand chain, a GET request can be made to an Algorand node on the path /v2/transactions/params. This will return a JSON object with the the key genesis-hash, whose value is the base64-encoded genesis hash of the current chain.

For example:

// Request
curl -H "X-Algo-API-Token:${YOUR_AUTH_TOKEN}" "https://example.algorand.node/v2/transactions/params"

// Response (formatted)
  "consensus-version": "",
  "fee": 0,
  "genesis-hash": "mFgazF+2uRS1tMiL9dsj01hJGySEmPN28B/TjjvpVW0=",
  "genesis-id": "betanet-v1.0",
  "last-round": 23473050,
  "min-fee": 1000

Note that the genesis-hash value returned must be re-encoded with the URL-safe base64 alphabet, and it will be substringed to the first 32 characters.

For example, this Node.js code transforms the above response into a CAIP-2 identifier:

const genesisHash = "mFgazF+2uRS1tMiL9dsj01hJGySEmPN28B/TjjvpVW0=";
const urlSafe = Buffer.from(genesisHash, "base64").toString("base64url");
const prefix = urlSafe.substring(0, 32);
const identifier = "algorand:" + prefix;

console.log(identifier); // prints "algorand:mFgazF-2uRS1tMiL9dsj01hJGySEmPN2"

Backwards Compatibility

Not applicable.

Test Cases

# Algorand MainNet has the genesis hash wGHE2Pwdvd7S12BL5FaOP20EGYesN73ktiC1qzkkit8=

# Algorand TestNet has the genesis hash SGO1GKSzyE7IEPItTxCByw9x8FmnrCDexi9/cOUJOiI=

# Algorand BetaNet has the genesis hash mFgazF+2uRS1tMiL9dsj01hJGySEmPN28B/TjjvpVW0=



Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.


Please cite this document as:

Jason Paulos, "namespaces/algorand-caip2: Algorand Namespace - Chains [DRAFT]," Chain Agnostic Namespaces, algorand-caip2, January 2023 / . [Online serial]. Available: