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Last update: April 15, 2021

Using flexible privacy groups

Use the web3.js-eea library to create and update membership of flexible privacy groups.


Because group membership for flexible privacy groups is stored in a smart contract, flexible privacy groups are also known as onchain privacy groups.


Flexible privacy groups are an early access feature. Do not use in production networks.

The flexible privacy group interfaces may change between releases. There may not be an upgrade path from flexible privacy groups created using v1.5 or earlier to enable use of flexible privacy group functionality in future versions.

We do not recommend creating flexible privacy groups in a chain with existing offchain privacy groups.

Enabling flexible privacy groups

Use the --privacy-flexible-groups-enabled command line option to enable flexible privacy groups. When flexible privacy groups are enabled, the priv_createPrivacyGroup, priv_deletePrivacyGroup, and priv_findPrivacyGroup methods for off-chain privacy groups are disabled.

Simple flexible privacy group example

To create and find a flexible privacy group using the web3.js-eea library:

  1. Update the example/keys.js file to match your network configuration.

  2. Run:

    node simpleExample.js

    This script creates the flexible privacy group with two members. findPrivacyGroup finds and displays the created privacy group.


The Orion logs for Orion 1 and Orion 2 display PrivacyGroupNotFound errors. This is expected behavior because private transactions check offchain and onchain to find the privacy group for a private transaction.

Adding and removing members

To add and remove members from a flexible privacy group, use the addToPrivacyGroup and removeFromPrivacyGroup methods in the web3.js-eea library client library.


When adding a member, Besu pushes all existing group transactions to the new member and processes them. If there are a large number of existing transactions, adding the member might take some time.

Questions or feedback? You can discuss issues and obtain free support on Hyperledger Besu chat channel.
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