insight-bitcore-api

An open-source bitcoin blockchain API. The Insight API provides you with a convenient, powerful and simple way to query and broadcast data on the bitcoin network and build your own services with it.

insight API

insight API is an open-source bitcoin blockchain REST and websocket API. Insight API runs in NodeJS and uses LevelDB for storage.

This is a backend-only service. If you're looking for the web frontend application, take a look at https://github.com/bitpay/insight.

Insight API allows to develop bitcoin-related applications (such as wallets) that require certain information from the blockchain that bitcoind does not provide.

A blockchain explorer front-end has been developed on top of Insight API. It can be downloaded at Github Insight Repository.

Insight file sync does not work with bitcoind v0.10 In order to use Insigtht you must set the environment variable INSIGHT_FORCE_RPC_SYNC = 1
We are working on bitcore-node to replace Insight-api. Check bitcore-node on github.

  • bitcoind - Download and Install Bitcoin

insight API needs a trusted bitcoind node to run. insight API will connect to the node through the RPC API, bitcoin peer-to-peer protocol, and will even read its raw block .dat files for syncing.

Configure bitcoind to listen to RPC calls and set txindex to true. The easiest way to do this is by copying ./etc/bitcoind/bitcoin.conf to your bitcoin data directory (usually ~/.bitcoin on Linux, %appdata%\Bitcoin\ on Windows, or ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin on Mac OS X).

bitcoind must be running and must have finished downloading the blockchain before running insight API.

  • Node.js v0.10.x - Download and Install Node.js.

  • NPM - Node.js package manager, should be automatically installed when you get node.js.

Check the Prerequisites section above before installing.

To install Insight API, clone the main repository:

$ git clone https://github.com/bitpay/insight-api && cd insight-api

Install dependencies:

$ npm install

Run the main application:

$ node insight.js

Then open a browser and go to:

http://localhost:3001

Please note that the app will need to sync its internal database with the blockchain state, which may take some time. You can check sync progress at http://localhost:3001/api/sync.

All configuration is specified in the config folder, particularly the config.js file. There you can specify your application name and database name. Certain configuration values are pulled from environment variables if they are defined:

BITCOIND_HOST         # RPC bitcoind host
BITCOIND_PORT         # RPC bitcoind Port
BITCOIND_P2P_HOST     # P2P bitcoind Host (will default to BITCOIND_HOST, if specified)
BITCOIND_P2P_PORT     # P2P bitcoind Port
BITCOIND_USER         # RPC username
BITCOIND_PASS         # RPC password
BITCOIND_DATADIR      # bitcoind datadir. 'testnet3' will be appended automatically if testnet is used. NEED to finish with '/'. e.g: `/vol/data/`
INSIGHT_NETWORK [= 'livenet' | 'testnet']
INSIGHT_PORT          # insight api port
INSIGHT_DB            # Path where to store insight's internal DB. (defaults to $HOME/.insight)
INSIGHT_SAFE_CONFIRMATIONS=6  # Nr. of confirmation needed to start caching transaction information
INSIGHT_IGNORE_CACHE  # True to ignore cache of spents in transaction, with more than INSIGHT_SAFE_CONFIRMATIONS confirmations. This is useful for tracking double spents for old transactions.
ENABLE_CURRENCYRATES # if "true" will enable a plugin to obtain historic conversion rates for various currencies
ENABLE_RATELIMITER # if "true" will enable the ratelimiter plugin
LOGGER_LEVEL # defaults to 'info', can be 'debug','verbose','error', etc.
ENABLE_HTTPS # if "true" it will server using SSL/HTTPS
ENABLE_EMAILSTORE # if "true" will enable a plugin to store data with a validated email address
INSIGHT_EMAIL_CONFIRM_HOST # Only meanfull if ENABLE_EMAILSTORE is enable. Hostname for the confirm URLs. E.g: 'https://insight.bitpay.com'
 

Make sure that bitcoind is configured to accept incoming connections using 'rpcallowip'.

In case the network is changed (testnet to livenet or vice versa) levelDB database needs to be deleted. This can be performed running: util/sync.js -D and waiting for insight to synchronize again. Once the database is deleted, the sync.js process can be safely interrupted (CTRL+C) and continued from the synchronization process embedded in main app.

The initial synchronization process scans the blockchain from the paired bitcoind server to update addresses and balances. insight-api needs exactly one trusted bitcoind node to run. This node must have finished downloading the blockchain before running insight-api.

While insight is synchronizing the website can be accessed (the sync process is embedded in the webserver), but there may be missing data or incorrect balances for addresses. The 'sync' status is shown at the /api/sync endpoint.

