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Notes

Two of Miden’s key goals are parallel transaction execution and privacy.

Polygon Miden implements a hybrid UTXO and account-based state model which enforces these goals with notes. Notes interact with, and transfer assets between, accounts. They can be consumed and produced asynchronously and privately.

The concept of notes is a key divergence from Ethereum’s account-based model.

Note design

Architecture core concepts

Key to diagram

  • Assets: An asset container for a note. It can contain up to 256 assets stored in an array which can be reduced to a single hash.
  • Script: To be executed in the transaction in which the note is consumed. The script defines the conditions for the consumption. If the script fails, the note cannot be consumed.
  • Inputs: Used to execute the note script. They can be accessed by the note script via transaction kernel procedures. A note can be associated with up to 128 input values. Each value is represented by a single field element. Thus, note input values can contain up to ~1 KB of data.
  • Serial number: A note’s unique identifier to break link-ability between note hash and nullifier. Should be a random word chosen by the user - if revealed, the nullifier might be computed easily.
  • In addition, a note has metadata including the sender and the note tag. Those values are always public regardless of the note storage mode.

Note lifecycle

New notes are created by executing transactions.

After verifying the transaction proof the operator adds either only the note hash (private notes) or the full note data (public notes) to the note database.

Notes can be produced and consumed locally by users in local transactions or by the operator in a network transaction.

Note consumption requires the transacting party to know the note data to compute the nullifier. After successful verification, the operator sets the corresponding entry in the nullifier database to “consumed”.

Architecture core concepts

Note creation

Notes are created as the outputs (OutputNotes) of Miden transactions. Operators record the notes to the note database. After successful verification of the underlying transactions, those notes can be consumed.

The note script

Every note has a script which gets executed at note consumption. It is always executed in the context of a single account, and thus, may invoke zero or more of the account’s functions. The script allows for more than just asset transfers; actions which could be of arbitrary complexity thanks to the Turing completeness of the Miden VM.

By design, every note script can be defined as a unique hash or the root of a Miden program MAST. That also means every function is a commitment to the underlying code. That code cannot change unnoticed to the user because its hash changes. That way it is easy to recognize standardized notes and those which deviate.

Note scripts are created together with their inputs, i.e., the creator of the note defines which inputs are used at note execution by the executor. However, the executor or prover can pass optional note args. Note args are data put onto the the stack right before a note script is executed. These are different from note inputs, as the executing account can specify arbitrary note args.

There are standard note scripts (P2ID, P2IDR, SWAP) that users can create and add to their notes using the Miden client or by calling internal Rust code.

  • P2ID and P2IDR scripts are used to send assets to a specific account ID. The scripts check at note consumption if the executing account ID equals the account ID that was set by the note creator as note inputs. The P2IDR script is reclaimable and thus after a certain block height can also be consumed by the sender itself.
  • SWAP script is a simple way to swap assets. It adds an asset from the note into the consumer’s vault and creates a new note consumable by the first note’s issuer containing the requested asset.

Example note script pay to ID (P2ID)

Want to know how to ensure a note can only be consumed by a specified account? #### Goal of the P2ID script The P2ID script defines a specific target account ID as the only account that can consume the note. Such notes ensure a targeted asset transfer. #### Imports and context The P2ID script uses procedures from the account, note and wallet API.
use.miden::account
use.miden::note
use.miden::contracts::wallets::basic->wallet
As discussed in detail in [transaction kernel procedures](../transactions/transaction-procedures.md) certain procedures can only be invoked in certain contexts. The note script is being executed in the note context of the [transaction kernel](../transactions/transaction-kernel.md). #### Main script The main part of the P2ID script checks if the executing account is the same as the account defined in the `NoteInputs`. The creator of the note defines the note script and the note inputs separately to ensure usage of the same standardized P2ID script regardless of the target account ID. That way, it is enough to check the script root (see above).
# Pay-to-ID script: adds all assets from the note to the account, assuming ID of the account
# matches target account ID specified by the note inputs.
#
# Requires that the account exposes: miden::contracts::wallets::basic::receive_asset procedure.
#
# Inputs: [SCRIPT_ROOT]
# Outputs: []
#
# Note inputs are assumed to be as follows:
# - target_account_id is the ID of the account for which the note is intended.
#
# FAILS if:
# - Account does not expose miden::contracts::wallets::basic::receive_asset procedure.
# - Account ID of executing account is not equal to the Account ID specified via note inputs.
# - The same non-fungible asset already exists in the account.
# - Adding a fungible asset would result in amount overflow, i.e., the total amount would be
#   greater than 2^63.
begin
    # drop the transaction script root
    dropw
    # => []

    # load the note inputs to memory starting at address 0
    push.0 exec.note::get_inputs
      # => [inputs_ptr]

    # read the target account id from the note inputs
    mem_load
    # => [target_account_id]

    exec.account::get_id
    # => [account_id, target_account_id, ...]

    # ensure account_id = target_account_id, fails otherwise
    assert_eq
    # => [...]

    exec.add_note_assets_to_account
    # => [...]
end
Every note script starts with the note script root on top of the stack. After the `dropw`, the stack is cleared. Next, the script stored the note inputs at pos 0 in the [relative note context memory](https://0xpolygonmiden.github.io/miden-base/transactions/transaction-procedures.html#transaction-contexts) by `push.0 exec.note::get_inputs`. Then, `mem_load` loads a `Felt` from the specified memory address and puts it on top of the stack, in that cases the `target_account_id` defined by the creator of the note. Now, the note invokes `get_id` from the account API using `exec.account::get_id` - which is possible even in the note context. Because, there are two account IDs on top of the stack now, `assert_eq` fails if the two account IDs (target_account_id and executing_account_id) are not the same. That means, the script cannot be successfully executed if executed by any other account than the account specified by the note creator using the note inputs. If execution hasn't failed, the script invokes a helper procedure `exec.add_note_assets_to_account` to add the note's assets into the executing account's vault. #### Add assets This procedure adds the assets held by the note into the account's vault.
#! Helper procedure to add all assets of a note to an account.
#!
#! Inputs: []
#! Outputs: []
#!
proc.add_note_assets_to_account
    push.0 exec.note::get_assets
    # => [num_of_assets, 0 = ptr, ...]

