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btcd is an alternative full node bitcoin implementation written in Go (golang).

This project is currently under active development and is in a Beta state. It is extremely stable and has been in production use for over 6 months as of May 2014, however there are still a couple of major features we want to add before we come out of beta.

It properly downloads, validates, and serves the block chain using the exact rules (including bugs) for block acceptance as Bitcoin Core. We have taken great care to avoid btcd causing a fork to the block chain. It passes all of the 'official' block acceptance tests ( as well as all of the JSON test data in the Bitcoin Core code.

It also relays newly mined blocks, maintains a transaction pool, and relays individual transactions that have not yet made it into a block. It ensures all transactions admitted to the pool follow the rules required by the block chain and also includes the same checks which filter transactions based on miner requirements ("standard" transactions) as Bitcoin Core.

One key difference between btcd and Bitcoin Core is that btcd does NOT include wallet functionality and this was a very intentional design decision. See the blog entry here for more details. This means you can't actually make or receive payments directly with btcd. That functionality is provided by the btcwallet and btcgui projects which are both under active development.


Go 1.2 or newer.


Windows - MSI Available

Linux/BSD/POSIX - Build from Source

  • Install Go according to the installation instructions here:

  • Run the following command to obtain btcd, all dependencies, and install it: $ go get

  • btcd (and utilities) will now be installed in either $GOROOT/bin or $GOPATH/bin depending on your configuration. If you did not already add the bin directory to your system path during Go installation, we recommend you do so now.



Install a newer MSI

Linux/BSD/POSIX - Build from Source

  • Run the following command to update btcd, all dependencies, and install it: $ go get -u -v

Getting Started

btcd has several configuration options avilable to tweak how it runs, but all of the basic operations described in the intro section work with zero configuration.

Windows (Installed from MSI)

Launch btcd from your Start menu.


$ ./btcd

IRC server

  • ssl required
  • channel #btcd

Mailing lists

  • btcd: discussion of btcd and its packages.
  • btcd-commits: readonly mail-out of source code changes.

To subscribe to a given list, send email to

Issue Tracker

The integrated github issue tracker is used for this project.


The documentation is a work-in-progress. It uses the github wiki facility.

GPG Verification Key

All official release tags are signed by Conformal so users can ensure the code has not been tampered with and is coming from Conformal. To verify the signature perform the following:

  • Download the public key from the Conformal website at

  • Import the public key into your GPG keyring:

    gpg --import GIT-GPG-KEY-conformal.txt
  • Verify the release tag with the following command where TAG_NAME is a placeholder for the specific tag:

    git tag -v TAG_NAME


btcd is licensed under the copyfree ISC License.


An alternative full node bitcoin implementation written in Go (golang)




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