Tendermint KMS

Tendermint KMS is a Key Management Service (KMS) 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.

Install Tendermint KMS onto the node

You will need the following prerequisites:

Rust (stable; 1.56+): https://rustup.rs/

C compiler: e.g. gcc, clang


libusb (1.0+). Install instructions for common platforms

✅ Debian/Ubuntu

apt install libusb-1.0-0-dev

✅ RedHat/CentOS

yum install libusb1-devel

✅ macOS (Homebrew)

brew install libusb

For x86_64 architecture only:

Configure RUSTFLAGS environment variable:

export RUSTFLAGS=-Ctarget-feature=+aes,+ssse3

We are ready to install KMS. There are 2 ways to do this: compile from source or install with Rusts cargo-install. We’ll use the first option.

Compile from source code

The following example adds --features=ledger to enable Ledger support. tmkms can be compiled directly from the git repository source code, using the following commands:

gh repo clone iqlusioninc/tmkms && cd tmkms
cargo build --release --features=ledger

Alternatively, substitute --features=yubihsm to enable YubiHSM support.

If successful, it will produce the tmkms executable located at: ./target/release/tmkms.


A KMS can be configured using the following HSMs


Detailed information on how to setup a KMS with YubiHSM 2 can be found here.

Ledger Tendermint app

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

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