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This repository contains specifications for the peer-to-peer networking protocols used by Ethereum. The issue tracker here is for discussions of protocol changes. It's also OK to open an issue if you just have a question.

Protocol level security issues are valuable! Please report serious issues responsibly through the Ethereum Foundation Bounty Program.

We have several specifications for low-level protocols:

The repository also contains specifications of many RLPx-based application-level protocols:

The Mission

devp2p is a set of network protocols which form the Ethereum peer-to-peer network. 'Ethereum network' is meant in a broad sense, i.e. devp2p isn't specific to a particular blockchain, but should serve the needs of any networked application associated with the Ethereum umbrella.

We aim for an integrated system of orthogonal parts, implemented in multiple programming environments. The system provides discovery of other participants throughout the Internet as well as secure communication with those participants.

The network protocols in devp2p should be easy to implement from scratch given only the specification, and must work within the limits of a consumer-grade Internet connection. We usually design protocols in a 'specification first' approach, but any specification proposed must be accompanied by a working prototype or implementable within reasonable time.

Relationship with libp2p

The libp2p project was started at about the same time as devp2p and seeks to be a collection of modules for assembling a peer-to-peer network from modular components. Questions about the relationship between devp2p and libp2p come up rather often.

It's hard to compare the two projects because they have different scope and are designed with different goals in mind. devp2p is an integrated system definition that wants to serve Ethereum's needs well (although it may be a good fit for other applications, too) while libp2p is a collection of programming library parts serving no single application in particular.

That said, both projects are very similar in spirit and devp2p is slowly adopting parts of libp2p as they mature.


devp2p is part of most Ethereum clients. Implementations include:

WireShark dissectors are available here: