# Account derivation

Secret URIs are a way of describing the phrase/seed along with derivation paths. This explains the naming of the default add as addUri(...), it can handle mnemonics, seeds and apply suri derivations on these.

# Diving in

As a follow-up on what we have done in the preceding section, we take a dive into expanding our account addition with derivation, in this case we are applying two hard paths, hard followed by derivation -

...
// add the account with hard derivation paths
keyring.addUri(`${mnemonic}//hard//derivation`, 'donotcare', { name: 'testing derive' });
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This format is standard across the @polkadot/keyring, @polkadot/ui-keyring as well as Substrate subkey, so it is a Polkadot/Substrate specific way of defining derivation paths.

# Understanding paths

To build a suri, you paths, the format is always <mnemonic or seed>[//hard][/soft][///password] and it is passed as-is to the addUri(...) function. the derivation types are -

  • Soft derivation, i.e /<soft path> - Here a single slash, /, denotes a soft derivation. Please note that any pair with an ed25519 type does not support soft derivations, these are only applicable to sr25519 types.

  • Hard derivation, i.e. //<hard path> - Here two slashes, //, denoted a hard derivation. This is available to both sr25519 and ed25519 pairs. Underlying it will apply a hashing function on the secret, generating a new secret for the remainder of the derivations.

  • Password, i.e. ///<password> - Here three slashed, ///, denoted the (optional) password. Unlike hard and soft derivations that can be mixed, only a single password should be specified. The password here applies to the actual uri, not be be confused by the JSON encryption password. It is an additional security layer - if your full mnemonic and all paths do leak without the password, a bad actor would still not be able to generate a compatible secret to access funds without the password.

# Retrieving accounts

With a fim grasp on adding accounts, next we will take a look at retrieving account and account subscriptions.