The only way to access the Curve25519 curve in GPG is through gpg --expert --full-gen-key.

From my knowledge, Curve25519 is one of the most secure (and fast) elliptic curves in cryptography. So why is RSA fine, but Curve25519 is considered a risk only experts should take?


3 Answers 3


The risk mainly resides in compatibility.

See, not all GPG users/systems are updated to the latest version. If you look at the GPG changelogs, you'll notice ECC was first introduced to GPG with version 2.1 in 2015:

  • Support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is now available. ⇒more

None of the pre v2.1 versions of GPG support ECC, which is something that can and most probably will cause several annoyances and interoperability issues — hence the "expert" toggle which can be interpreted as "herewith I confirm that I know what I'm doing and that I'm aware of related compatibility problems that may come within it".

Note that this is only an annoyance for the time being; things will surely brighten up while time goes by and more users/systems adopt newer GPG versions by updating

Also note the related dependencies and — last but not least — the OpenPGP specification "draft" status, which additionally influence adoption speed:

Encryption ECDH — RFC7748: Curve25519

OpenPGP specification: RFC4880bis draft


  • libgcrypt >= 1.7.0

  • Gnuk >= 1.2.0

(Source: https://wiki.gnupg.org/ECC)

  • $\begingroup$ That draft is only for Curve25519. 3 NIST ECC curves are already in RFC 6637 according to the Wiki page you cite. $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2019 at 14:30

Support for what GnuPG calls cv25519 public-key encryption keys, and for ed25519 public-key signature keys, is neither standardized nor widespread, so you're likely to hit compatibility issues with anyone else using OpenPGP.


FYI: I noticed in my Proton Mail account that my keys use ECC (Curve25519). So, a simple way to use this encryption method is with a fellow Proton Mail user.


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