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I am looking into getting the public key from ANY ethereum address (not owned by me) that has sent a transaction at least once. It seems that the most viable solution here would be to use ethereumjs-utils

/**
 * ECDSA public key recovery from signature
 * @param {Buffer} msgHash
 * @param {Number} v
 * @param {Buffer} r
 * @param {Buffer} s
 * @return {Buffer} publicKey
 */
exports.ecrecover = function (msgHash, v, r, s) {
  var signature = Buffer.concat([exports.setLength(r, 32), exports.setLength(s, 32)], 64)
  var recovery = v - 27
  if (recovery !== 0 && recovery !== 1) {
    throw new Error('Invalid signature v value')
  }
  var senderPubKey = secp256k1.recover(msgHash, signature, recovery)
  return secp256k1.publicKeyConvert(senderPubKey, false).slice(1)
}

The user mentions that

when you send a transaction, you sign the transaction and it includes these v r and s values. You parse these from the signed tx and then pass these v r and s values and the has of the transaction back into a function and it'll spit out the public key

This last step is completely unclear to me. I do not understand how we parse "v", "r" and "s".

Picking a random transaction hash on Etherscan.io, how are we going to "parse" the v,r and s parameters?

2

If you have the transaction hash you can call eth_getTransactionByHash which will return the parsed fields of transaction including r, s and v.

{
  "jsonrpc":"2.0",
  "id":1,
  "result":{
    "blockHash":"0x1d59ff54b1eb26b013ce3cb5fc9dab3705b415a67127a003c3e61eb445bb8df2",
    "blockNumber":"0x5daf3b", // 6139707
    "from":"0xa7d9ddbe1f17865597fbd27ec712455208b6b76d",
    "gas":"0xc350", // 50000
    "gasPrice":"0x4a817c800", // 20000000000
    "hash":"0x88df016429689c079f3b2f6ad39fa052532c56795b733da78a91ebe6a713944b",
    "input":"0x68656c6c6f21",
    "nonce":"0x15", // 21
    "to":"0xf02c1c8e6114b1dbe8937a39260b5b0a374432bb",
    "transactionIndex":"0x41", // 65
    "value":"0xf3dbb76162000", // 4290000000000000
    "v":"0x25", // 37
    "r":"0x1b5e176d927f8e9ab405058b2d2457392da3e20f328b16ddabcebc33eaac5fea",
    "s":"0x4ba69724e8f69de52f0125ad8b3c5c2cef33019bac3249e2c0a2192766d1721c"
  }
}

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