The blockchain can be read from bitcoind's raw .dat files or RPC interface. Reading the information from the .dat files is much faster so it's the recommended (and default) alternative. .dat files are scanned in the default location for each platform (for example, ~/.bitcoin on Linux). In case a non-standard location is used, it needs to be defined (see the Configuration section). As of June 2014, using .dat files the sync process takes 9 hrs. for livenet and 30 mins. for testnet.

While synchronizing the blockchain, insight-api listens for new blocks and transactions relayed by the bitcoind node. Those are also stored on insight-api's database. In case insight-api is shutdown for a period of time, restarting it will trigger a partial (historic) synchronization of the blockchain. Depending on the size of that synchronization task, a reverse RPC or forward .dat syncing strategy will be used.

If bitcoind is shutdown, insight-api needs to be stopped and restarted once bitcoind is restarted.

Old blockchain data can be manually synced issuing:

$ util/sync.js

Check util/sync.js --help for options, particulary -D to erase the current DB.

NOTE: there is no need to run this manually since the historic synchronization is built in into the web application. Running insight-api normally will trigger the historic sync automatically.

To store the blockchain and address related information, insight-api uses LevelDB. Two DBs are created: txs and blocks. By default these are stored on

~/.insight/

Please note that some older versions of Insight-API store that on <insight's root>/db.

This can be changed at config/config.js. As of June 2014, storing the livenet blockchain takes ~35GB of disk space (2GB for the testnet).

To run insight locally for development with grunt:

$ NODE_ENV=development grunt

To run the tests

$ grunt test

Contributions and suggestions are welcome at insight-api github repository.

Since v0.2 a new cache schema has been introduced. Only information from transactions with INSIGHT_SAFE_CONFIRMATIONS settings will be cached (by default SAFE_CONFIRMATIONS=6). There are 3 different caches:

  • Number of confirmations
  • Transaction output spent/unspent status
  • scriptPubKey for unspent transactions

Cache data is only populated on request, i.e., only after accessing the required data for the first time, the information is cached, there is not pre-caching procedure. To ignore cache by default, use INSIGHT_IGNORE_CACHE. Also, address related calls support ?noCache=1 to ignore the cache in a particular API request.

By default, insight provides a REST API at /api, but this prefix is configurable from the var apiPrefix in the config.js file.

The end-points are:

  /api/block/[:hash]
  /api/block/00000000a967199a2fad0877433c93df785a8d8ce062e5f9b451cd1397bdbf62

Get block hash by height

  /api/block-index/[:height]
  /api/block-index/0

This would return:

{"blockHash":"000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f"}

which is the hash of the Genesis block (0 height)

  /api/tx/[:txid]
  /api/tx/525de308971eabd941b139f46c7198b5af9479325c2395db7f2fb5ae8562556c
  /api/raw/[:rawid]
  /api/raw/525de308971eabd941b139f46c7198b5af9479325c2395db7f2fb5ae8562556c
  /api/addr/[:addr][?noTxList=1&noCache=1]
  /api/addr/mmvP3mTe53qxHdPqXEvdu8WdC7GfQ2vmx5?noTxList=1
  /api/addr/[:addr]/balance
  /api/addr/[:addr]/totalReceived
  /api/addr/[:addr]/totalSent
  /api/addr/[:addr]/unconfirmedBalance

The response contains the value in Satoshis.

  /api/addr/[:addr]/utxo[?noCache=1]

Sample return:

[
    {
      "address": "n2PuaAguxZqLddRbTnAoAuwKYgN2w2hZk7",
      "txid": "dbfdc2a0d22a8282c4e7be0452d595695f3a39173bed4f48e590877382b112fc",
      "vout": 0,
      "ts": 1401276201,
      "scriptPubKey": "76a914e50575162795cd77366fb80d728e3216bd52deac88ac",
      "amount": 0.001,
      "confirmations": 3
    },
    {
      "address": "n2PuaAguxZqLddRbTnAoAuwKYgN2w2hZk7",
      "txid": "e2b82af55d64f12fd0dd075d0922ee7d6a300f58fe60a23cbb5831b31d1d58b4",
      "vout": 0,
      "ts": 1401226410,
      "scriptPubKey": "76a914e50575162795cd77366fb80d728e3216bd52deac88ac",
      "amount": 0.001,
      "confirmation": 6,
      "confirmationsFromCache": true
    }
]

Please note that in case confirmations are cached (which happens by default when the number of confirmations is bigger that INSIGHT_SAFE_CONFIRMATIONS) the response will include the pair confirmationsFromCache:true, and confirmations will equal INSIGHT_SAFE_CONFIRMATIONS. See noCache and INSIGHT_IGNORE_CACHE options for details.

