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Why Yet Another Blockchain Explorer?

There are many already out there. I wrote this blockchain explorer to learn Elixir, Phoenix, and Blockchain.

I couldn't have done it without

It can be seen running at

23 March 2020 - tested with Elixir 1.10, Erlang/OTP 22 and bitcoind version v0.19.99.0-97b068750

You need to be running bitcoind: regtest (twice) testnet

or mainnet

(The last of these runs a full node, and uses a lot of disk space - 200 Gb and counting)

If you are using regtest, the most economical choice, wait a few seconds, then run

to generate some blocks

For what regtest, testnet and mainnet mean, see

You need to change 'rpcuser' and 'rpcpass' in config/config.exs to whatever you give as username/password arguments to the scripts

regtest mode

To do anything useful in regtest mode, you need at least two instances of bitcoind running

Create a .bitcoin/ folder in your home directory

Start the first instance like this regtest USERNAME PASSWORD 1

and the second like this regtest USERNAME PASSWORD 2

further information


See ubuntu-install.txt for installation on Linux

To start Phoenix:

  • Install dependencies with mix deps.get
  • Install Node.js dependencies with cd assets then
  • npm install
  • ./node_modules/brunch/bin/brunch build
  • cd ..
  • Start Phoenix with mix phx.server

Wait a few minutes, then visit localhost:4000 in a browser

On a Mac, your data is written in ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin, unless you've specified a datadir (see On Linux, ~/.bitcoin.

You can turn it into a soft link pointing to a large (500 Gb+) external drive - which you probably will have to do if using testnet or mainnet, as the blockchain just keeps getting bigger.


To run this app in production mode, look at

You need to enter a 'secret key base' and a mysql username and password in config/prod.exs.

You should also add this line to the end of prod.exs. This overrides the RPC username and password in config.exs. Replace RPC_USERNAME and RPC_PASSWORD with the username and password with which you started bitcoind. They should not be the same as in config.exs, and they should not be RPC_USERNAME and RPC_PASSWORD!

config :blockchain_explorer, bitcoin_url: "http://RPC_USERNAME:RPC_PASSWORD@"

Do not check this file into Git after you've changed it - do git reset --hard to undo your changes to prod.exs.

mix phx.gen.secret will generate a new 'secret key base'.


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