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Version: v3.x.x


WebAuthn enables users to authenticate with web apps using biometrics, passkeys, or other authenticators, providing user-friendly and secure alternative to traditional password-based authentication.

WebAuthn involves two main flows: registration and authentication. During registration, a new public key credential associated with the user and their device is created. During authentication, the user proves ownership of the corresponding private key by signing a challenge.

The @lit-protocol/lit-auth-client package leverages the @simplewebauthn/browser library and makes it easy to integrate WebAuthn into your web apps.

Registering a Credential

Registration is similar to creating a new account. During the registration process, the user is prompted to create a new public key credential. The public key credential is stored in the smart contract as the new PKP is minted for the user.

// Set up LitAuthClient
const litAuthClient = new LitAuthClient({
litRelayConfig: {
// Request a Lit Relay Server API key here:
relayApiKey: '<Your Lit Relay Server API Key>',

// Initialize WebAuthn provider

async function registerWithWebAuthn() {
const provider = litAuthClient.getProvider(ProviderType.WebAuthn);
// Register new WebAuthn credential
const options = await provider.register();

// Verify registration and mint PKP through relay server
const txHash = await provider.verifyAndMintPKPThroughRelayer(options);
const response = await provider.relay.pollRequestUntilTerminalState(
// Return public key of newly minted PKP
return response.pkpPublicKey;

The Lit Relay Server enables you to mint PKPs without worrying about gas fees. You can also use your own relay server or mint PKPs directly using Lit's contracts.

If you are using Lit Relay Server, you will need to request an API key here.

Minting via Contract

An alternative to minting the PKP NFT via the Lit Relay Server is to send a transaction to the smart contract yourself. To do this for WebAuthn credentials, you can reference the following example data that is passed to the mintNextAndAddAuthMethods method of the PKPHelper smart contract:

  • keyType is 2
  • permittedAuthMethodTypes is [3]
  • permittedAuthMethodIds is an array with 1 element being the hash of a string derived from the credential's rawId - see here for reference.
  • permittedAuthMethodPubkeys is an array with 1 element being the CBOR encoded credential public key - see here for reference.
  • permittedAuthMethodScopes is an array with 1 zero-initialized element, e.g. [[ethers.BigNumber.from("0")]]
  • addPkpEthAddressAsPermittedAddress is true
  • sendPkpToItself is true

Authenticating a Credential

Authentication is similar to logging in with an existing account. During the authentication process, the user is prompted to sign a challenge. The signed challenge is then sent to the Lit nodes, which verify the signature and generates a threshold signature of an AuthSig for the associated PKP.

async function authenticateWithWebAuthn() {
const provider = litAuthClient.getProvider(ProviderType.WebAuthn);
const authMethod = await provider.authenticate();
return authMethod;

The authenticate method returns an AuthMethod object containing the authentication data. You can use the authentication data to mint or fetch PKPs associated with the verified WebAuthn credential.

Generating SessionSigs

After successfully authenticating with a social login provider, you can generate SessionSigs using the provider's getSessionSigs method. The getSessionSigs method takes in an AuthMethod object, optional LitNodeClient object, a PKP public key, and other session-specific arguments in SessionSigsParams object such as resourceAbilityRequests and chain. View the API Docs.

// Get session signatures for the given PKP public key and auth method
const sessionSigs = await provider.getSessionSigs({
authMethod: '<AuthMethod object returned from authenticate()>',
pkpPublicKey: '<YOUR PKP PUBLIC KEY>'
sessionSigsParams: {
chain: 'ethereum',
resourceAbilityRequests: [{
resource: litResource,
ability: LitAbility.AccessControlConditionDecryption

Technical Details

While the registration step involves minting a PKP via the Lit Relay Server (or, optionally, you can send a transaction to the contract yourself), we have implemented an authentication scheme that involves sending signed challenges to the decentralized Lit Network instead.

This works by using a recent block hash on the underlying blockchain (Polygon Mumbai) as a challenge, and having the user authenticate with their platform authenticator to generate a credential assertion (signature). When each Lit node receives this credential assertion from the client, they can recover the COSE credential public key which is stored in the smart contract to verify whether the assertion / signature is valid. If the signature is valid, then the nodes will return AuthSig signature shares back to the client.