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BTC RPC Explorer

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Self-Hosted Bitcoin explorer for anyone running Bitcoin Core.

This is a self-hosted explorer for the Bitcoin blockchain, driven by RPC calls to your own Bitcoin node. It is easy to run and can be connected to other tools (like Electrum servers) to achieve a full-featured explorer.

Whatever reasons you may have for running a full node (trustlessness, technical curiosity, supporting the network, etc) it's valuable to appreciate the fullness of your node. With this explorer, you can explore not just the blockchain database, but also explore all of the functional capabilities of your own node.

Live demos available at:

Features

  • Network Summary dashboard
  • View details of blocks, transactions, and addresses
  • Analysis tools for viewing stats on blocks, transactions, and miner activity
  • JSON REST API
  • See raw JSON content from bitcoind used to generate most pages
  • Search by transaction ID, block hash/height, and address
  • Optional transaction history for addresses by querying from Electrum-protocol servers (e.g. Electrs, ElectrumX), blockchain.com, blockchair.com, or blockcypher.com
  • Mempool summary, with fee, size, and age breakdowns
  • RPC command browser and terminal

Changelog / Release notes

See CHANGELOG.md.

Getting started

Prerequisites

  1. Install Bitcoin Core - instructions. Ensure that Bitcoin Core's' RPC server is enabled (server=1).
  2. Allow Bitcoin Core to synchronize with the Bitcoin network (you can use this tool while sychronizing, but some pages may fail).
  3. Install Node.js (14+ recommended).

Note about pruning and indexing configurations

This tool is designed to work best with full transaction indexing enabled (txindex=1) and pruning disabled. However, if you're running Bitcoin Core v0.21+ you can run without txindex enabled and/or with pruning enabled and this tool will continue to function, but some data will be incomplete or missing. Also note that such Bitcoin Core configurations receive less thorough testing.

In particular, with pruning enabled and/or txindex disabled, the following functionality is altered:

  • You will only be able to search for mempool, recently confirmed, and wallet transactions by their txid. Searching for non-wallet transactions that were confirmed over 3 blocks ago is only possible if you provide the confirmed block height in addition to the txid.
  • Pruned blocks will display basic header information, without the list of transactions. Transactions in pruned blocks will not be available, unless they're wallet-related. Block stats will only work for unpruned blocks.
  • The address and amount of previous transaction outputs will not be shown, only the txid:vout.
  • The mining fee will only be available for unconfirmed transactions.

Install / Run

If you're running on mainnet with the default datadir and port, the default configuration should Just Work. Otherwise, see the Configuration section below.

Install via npm:

npm install -g btc-rpc-explorer
btc-rpc-explorer

Run from source:

  1. git clone https://github.com/janoside/btc-rpc-explorer
  2. cd btc-rpc-explorer
  3. npm install
  4. npm start

Install via AUR Arch Linux:

Note: The below AUR package was created and is maintained by @dougEfresh. The details and history of the package can be seen here.
  1. git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/btc-rpc-explorer.git
  2. cd btc-rpc-explorer
  3. makepkg -csi
  4. systemctl enable --now btc-rpc-explorer

After a default installation+startup using any of the above methods, the app can be viewed at http://127.0.0.1:3002/

Configuration

Configuration options may be set via environment variables or CLI arguments.

Configuration with environment variables

To configure with environment variables, you need to create one of the 2 following files and enter values in it:

  1. ~/.config/btc-rpc-explorer.env
  2. .env in the working directory for btc-rpc-explorer

In either case, refer to .env-sample for a list of the options and formatting details.

Configuration with CLI args

For configuring with CLI arguments, run btc-rpc-explorer --help for the full list of options. An example execution is:

btc-rpc-explorer --port 8080 --bitcoind-port 18443 --bitcoind-cookie ~/.bitcoin/regtest/.cookie

Demo site settings

To match the features visible on the demo site at BitcoinExplorer.org you'll need to set the following non-default configuration values:

BTCEXP_DEMO=true 		# enables some demo/informational aspects of the site
BTCEXP_NO_RATES=false		# enables querying of exchange rate data
BTCEXP_SLOW_DEVICE_MODE=false	# enables resource-intensive tasks (UTXO set query, 24hr volume querying) that are inappropriate for "slow" devices
BTCEXP_ADDRESS_API=electrum 	# use electrum-protocol servers for address lookups
BTCEXP_ELECTRUM_SERVERS=tcp://your-electrum-protocol-server-host:50001		# address(es) for my electrum-protocol server(s)
BTCEXP_IPSTACK_APIKEY=your-api-key		# enable peer ip geo-location
BTCEXP_MAPBOX_APIKEY=your-api-key		# enable map of peer locations

SSO authentication

You can configure SSO authentication similar to what ThunderHub and RTL provide. To enable it, make sure BTCEXP_BASIC_AUTH_PASSWORD is not set and set BTCEXP_SSO_TOKEN_FILE to point to a file write-accessible by btc-rpc-explorer. Then to access btc-rpc-explorer, your SSO provider needs to read the token from this file and set it in URL parameter token. For security reasons the token changes with each login, so the SSO provider needs to read it each time!

After successful access with the token, a cookie is set for authentication, so you don't need to worry about it anymore. To improve user experience you can set BTCEXP_SSO_LOGIN_REDIRECT_URL to the URL of your SSO provider. This will cause users to be redirected to your login page if needed.

Run via Docker

  1. docker build -t btc-rpc-explorer .
  2. docker run -it -p 3002:3002 -e BTCEXP_HOST=0.0.0.0 btc-rpc-explorer

Reverse proxy with HTTPS

See instructions here for using nginx+certbot (letsencrypt) for an HTTPS-accessible, reverse-proxied site.

Support

If you get value from this project, please consider supporting my continued work with a donation. Any and all donations are truly appreciated.