Fast and minimal implementation of bech32, base64, base58, base32 & base16

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9260.10.22 years ago6 years agoMinified + gzip package size for micro-base in KB


Fast and minimal implementation of bech32, base64, base58, base32 & base16.
Written in functional style, uses chaining, has unique tests which ensure correctness.
Matches following specs:


npm install micro-base

const {base16, base32, base64, base58} = require('micro-base');
// Flavors
const {base58xmr, base58xrp, base32hex, base32crockford, base64url} = require('micro-base');

const data = Uint8Array.from([1, 2, 3]);

// Everything has the same API except for bech32 and base58check

// bech32
const {bech32, bech32m} = require('micro-base');
const words = bech32.toWords(data);
const be = bech32.encode('prefix', words);
const {prefix, words} = bech32.decode(be);
bech32m.encode('prefix', words);

// base58check is special-case
// you need to pass sha256() function that returns Uint8Array
const {base58check} = require('micro-base');

// Alternative API
const {str, bytes} = require('micro-base');
const encoded = str('base64', data);
const data = bytes('base64', encoded);

Design rationale

The code may feel unnecessarily complicated; but actually it's much easier to reason about. Any encoding library consists of two functions:
encode(A) -> B
decode(B) -> A
  where X = decode(encode(X))
  # encode(decode(X)) can be !== X!
  # because decoding can normalize input

base58checksum = {
  encode(): {
    // checksum
    // radix conversion
    // alphabet
  decode(): {
    // alphabet
    // radix conversion
    // checksum

But instead of creating two big functions for each specific case, we create them from tiny composamble building blocks:
base58checksum = chain(checksum(), radix(), alphabet())

Which is the same as chain/pipe/sequence function in Functional Programming, but significantly more useful since it enforces same order of execution of encode/decode. Basically you only define encode (in declarative way) and get correct decode for free. So, instead of reasoning about two big functions you need only reason about primitives and encode chain. The design revealed obvious bug in older version of the lib, where xmr version of base58 had errors in decode's block processing.
Besides base-encodings, we can reuse the same approach with any encode/decode function (bytes2number, bytes2u32, etc). For example, you can easily encode entropy to mnemonic (BIP-39):
export function getCoder(wordlist: string[]) {
  if (!Array.isArray(wordlist) || wordlist.length !== 2 ** 11 || typeof wordlist[0] !== 'string') {
    throw new Error('Worlist: expected array of 2048 strings');
  return mbc.chain(mbu.checksum(1, checksum), mbu.radix2(11, true), mbu.alphabet(wordlist));

base58 is O(n^2) and radixes

Uint8Array is represented as big-endian number:
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5] -> 1*(256**4) + 2*(256**3) 3*(256**2) + 4*(256**1) + 5*(256**0)
where 256 = 2**8 (8 bits per byte)

which is then converted to a number in another radix/base (16/32/58/64, etc).
However, generic conversion between bases has quadratic O(n^2) time complexity.
Which means base58 has quadratic time complexity too. Use base58 only when you have small constant sized input, because variable length sized input from user can cause DoS.
On the other hand, if both bases are power of same number (like 2**8 <-> 2**64), there is linear algorithm. For now we have implementation for power-of-two bases only (radix2).


MIT (c) Paul Miller (https://paulmillr.com), see LICENSE file.