    # compute the pointer at which we should stop iterating
    dup.1 add
    # => [end_ptr, ptr, ...]

    # pad the stack and move the pointer to the top
    padw movup.5
    # => [ptr, 0, 0, 0, 0, end_ptr, ...]

    # compute the loop latch
    dup dup.6 neq
    # => [latch, ptr, 0, 0, 0, 0, end_ptr, ...]

    while.true
        # => [ptr, 0, 0, 0, 0, end_ptr, ...]

        # save the pointer so that we can use it later
        dup movdn.5
        # => [ptr, 0, 0, 0, 0, ptr, end_ptr, ...]

        # load the asset and add it to the account
        mem_loadw call.wallet::receive_asset
        # => [ASSET, ptr, end_ptr, ...]

        # increment the pointer and compare it to the end_ptr
        movup.4 add.1 dup dup.6 neq
        # => [latch, ptr+1, ASSET, end_ptr, ...]
    end

    # clear the stack
    drop dropw drop
end
The procedure starts by calling `exec.note::get_assets`. As with the note's inputs before, this writes the assets of the note into memory starting at the specified address. Assets are stored in consecutive memory slots, so `dup.1 add` provides the last memory slot. In Miden, [assets](assets.md) are represented by `Words`, so we need to pad the stack with four `0`s to make room for an asset. Now, if there is at least one asset (checked by `dup dup.6 neq`), the loop starts. It first saves the pointer for later use (`dup movdn.5`), then loads the first asset `mem_loadw` on top of the stack. Now, the procedure calls the a function of the account interface `call.wallet::receive_asset` to put the asset into the account's vault. Due to different [contexts](https://0xpolygonmiden.github.io/miden-base/transactions/transaction-procedures.html#transaction-contexts), a note script cannot directly call an account function to add the asset. The account must expose this function in its [interface](https://0xpolygonmiden.github.io/miden-base/architecture/accounts.html#example-account-code). Lastly, the pointer gets incremented, and if there is a second asset, the loop continues (`movup.4 add.1 dup dup.6 neq`). Finally, when all assets were put into the account's vault, the stack is cleared (`drop dropw drop`).

Note storage mode

Similar to accounts, there are two storage modes for notes in Miden. Notes can be stored on-chain in the note database with all data publicly visible for everyone. Alternatively, notes can be stored off-chain by committing only the note hash to the note database.

Every note has a unique note hash. It is defined as follows:

hash(hash(hash(hash(serial_num, [0; 4]), script_hash), input_hash), vault_hash)

Info

To compute a note’s hash, we do not need to know the note’s serial_num. Knowing the hash of the serial_num (as well as script_hash, input_hash and note_vault) is also sufficient. We compute the hash of serial_num as hash(serial_num, [0; 4]) to simplify processing within the VM._

Note discovery

Note discovery describes the process of Miden clients finding notes they want to consume. There are two ways to receive new relevant notes - getting notes via an off-chain channel or querying the Miden operator to request newly recorded relevant notes. The latter is done via note tags. Tags are part of the note’s metadata and are represented by a Felt. The SyncState API of the Miden node requires the Miden client to provide a note_tag value which is used as a filter in the operator’s response. Tags are useful for note discovery enabling an easy collection of all notes matching a certain tag.

Note consumption

As with creation, notes can only be consumed in Miden transactions. If a valid transaction consuming an InputNote gets verified by the Miden node, the note’s unique nullifier gets added to the nullifier database and is therefore consumed.

Notes can only be consumed if the note data is known to the consumer. The note data must be provided as input to the transaction kernel. That means, for privately stored notes, there must be some off-chain communication to transmit the note’s data from the sender to the target.

Note recipient to restrict note consumption

There are several ways to restrict the set of accounts that can consume a specific note. One way is to specifically define the target account ID as done in the P2ID and P2IDR note scripts. Another way is by using the concept of a RECIPIENT. Miden defines a RECIPIENT (represented as Word) as:

hash(hash(hash(serial_num, [0; 4]), script_hash), input_hash)

This concept restricts note consumption to those users who know the pre-image data of RECIPIENT - which might be a bigger set than a single account.

During the transaction prologue the users needs to provide all the data to compute the note hash. That means, one can create notes that can only be consumed if the serial_num and other data is known. This information can be passed on off-chain by the sender to the consumer. This is only useful with private notes.For public notes, all note data is known, and anyone can compute the RECIPIENT.

You can see in the standard SWAP note script how RECIPIENT is used. Here, using a single hash, is sufficient to ensure that the swapped asset and its note can only be consumed by the defined target.

Note nullifier to ensure private consumption

The note’s nullifier is computed as:

hash(serial_num, script_hash, input_hash, vault_hash)

This achieves the following properties:

  • Every note can be reduced to a single unique nullifier.
  • One cannot derive a note’s hash from its nullifier.
  • To compute the nullifier, one must know all components of the note: serial_num, script_hash, input_hash, and vault_hash.

That means if a note is private and the operator stores only the note’s hash, only those with the note details know if this note has been consumed already. Zcash first introduced this approach.

Architecture core concepts