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Updated on September 1, 2021

Multi-tenancy via Multiple Private States

In a typical network, each participant (tenant) uses its own GoQuorum and Tessera node. Tessera can be configured to manage multiple key pairs which are owned by one tenant. This model is costly to run and scale as more tenants join the network.

Multi-tenancy via Multiple Private States allows multiple tenants to use the same GoQuorum node, with each tenant having it’s own private state(s). Tenants can perform all operations (create/read/write) on any contract in their private state and a single tenant can have access to multiple private states. Multi-tenancy allows for a similar user experience to a user running their own managed node.

The public state remains available publicly to all tenants and private states are logically separated.

uml diagram

In this scenario, an organization represents a tenant with multiple departments, and users within the departments. Each tenant operates on it’s own private state. Each user in an organization owns one or more privacy manager key pairs that allows them to operate on their organization’s private state. A network operator administers entitlements and private state access for each organization using the Authorization Server.

JSON RPC security features are used to manage a users access to a private state. The Authentication Server setup controls this access.

Configuration changes

In order to run a multi-tenant node, the node must have the configuration changes needed for MPS

Enable Multi-tenancy via MPS

Multi-tenancy requires Tessera version 21.4.0 or later and GoQuorum to be MPS enabled.

To enable multi-tenancy, configure the JSON RPC Security plugin and start GoQuorum with the --multitenancy command line option:

geth <other parameters> \
    --multitenancy \
    --plugins file:///<path>/<to>/plugins.json

In the command, plugins.json is the plugin settings file that contains the JSON RPC Security plugin definition. View the security plugins documentation for more information about how to configure the JSON RPC Security plugin.


If quorum-security-plugin-enterprise is used, plugins.json will look like the below

    "providers": {
        "security": {
            "config": "/path/to/config.json"

Enterprise Authorization Server

To support Multi-tenancy, an Authorization Server will need to be configured. The Authorization Server has the ability to grant private state access to clients via a private state identifier. View Multi-tenancy via Multiple Private States for more information on how to set up the Authorization server and configure a Multi-tenant network.

Access token scope

The JSON RPC Security plugin enables the geth JSON RPC API server to be an OAuth2-compliant resource server. A client must first obtain a pre-authenticated access token from an authorization server, then present the access token (using an Authorization HTTP request header) when calling an API. Calls to the quorum RPC API without an authenticated token are rejected.

The value of the scope encoded in an access token (in case of JWT), or introspection response (in the case of the OAuth2 Token Introspection API) contains the RPC scope and tenant scope which has the following URL-based syntax:

Specific scope details here…


In the syntax, PSI is the URL-encoded value of the PSI, which represents the private state the tenant has access to.

For example, for a client that has access to two private states PS1 and PS2, an authorization server operator would setup and grant the following scopes to the client:


A client presenting an access token containing the above scopes has full access (read/write/create) to private contracts on private states PS1 and PS2 using any self or node managed Ethereum Accounts.

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