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Rust Bitcoin Library

Library with support for de/serialization, parsing and executing on data structures and network messages related to Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies.


Supports (or should support)

  • De/serialization of Bitcoin protocol network messages
  • De/serialization of blocks and transactions
  • Script de/serialization
  • Private keys and address creation, de/serialization and validation (including full BIP32 support)
  • Pay-to-contract support as in Appendix A of the Blockstream sidechains whitepaper

For JSONRPC interaction with Bitcoin Core, it is recommended to use rust-jsonrpc which uses the underlying strason library which parses decimal numbers as strings, preventing precision errors.

Known limitations


This library must not be used for consensus code (i.e. fully validating blockchain data). It technically supports doing this, but doing so is very ill-advised because there are many deviations, known and unknown, between this library and the Bitcoin Core reference implementation. In a consensus based cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin it is critical that all parties are using the same rules to validate data, and this library is simply unable to implement the same rules as Core.

Given the complexity of both C++ and Rust, it is unlikely that this will ever be fixed, and there are no plans to do so. Of course, patches to fix specific consensus incompatibilities are welcome.


Currently the documentation is very sparse. Patches to add usage examples and to expand on existing docs would be extremely appreciated.

Policy on Altcoins/Altchains

Patches which add support for non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies by adding constants to existing enums (e.g. to set the network message magic-byte sequence) are welcome. Anything more involved will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as the altcoin landscape includes projects which frequently appear and disappear, and are poorly designed anyway and keeping the codebase maintainable is a large priority.

In general, things that improve cross-chain compatibility (e.g. support for cross-chain atomic swaps) are more likely to be accepted than things which support only a single blockchain.

Release Notes

I will try to document all breaking changes here so that people upgrading will know what they need to change.


Remove num dependency at Matt's request; agree this is obnoxious to require all downstream users to also have a num dependency just so they can use Uint256::from_u64.


  • The in-memory blockchain was moved into a dedicated project rust-bitcoin-chain.

  • Removed old script interpreter

  • A new optional feature "bitcoinconsensus" lets this library use Bitcoin Core's native script verifier, wrappend into Rust by the rust-bitcoinconsenus project. See Transaction::verify and Script::verify methods.

  • Replaced Base58 traits with encode_slice, check_encode_slice, from and from_check functions in the base58 module.

  • Un-reversed the Debug output for Sha256dHash

  • Add bech32 support

  • Support segwit address types


  • Move witnesses inside the TxIn structure

  • Add Transaction::get_weight()

  • Update bip143 sighash_all API to be more ergonomic


  • Add Display trait to uints, FromStr trait to Network enum

  • Add witness inv types to inv enum, constants for Bitcoin regtest network, is_coin_base accessor for tx inputs

  • Expose merkleroot(Vec<Sha256dHash>)


Rust Bitcoin library




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