I am currently signing with a the ECDSASignature spec in java however I noticed that getting a v value from the signature is a custom spec for ethereum.

My code:

public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception
    byte[] offer = {
            0x00, 0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,
            0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00,0x00, 0x01,
            0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x01

//TODO port to android
//TODO get v value
private static JSONObject getAgreementFromAdmin(byte[] offer) throws Exception
    //no need for address, from ecrecover you can take the token.
    System.out.println("offer: " +  offer.length);
    // sign() returns r, s but not v
    // org.web3j.crypto.ECDSASignature
    ECDSASignature signature = TransactionQueue.getAdminKeyPair().sign(offer);
    BigInteger r = signature.r;
    BigInteger s = signature.s;
    int v = 27; // minimum value of v, if not working try with 28
    JSONObject agreementJSON = new JSONObject();
    agreementJSON.put("offer", "0x" + bytesToHex(offer));
    agreementJSON.put("v", v);
    agreementJSON.put("r", r);
    agreementJSON.put("s", s);

    return agreementJSON;

The sign method is defined as:

public ECDSASignature sign(byte[] transactionHash) {
    ECDSASigner signer = new ECDSASigner(new HMacDSAKCalculator(new SHA256Digest()));

    ECPrivateKeyParameters privKey = new ECPrivateKeyParameters(privateKey, Sign.CURVE);
    signer.init(true, privKey);
    BigInteger[] components = signer.generateSignature(transactionHash);

    return new ECDSASignature(components[0], components[1]).toCanonicalised();
  • Do you have a question? Might be more effective to state it clearly. Jan 8, 2018 at 9:47
  • I am looking at the same thing. There is some code in the Nethereum signer sources that calculates v, I noticed, that might help, but that seems to 'guess' the v value by looking at 4 possible values.
    – Sentinel
    Jan 10, 2018 at 12:27
  • Check out this answer ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions/35764/…
    – Sentinel
    Jan 10, 2018 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


This is similar to this question. The calculation of v in the geth client can be found here. It's simply the combination of

  • parity of the y coordinate of "r".
  • overflow flag (which, as per the comment, won't happen in reality).

To calculate v, you need to know the y coordinate that corresponds to r. You may need access to the internals of your library to do this.

Please see this question R,S,V ECDSA packet signatures

r is a function of the x coordinate of the point on the curve. The x coordinate can correspond to 2 y coordinates on the elliptic curve, which is symmetrical over the x axis. v specifies which of the two y coordinates were used, to help with the public key verification.

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