0.8.0-beta • Public • Published

    Bitcoin Computer Node

    The Bitcoin Computer Node provides trustless access to the Bitcoin Computer.

    It provides the backend infrastructure for running smart contract based applications. It consists of a Bitcoin node, a database for storing index structures and off-chain data, and a web server.

    Documentation | Telegram | Twitter

    Local Deployment

    You can start a Bitcoin Computer Node on your local machine using Docker. Ensure you have Docker installed and running, then copy the file .env.example into a file .env in the root folder.

    cp .env.example .env

    Before running the Bitcoin Computer Node for the first time you need to install the dependencies and build the Docker image.

    yarn install
    yarn build-docker

    You can run the Bitcoin Computer Node in your local machine, connecting to regtest, testnet or livenet (mainnet) network modes. When using regtest, the wallets must be found. So, you must launch the db, bitcoind and bcn services, and then fund the wallets.

    To start the Bitcoin Computer Node on Litecoin (LTC) regtest run:

    yarn prod-ltc-regtest up

    When you run this command for the first time the required software is downloaded and compiled. This can take several minutes. Subsequent starts only need to start the server and are much faster

    You will see the logs of the services that make up the Bitcoin Computer Node: a Litecoin Node called litecoind, a database called db, an api server called bcn, and a process called sync. The bcn and sync services depend on the db. As first actions, both services will try to connect to db. Until the database is up and running, messages indicating connection attempts are be logged.

    Once the error messages stop you can run the tests:

    yarn test

    For local development you will need to fund the test wallets using the following command. You can configure the wallets that are funded using the file chain-setup/ltc-regtest/ This will fund the default addresses only. To fund specific addresses of the regtest update TEST_ADDRESS variable in environment variables. E.g. Address1;Address2 (; separate values).

    yarn fund-ltc

    For local development following are the default seed phrases that get funded:

    • travel upgrade inside soda birth essence junk merit never twenty system opinion
    • hover harsh text dice wealth pill across trade soccer olive view acquire
    • damp comfort scan couple absurd enter slogan cheap ketchup print syrup hurdle one document diamond
    • notable rose silver indicate wreck mean raise together jar fish seat air
    • lens release coil rain forward lemon cube satisfy inject visa ring segment

    To stop the Bitcoin Computer Node run:

    yarn prod-ltc-regtest down

    To stop the Bitcoin Computer Node, reset the database, delete all blockchain data, and stop all docker containers, run the following command:

    yarn reset

    Deployment to AWS


    To deploy the Bitcoin Computer Node on AWS you need the following:

    1. Latest version of Docker Desktop installed (Install for MAC, install for Windows, install for the Docker Compose CLI for Linux)
    2. An AWS account.
    3. To ensure that Docker ECS integration is allowed to manage resources, ensure your AWS credentials grant access to AWS IAM permissions listed in this page
    4. aws-cli (linux or mac) installed (see instructions below).

    Installing aws cli

    1. To install aws cli on Linux run the following command:
    curl "" -o ""
    sudo ./aws/install

    For Mac installation, follow the instructions on this link.

    1. Then, configure credentials by running "aws configure".
    aws configure
    1. Create or view the AWS access keys
    $AWS Access Key ID [None]:
    $AWS Secret Access Key [None]:
    $Default region name [None]: us-east-2
    $Default output format [None]: json

    If no keys are provided, the command will return the newly created credential access keys. By default, the aws configure command will save the credentials in the file cat $HOME/.aws/credentials.

    1. Copy the file into a file in the root folder. Set the credentials already created and the AWS account name into the environment file

    Preparing the deploy

    This project uses Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) to hold the images for the Bitcoin Computer Node container. Also, the Amazon S3 Storage Service is used to hold the db_schema.sql file for the db service.

    For a Docker and AWS integration, you must use two types of Docker contexts: one called "default", that will be used both for building the image in a local execution and to push the image to ECR; and another context "ECS" for deploying to AWS.

    The following steps must be done in order to enable Docker to automatically deploy the services into AWS.

    1. Run the following command to create an Amazon ECS Docker context named .
    docker context create ecs ecs-bcn-context

    You will be asked to select an AWS profile for connecting to Amazon. We suggest to configure your ECS context to retrieve AWS credentials by AWS_* environment variables. Select the third option of the prompted options list.

     Create a Docker context using:  [Use arrows to move, type to filter]
      An existing AWS profile
      AWS secret and token credentials
    > AWS environment variables

    List the Docker contexts to see if the new ECS context was created successfully.

    docker context ls
    1. Switch to the default context
    docker context use default
    1. Build the Bitcoin Computer Node image
    yarn build-docker
    1. Login into AWS
    yarn aws-ecr-login
    1. Create a repository in ECR
    aws ecr create-repository --repository-name <repository-name> --region us-east-2
    1. Update the environment file with the full name of the repository already created.
    1. Tag and push the image to ECR

    The bcn image will be pushed to AWS with the tag matching the project version. The following command prompts a confirmation message with the tag and repository information. After confirmation, it tags and pushes the bcn image into ECR.

    yarn aws-push-bcn-image
    1. Create a new Amazon S3 bucket and upload the file db_schema.sql to the folder <bucket-name>/db/db_schema.sql

    2. Update the environment file with the full name of the bucket already created.


    The deploy command

    Once the steps above are done, switch to the ECS context created in step 1. and run the following command to launch the Bitcoin Computer Node on AWS. The deploy will create several volumes in the Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) service. The volumes are not removed unless you explicitly remove them, and are only removed if they are not linked to any running task.

