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Version: 4.2.0

KMS - Key Management System

Tendermint KMS is a key management sytem that allows separating key management from Tendermint nodes. In addition, it provides other advantages such as:

  • Improved security and risk management policies
  • Unified API and support for various HSM (hardware security modules)
  • Double signing protection (software or hardware based)

It is recommended that the KMS service runs in a separate physical hosts.


Detailed build instructions can be found here.


When compiling the KMS, ensure you have enabled the applicable features:

BackendRecommended Command line
YubiHSMcargo build --features yubihsm
Ledger+Tendermint Appcargo build --features ledgertm
Softsign (software-only)cargo build --features softsign


A KMS can be configured in various ways:

Using a YubiHSM

Detailed information on how to setup a KMS with YubiHSM2 can be found here

Using a Ledger device running the Tendermint app

Detailed information on how to setup a KMS with Ledger Tendermint App can be found here

Using the Softsign feature with tmkms

Softsign is not recommended for production.
Otherwise, it could be a good way in order to become familiar with the tendermint kms and understand the concepts behind it.
Here you can find out how to setup it (e.g in a testnet).