bitcoin node based on bitcoin-ruby-blockchain
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This is a bitcoin node based on bitcoin-ruby-blockchain, that is capable of connecting to the bitcoin network, download and store the blockchain, validate all the blocks and incoming transactions, and relay data to its peers.

It also has a separate {Bitcoin::Node::CommandHandler CommandHandler} socket that can be used to query statistics, receive blockchain updates, relay transactions via the node, etc.


We assume you already have a ruby 1.9 or 2.0 compatible interpreter and rubygems environment.

gem install bitcoin-ruby-node
bitcoin_node --help

Or add it to your Gemfile and

require 'bitcoin/node'


In the simplest case, just run the node and it will start downloading the bitcoin blockchain into a sqlite database in +~/.bitcoin-ruby/bitcoin/blocks.db+.


You can specify options (see --help) or pass a config file with --config.

Some common options you might want to use:

-n –network <name>

Network to use. Usually bitcoin. Support for namecoin is also quite good. Use testnet for development.

-c –config <file>

Read options from config file.

–connect <ip:port>

List of peers to connect to.

-s –storage <backend-string>

Storage backend to use. See also STORAGE.

–import <blockchain dir>

Import blockchain in bitcoind/qt format from given directory.


Skip validation of received blockchain data. Can be used to speed up import/sync when blockchain data is received from a trusted source.

–check-blocks <count>

Check consistency of the count most recent blocks. Pass -1 to check all blocks.

-v –verbose

Display debug output.

-h –help

Display all available options.

It will take a long time to download/store the entire blockchain at first, so be patient ;)


If you already have a local blockchain DB created by bitcoind/-qt, you can speed up the initial import by loading it directly and skipping validation:

bitcoin_node --import ~/.bitcoin/blocks --skip-validation

Config Files [TODO]

All commands accept configuration, either via config file, or at the command line.


There are 3 default locations where configfiles are loaded from:

  • /etc/bitcoin-ruby.yml

  • ~/.bitcoin-ruby.yml

  • ./bitcoin-ruby.yml

Files are loaded in order (if they exist) and override each others settings.

To specify a different config file use the --config option.


Inside a config file, you can put options for the different commands, separated into categories.

  network: bitcoin
  storage: sequel::postgres:/bitcoin
    connect: 30
  keystore: "simple::file=keys.json"

Options in the all category are loaded by every command, and are loaded first (so command-specific options will override them).

Other categories are loaded by the corresponding command and may override options from the all category (ie. bitcoin_wallet loads all and wallet).

Command socket

The node opens a separate command socket which you can connect to and query statistics or get notified about new blocks/tx, etc. See below for a list of available commands.

For a list of commands, see {file:COMMANDS.rdoc} or {Bitcoin::Node::CommandHandler}.

CLI interface

The `bitcoin_node_cli` command can be used to interface with a running node, send it commands and subscribe to notifications about new blocks/txs, etc. The easiest way is to just call `bitcoin_node_cli` in the same way you started `bitcoin_node`, but with extra command arguments:

bitcoin_node_cli info
bitcoin_node_cli -c config.yml info
bitcoin_node_cli monitor "block tx"

CommandClient interface

If you are programming in an EventMachine context, you might find the {Bitcoin::Node::CommandClient} convenient.

Raw socket

Of course you can also connect to the socket by any other means you like, just send your commands as valid JSON, like:

{"id": 0, "method": <command>, "params": <params>}

and you'll receive responses in the form:

{"id": <id>, "method": <method>, "result": <result>}

For example:

$ echo -e '{"id": 1, "method": "tslb", "params": {}}\0' | nc 9999


Always trying to improve, any help appreciated! If anything is unclear to you, let us know!

Documentation is generated using yardoc:

rake doc

The specs are also a good place to see how things are supposed to work.


The specs can be run with


or, if you want to run a single spec

rspec spec/node/command_api_spec.rb

Coverage information is automatically generated and can be found in coverage/ after the test run.


Any help or feedback is greatly appreciated! Just open an issue, submit a pull-request, or come to #bitcoin-ruby on if you want to chat.


This software is licensed under the terms of the MIT license. See {file:COPYING} for details.