    To switch to the ECS already created context run:

    yarn docker-context-use <ecs-context-name>

    To remove a determined unlinked volumes in EFS, you can use the following command, providing as argument the elastic file system id (efs-id):

    yarn docker-volume-rm-aws <efs-id>

    You can first list all the volumes in EFS using:

    docker volume ls
    fs-179787a3            arn:aws:elasticfilesystem:us-east-1:[<account-id>]:file-system/fs-179787a3
    fs-159787a1            arn:aws:elasticfilesystem:us-east-1:[<account-id>]:file-system/fs-159787a1
    fs-149787a0            arn:aws:elasticfilesystem:us-east-1:[<account-id>]:file-system/fs-149787a0

    To start the deployment process for LTC over testnet run:

    yarn aws-ltc-testnet up

    This command will automatically create a CloudFormation template, that will be deployed as a AWS ECS Fargate service. If everything is properly configured, the creation progress will be displayed on the console. The CloudFormation template can be seen as an stack in the AWS CloudFormation web dashboard.

    In case you want to stop all the services and to remove all the resources created in AWS from the CloudFormation template already created, run the following command:

    yarn aws-ltc-testnet down

    The deletion progress will also be displayed on the console. The CloudFormation template stack will be in a 'delete in progress' state in the AWS CloudFormation web dashboard.

    Likewise, the CloudFormation template can be generated without deploying it to AWS. This can be useful for analyzing the resources that will be created during the deploy. The template will be generated into the standard output running the following command:

    yarn aws-ltc-testnet convert

    Trouble Shooting

    1. Authentication error. An error like the following is can be received when using aws console commands:
    denied: Your authorization token has expired. Reauthenticate and try again.

    Run the aws-login command, and try again.

    yarn aws-login
    1. Remember that the AWS credentials must be provided while using the deployment commands. All the scripts defined in package.json will have the AWS_* credentials preceding the desired command. If the credentials are not provided, an error like the following can be thrown to the command line:
    context requires credentials to be passed as environment variables
    1. While the deployment is in the creation state, different types of problems can occur. One of the most common errors seen on the console is getting an EFS error code, which causes the process to be suspended and the deployment to be into a "delete in progress" state. If the error obtained is the following: "TaskFailedToStart: ResourceInitializationError: failed to invoke EFS utils commands to set up EFS volumes: stderr: b'mount.nfs4: Connection reset by peer' : unsuccessful EFS utils command execution; code: 32", it is recommended to remove all the unlinked elastic file system volumes (if they do not contain relevant information) and run again the deployment.

    Beta Warning

    This software has been carefully developed over four years by a qualified team. However it has not been security reviewed and we cannot guarantee the absence of bugs. Bugs can lead to the loss of funds. We do not recommend to use this software in production yet. Use at your own risk.

    We will remove the beta-tag once we have completed a security review.

    Road Map

    Our prospectus road map is:

    • Fix all known security issues (getting close but not there yet)
    • Get security audit
    • Fix all issues discovered in audit
    • Launch secure version with long term support

    The interface to the Bitcoin Computer will not change so you can start developing applications now. When the security reviewed version lands all you need to do is update the dependency.



    The Bitcoin Computer will be free forever on testnet.


    You can run an application on mainnet using your own Bitcoin Computer Node. The Bitcoin Computer charges either the dust limit or the sum of

    • 0.1% of the amount being sent,
    • a fixed-low-fee (as defined below) per smart object creation and update. This fee applies to nested objects, so if you update a smart object an one of it's sub-objects you have to pay two fixed-low-fee's. The fee does not apply to objects that can be garbage collected.

    The fixed-low-fee is calibrated to be around one USD cent on average. It depends on the chain. Specifically

    • on LTC the fixed-low-fee is 8000 satoshi
    • on BCH the fixed-low-fee is 2700 satoshi
    • on DOGE the fixed-low-fee is 7000000 satoshi
    • on BTC the fixed-low-fee is 22 satoshi

    This percentage is baked into every version of the Bitcoin Computer. All fees are automatically computed and collected by the Bitcoin Computer software. No action is required from the developer in order to pay the fees.


    We are currently supporting LTC. Contributions are welcome. We have set up a system to add support for BTC, DOGE and BCH, but it is not completed yet. See the chain-setup folder for details. If you can get it to work on a different currency, please let us know and create a new pull request.

    If you have any questions, please let us know on our Telegram group or on Twitter, or by email


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