Endorsement policies

Endorsement policies are used to instruct a peer on how to decide whether a transaction is properly endorsed. When a peer receives a transaction, it invokes the VSCC (Validation System Chaincode) associated with the transaction’s Chaincode as part of the transaction validation flow to determine the validity of the transaction. Recall that a transaction contains one or more endorsement from as many endorsing peers. VSCC is tasked to make the following determinations:

  • all endorsements are valid (i.e. they are valid signatures from valid certificates over the expected message)
  • there is an appropriate number of endorsements
  • endorsements come from the expected source(s)

Endorsement policies are a way of specifying the second and third points.

Endorsement policy syntax in the CLI

In the CLI, a simple language is used to express policies in terms of boolean expressions over principals.

A principal is described in terms of the MSP that is tasked to validate the identity of the signer and of the role that the signer has within that MSP. Four roles are supported: member, admin, client, and peer. Principals are described as MSP.ROLE, where MSP is the MSP ID that is required, and ROLE is one of the four strings member, admin, client and peer. Examples of valid principals are 'Org0.admin' (any administrator of the Org0 MSP) or 'Org1.member' (any member of the Org1 MSP), 'Org1.client' (any client of the Org1 MSP), and 'Org1.peer' (any peer of the Org1 MSP).

The syntax of the language is:

EXPR(E[, E...])

where EXPR is either AND or OR, representing the two boolean expressions and E is either a principal (with the syntax described above) or another nested call to EXPR.

For example:
  • AND('Org1.member', 'Org2.member', 'Org3.member') requests 1 signature from each of the three principals
  • OR('Org1.member', 'Org2.member') requests 1 signature from either one of the two principals
  • OR('Org1.member', AND('Org2.member', 'Org3.member')) requests either one signature from a member of the Org1 MSP or 1 signature from a member of the Org2 MSP and 1 signature from a member of the Org3 MSP.

Specifying endorsement policies for a chaincode

Using this language, a chaincode deployer can request that the endorsements for a chaincode be validated against the specified policy.


if not specified at instantiation time, the endorsement policy defaults to “any member of the organizations in the channel”. For example, a channel with “Org1” and “Org2” would have a default endorsement policy of “OR(‘Org1.member’, ‘Org2.member’)”.

The policy can be specified at instantiate time using the -P switch, followed by the policy.

For example:

peer chaincode instantiate -C <channelid> -n mycc -P "AND('Org1.member', 'Org2.member')"

This command deploys chaincode mycc with the policy AND('Org1.member', 'Org2.member') which would require that a member of both Org1 and Org2 sign the transaction.

Notice that, if the identity classification is enabled (see Membership Service Providers (MSP)), one can use the PEER role to restrict endorsement to only peers.

For example:

peer chaincode instantiate -C <channelid> -n mycc -P "AND('Org1.peer', 'Org2.peer')"


A new organization added to the channel after instantiation can query a chaincode (provided the query has appropriate authorization as defined by channel policies and any application level checks enforced by the chaincode) but will not be able to commit a transaction endorsed by it. The endorsement policy needs to be modified to allow transactions to be committed with endorsements from the new organization (see Upgrade and Invoke Chaincode).