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an autobot that automatically handles swaps as Bob
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Latest commit 0d719c6 Jul 23, 2019


Bobtimus is a showcase implementation of how the comit node's self-descriptive HTTP API can be used to easily automate the execution of Basic HTLC Atomic Swaps.

This software is not meant to be used on mainnet. Doing so may lead to fund loss.

Bobtimus features:

  • Accept or decline swap requests depending on a configurable rate
  • Action the steps to proceed with a swap: fund & redeem HTLCs
  • A standalone Bitcoin wallet that uses bitcoind RPC (do not use this as an example of how to write your own Bitcoin Wallet, see known limitations)
  • An Ethereum wallet that uses web3
  • Support Bitcoin <-> Ether swaps
  • Use fee/gas services to calculate appropriate transaction fees/gas

Planned features:

  • ERC20 support (maybe)
  • Automatically refund when expiry is reached
  • Testnet support

Feature we will not do:

  • Mainnet support



Install, configure & run

  1. Clone this repo: git clone
  2. Install dependencies: yarn
  3. Create a config file in the working dir of bobtimus (have a look at tests/configs for inspiration)
  4. Let's go: yarn run start
  5. Fund Bitcoin and Ethereum wallets (addresses are printed at the start of the logs)

Note: The seedWords present in the config file are used to generate both Bitcoin and Ethereum HD wallets. Hence, Bobtimus will retain its balance even after a restart.

Known Limitations

Bitcoin Wallet (

The Bitcoin Wallet is a Hierarchical Deterministic wallet that uses bitcoind RPC command scantxoutset. This commands returns unspent outputs found in the blockchain for given scanobjects. The scanobjects used by Bobtimus are extended public keys, that are derived 1000 times. bitcoind scans the blockchain to find UTXOs for any of these 2000 keys (there are 2 pubkeys).

Moreover, a HD wallet is supposed to only use addresses once.

Also, all data storage for Bobtimus is done in memory.

This leads to the following limitations:

  • At boot time, Bobtimus needs to wait for the first scantxoutset call to be finished to know its Bitcoin balance
  • The scanning may be long on mainnet
  • After more that ~1000 swaps (buying Bitcoin), Bobtimus will not see new incoming Bitcoin funds
  • Even if we were to increase the search range, it would only delay the problem and make the scantxoutset call longer and longer
  • If the output related to the last address used is already spent, at reboot, Bobtimus cannot guess such that such address were used (spent output are not returned by scantxoutset) and hence will re-use it

Finally, because scantxoutset only returns unspent outputs, it is not straightforward (or possible?) to create an algorithm that would progressively scan a limited range of keys at a given time.

If within a given range, let's say scanning key 2000 to 3000, no UTXO is found does it mean that, either:

  1. None of the keys from 2000 to 3000 were used and scanning can stop?
  2. Keys from 2000 to 3000 were used and scanning should proceed to 3000-4000 range?

Because of this uncertainty, it is not possible to create an algorithm only using bitcoind that can certify that all Bitcoin funds are use by Bobtimus.

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