Implementation of Bitcoin's peer-to-peer layer for Node.js

BitcoinJS Server

This is an implementation of a Bitcoin node in Node.js. It is intended as a powerful alternative to the standard bitcoind that ships with the original client.

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Differences to original client

The original client contains the node, wallet, GUI and miner. This library contains a highly optimized version of the node, i.e. the P2P part of Bitcoin. Its main intended use is as a server component to give lighter clients access to the data in the block chain (in real-time.)

But it can also be used for writing other software that requires real-time data from the block chain or wants to run queries against it.


Please visit the BitcoinJS Server Wiki on Github for documentation.

There is also a built-in documentation system which you can access by running bitcoinjs help.


Node.js should be compiled manually based on the latest stable release.

LevelDB is the default database back end in BitcoinJS 0.2+. It is bundled with the node-leveldb NPM module and is therefore installed automatically. No manual steps should be necessary.

If you wish to use a MongoDB database, you need to setup a MongoDB server. This can be done using any method.

Note that we don't recommend using MongoDB. We see BitcoinJS as a special purpose database server, so having a general purpose database server behind introduces tremendous overhead. For more information on how to query BitcoinJS in LevelDB mode, please refer to the wiki.

Once you have all prerequisites, this one-liner will install the latest version straight from NPM:

# Install BitcoinJS Server globally 
sudo npm install bitcoinjs -g

Please refer to the wiki for detailed installation instructions.

If you run into problems, please take a look at the "Troubleshooting" section below or go to Issues to open a new ticket.


For your first experience with the BitcoinJS daemon, try running it right from the terminal.

bitcoinjs run --testnet --bchdbg

You can find out more about the various functions of the command line utility via the help feature:

bitcoinjs help
# Remove the database 
bitcoinjs db-drop
# Uninstall the software 
sudo npm uninstall bitcoinjs -g

BitcoinJS logs using the winston library. Currently, it defaults to logging anything on the debug log level and higher. Here are the available log levels:

  • netdbg - Networking events (sending/receiving messages)
  • bchdbg - Block chain events (adding blocks)
  • rpcdbg - JSON-RPC API events (requests/responses)
  • scrdbg - Script interpreter events (custom scripts, errors)
  • debug - Other verbose logging
  • info - General information and status messages
  • warn - Something rare happened (e.g. strange pubKeyScript)
  • error - Something bad happened

The XXXdbg levels can be enabled individually by editing lib/logger.js or via the command line, e.g. bitcoinjs run --bchdbg.

BitcoinJS is not only a daemon, but also a Node.js module/library. In most cases it's best to use the daemon via RPC. But sometimes you need the extra control that comes with directly linking to the code.

For details on developing with BitcoinJS as a library, take a look at the Developer Guide on the wiki.


When upgrading BitcoinJS it is a good idea to reset its database:

bitcoinjs db-drop

This won't be necessary once BitcoinJS is more stable, but for now new versions often break database compatibility, so it's easiest to just reset it.


To run the test suite, please install Vows and run the following command:

vows test/*.js --spec


The library is currently alpha quality. Here are some things it currently lacks:

  • Respond to getblocks requests
  • Manage knowledge about other peers
  • DoS protections from Bitcoin 0.4+

On top of that, it could use a lot more documentation, test cases and general bug fixing across the board.

You can find more information on the Issues tab on Github.


If you see this error:

Error: Cannot find module '../build-cc/default/native'

This happens when the native components of BitcoinJS are not compiled yet.

Go to the bitcoinjs folder and run:

node-waf configure build


This product is free and open-source software released under the MIT license.


BitcoinJS Server - Node.js Bitcoin client
Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Stefan Thomas

Some native extensions are
Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Andrew Schaaf

Parts of this software are based on BitcoinJ
Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Google Inc.