GET method:

  /api/addrs/[:addrs]/utxo
  /api/addrs/2NF2baYuJAkCKo5onjUKEPdARQkZ6SYyKd5,2NAre8sX2povnjy4aeiHKeEh97Qhn97tB1f/utxo

POST method:

  /api/addrs/utxo

POST params:

addrs: 2NF2baYuJAkCKo5onjUKEPdARQkZ6SYyKd5,2NAre8sX2povnjy4aeiHKeEh97Qhn97tB1f
  /api/txs/?block=HASH
  /api/txs/?block=00000000fa6cf7367e50ad14eb0ca4737131f256fc4c5841fd3c3f140140e6b6
  /api/txs/?address=ADDR
  /api/txs/?address=mmhmMNfBiZZ37g1tgg2t8DDbNoEdqKVxAL

GET method:

  /api/addrs/[:addrs]/txs[?from=&to=]
  /api/addrs/2NF2baYuJAkCKo5onjUKEPdARQkZ6SYyKd5,2NAre8sX2povnjy4aeiHKeEh97Qhn97tB1f/txs?from=0&to=20

POST method:

  /api/addrs/txs

POST params:

addrs: 2NF2baYuJAkCKo5onjUKEPdARQkZ6SYyKd5,2NAre8sX2povnjy4aeiHKeEh97Qhn97tB1f
from (optional): 0
to (optional): 20

Sample output:

{ totalItems: 100,
  from: 0,
  to: 20,
  items:
    [ { txid: '3e81723d069b12983b2ef694c9782d32fca26cc978de744acbc32c3d3496e915',
       version: 1,
       locktime: 0,
       vin: [Object],
       vout: [Object],
       blockhash: '00000000011a135e5277f5493c52c66829792392632b8b65429cf07ad3c47a6c',
       confirmations: 109367,
       time: 1393659685,
       blocktime: 1393659685,
       valueOut: 0.3453,
       size: 225,
       firstSeenTs: undefined,
       valueIn: 0.3454,
       fees: 0.0001 },
      { ... },
      { ... },
      ...
      { ... }
    ]
 }

Note: if pagination params are not specified, the result is an array of transactions.

POST method:

  /api/tx/send

POST params:

  rawtx: "signed transaction as hex string"
 
  eg
 
  rawtx: 01000000017b1eabe0209b1fe794124575ef807057c77ada2138ae4fa8d6c4de0398a14f3f00000000494830450221008949f0cb400094ad2b5eb399d59d01c14d73d8fe6e96df1a7150deb388ab8935022079656090d7f6bac4c9a94e0aad311a4268e082a725f8aeae0573fb12ff866a5f01ffffffff01f0ca052a010000001976a914cbc20a7664f2f69e5355aa427045bc15e7c6c77288ac00000000
 

POST response:

  {
      txid: [:txid]
  }
 
  eg
 
  {
      txid: "c7736a0a0046d5a8cc61c8c3c2821d4d7517f5de2bc66a966011aaa79965ffba"
  }
  /api/sync
  /api/peer
  /api/status?q=xxx

Where "xxx" can be:

  • getInfo
  • getDifficulty
  • getTxOutSetInfo
  • getBestBlockHash
  • getLastBlockHash

The web socket API is served using socket.io.

The following are the events published by insight:

'tx': new transaction received from network. This event is published in the 'inv' room. Data will be a app/models/Transaction object. Sample output:

{
  "txid":"00c1b1acb310b87085c7deaaeba478cef5dc9519fab87a4d943ecbb39bd5b053",
  "processed":false
  ...
}

'block': new block received from network. This event is published in the 'inv' room. Data will be a app/models/Block object. Sample output:

{
  "hash":"000000004a3d187c430cd6a5e988aca3b19e1f1d1727a50dead6c8ac26899b96",
  "time":1389789343,
  ...
}

'': new transaction concerning received from network. This event is published in the '' room.

'status': every 1% increment on the sync task, this event will be triggered. This event is published in the 'sync' room.

Sample output:

{
  blocksToSync: 164141,
  syncedBlocks: 475,
  upToExisting: true,
  scanningBackward: true,
  isEndGenesis: true,
  end: "000000000933ea01ad0ee984209779baaec3ced90fa3f408719526f8d77f4943",
  isStartGenesis: false,
  start: "000000009f929800556a8f3cfdbe57c187f2f679e351b12f7011bfc276c41b6d"
}

The following html page connects to the socket.io insight API and listens for new transactions.

html

<html>
<body>
  <script src="http://<insight-server>:<port>/socket.io/socket.io.js"></script> 
  <script>
    eventToListenTo = 'tx'
    room = 'inv'
 
    var socket = io("http://<insight-server>:<port>/");
    socket.on('connect', function() {
      // Join the room. 
      socket.emit('subscribe', room);
    })
    socket.on(eventToListenTo, function(data) {
      console.log("New transaction received: " + data.txid)
    })
  </script> 
</body>
</html>

(The MIT License)

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.