Trying to follow this documentation on verifying a signature: https://goethereumbook.org/signature-verify/

Where I am a bit confused is this line:

publicKeyBytes := crypto.FromECDSAPub(publicKeyECDSA)

How do you get publicKeyECDSA from a given public key such as:


At the top of the documentation it reads you need "3 things to verify the signature: the signature, the hash of the original data, and the public key of the signer." However the publicKeyECDSA is not the public key as shown above. How can I get the provided public key into the publicKeyBytes?

There is an example a bit lower on the page that does this:

publicKey := privateKey.Public()
publicKeyECDSA, ok := publicKey.(*ecdsa.PublicKey)

but you need the private key initially to get this. But if I am trying to verify a signature of some unknown address, I wont have their private key.

1 Answer 1


You only need the public key in bytes format which means you don't need the private key at all and don't need the key in ecdsa type either.

For example:

publicKeyBytes, err := hex.DecodeString("049a7df67f79246283fdc93af76d4f8cdd62c4886e8cd870944e817dd0b97934fdd7719d0810951e03418205868a5c1b40b192451367f28e0088dd75e15de40c05")

sigPublicKey, err := crypto.Ecrecover(hashBytes, signatureBytes)

matches := bytes.Equal(sigPublicKey, publicKeyBytes)

To derive the public address from the public key bytes, you'll need to take the last 20 bytes from the keccack256 hash of the public key:

var buf []byte
hash := sha3.NewKeccak256()
hash.Write(publicKeyBytes[1:]) // remove EC prefix 04
buf = hash.Sum(nil)
publicAddress := hexutil.Encode(buf[12:])
fmt.Println(publicAddress) // 96216849c49358b10257cb55b28ea603c874b05e

Put it in a function that returns an address type:

func PublicKeyBytesToAddress(publicKey []byte) common.Address {
    var buf []byte

    hash := sha3.NewKeccak256()
    hash.Write(publicKey[1:]) // remove EC prefix 04
    buf = hash.Sum(nil)
    address := buf[12:]

    return common.HexToAddress(hex.EncodeToString(address))

If you don't have a the user's public key then convert the signature public key to an address and compare them:

sigPubAddress := PublicKeyBytesToAddress(sigPublicKey)
userPubAddress := common.HexToAddress("0x96216849c49358B10257cb55b28eA603c874b05E")
matches := sigPubAddress.Hex() == userPubAddress.Hex()


  • Thankyou for your answer. One thing I am confused on however. How do I get from a given public address to the public key bytes? If someone were not too crypto savvy and gave their public address such as: 0x99877b0ab19d67ec313842df746Ce7Cd99BAADfD How do I take that and get it to bytes format?
    – Chipe
    Jan 5, 2019 at 16:21
  • @Chipe convert convert the derived signature public key to an address and then compare the provided public address. See updated answer. Jan 7, 2019 at 3:28

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