Difference between revisions of "API reference (JSON-RPC)"

From Bitcoin Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Undo vandalism by Genjix (talk))
(No more vandalism. I spoke with jgarzik and he agrees. Make a forum post if you disagree. No revert-wars.)
Line 31: Line 31:
== Python ==
== Python ==
For Python, either [http://json-rpc.org/wiki/python-json-rpc python-jsonrpc] or [https://github.com/jgarzik/python-bitcoinrpc python-bitcoinrpc] are perfect.
For Python, [http://yyz.us/bitcoin/authproxy.py AuthServiceProxy] are perfect.
They automatically generate Python methods corresponding to the functions above.
They automatically generate Python methods corresponding to the functions above.
<source lang="python">
<source lang="python">
   from jsonrpc import ServiceProxy
   import authproxy
   access = authproxy.AuthServiceProxy("http://user:password@")
   access = ServiceProxy("http://user:password@")

Revision as of 20:08, 8 April 2011

Controlling Bitcoin

Run bitcoind or bitcoin -server. You can control it via the command-line or by HTTP-JSON-RPC commands.

You must create a bitcoin.conf configuration file setting an rpcuser and rpcpassword; see Running Bitcoin for details.

Now run:

 $ ./bitcoind
 bitcoin server starting
 $ ./bitcoind help
 # shows the help text

A list of RPC calls will be shown.

 $ ./bitcoind getbalance


Running Bitcoin with the -server argument (or running bitcoind) tells it to function as a JSON-RPC server, but Basic access authentication must be used when communicating with it, and, for security, by default, the server only accepts connections from other processes on the same machine. If your HTTP or JSON library requires you to specify which 'realm' is authenticated, use 'jsonrpc'.

Bitcoin supports SSL (https) JSON-RPC connections beginning with version 0.3.14. See the rpcssl wiki page for setup instructions and a list of all bitcoin.conf configuration options.

To access the server you should find a library for your language.

Proper money handling

See the proper money handling page for notes on avoiding rounding errors when handling bitcoin values.


For Python, AuthServiceProxy are perfect. They automatically generate Python methods corresponding to the functions above.

  import authproxy
  access = authproxy.AuthServiceProxy("http://user:password@")
  #access.sendtoaddress("11yEmxiMso2RsFVfBcCa616npBvGgxiBX", 10)


Make sure to do:
    gem install rest-client

    h = ServiceProxy.new('http://user:password@')
    puts h.getinfo.call
    puts h.getbalance.call 'accname'
require 'json'
require 'rest_client'

class JSONRPCException < RuntimeError
    def initialize()

class ServiceProxy
    def initialize(service_url, service_name=nil)
        @service_url = service_url
        @service_name = service_name

    def method_missing(name, *args, &block)
        if @service_name != nil
            name = "%s.%s" % [@service_name, name]
        return ServiceProxy.new(@service_url, name)

    def respond_to?(sym)

    def call(*args)
        postdata = {"method" => @service_name, "params" => args, "id" => "jsonrpc"}.to_json
        respdata = RestClient.post @service_url, postdata
        resp = JSON.parse respdata
        if resp["error"] != nil
            raise JSONRPCException.new, resp['error']
        return resp['result']


The JSON-RPC PHP library also makes it very easy to connect to Bitcoin. For example:

  require_once 'jsonRPCClient.php';
  $bitcoin = new jsonRPCClient('http://user:password@');
  echo "<pre>\n";
  print_r($bitcoin->getinfo()); echo "\n";
  echo "Received: ".$bitcoin->getreceivedbylabel("Your Address")."\n";
  echo "</pre>";


The easiest way to tell Java to use HTTP Basic authentication is to set a default Authenticator:

  final String rpcuser ="...";
  final String rpcpassword ="...";
  Authenticator.setDefault(new Authenticator() {
      protected PasswordAuthentication getPasswordAuthentication() {
          return new PasswordAuthentication (rpcuser, rpcpassword.toCharArray());

Once that is done, any JSON-RPC library for Java (or ordinary URL POSTs) may be used to communicate with the Bitcoin server.


The JSON::RPC package from CPAN can be used to communicate with Bitcoin. You must set the client's credentials; for example:

  use JSON::RPC::Client;
  use Data::Dumper;
  my $client = new JSON::RPC::Client;
     'localhost:8332', 'jsonrpc', 'user' => 'password'  # REPLACE WITH YOUR bitcoin.conf rpcuser/rpcpassword
  my $uri = 'http://localhost:8332/';
  my $obj = {
      method  => 'getinfo',
      params  => [],
  my $res = $client->call( $uri, $obj );
  if ($res){
      if ($res->is_error) { print "Error : ", $res->error_message; }
      else { print Dumper($res->result); }
  } else {
      print $client->status_line;

.NET (C#)

The communication with rpc service can be achieved using the standard httprequest/response objects. A library for serialising and deserialising Json will make your life a lot easier:

  • JayRock for .NET 4.0
  • Json.Net for .NET 2.0 and above

The following example uses Json.Net:

 HttpWebRequest webRequest = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("http://localhost.:8332");
 webRequest.Credentials = new NetworkCredential("user", "pwd");
 /// important, otherwise the service can't desirialse your request properly
 webRequest.ContentType = "application/json-rpc";
 webRequest.Method = "POST";
 JObject joe = new JObject();
 joe.Add(new JProperty("jsonrpc", "1.0"));
 joe.Add(new JProperty("id", "1"));
 joe.Add(new JProperty("method", Method));
 // params is a collection values which the method requires..
 if (Params.Keys.Count == 0)
  joe.Add(new JProperty("params", new JArray()));
     JArray props = new JArray();
     // add the props in the reverse order!
     for (int i = Params.Keys.Count - 1; i >= 0; i--)
        .... // add the params
     joe.Add(new JProperty("params", props));
     // serialize json for the request
     string s = JsonConvert.SerializeObject(joe);
     byte[] byteArray = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(s);
     webRequest.ContentLength = byteArray.Length;
     Stream dataStream = webRequest.GetRequestStream();
     dataStream.Write(byteArray, 0, byteArray.Length);
     WebResponse webResponse = webRequest.GetResponse();
     ... // deserialze the response

Command line (cURL)

You can also send commands and see results using cURL or some other command-line HTTP-fetching utility; for example:

  curl --user user --data-binary '{"jsonrpc": "1.0", "id":"curltest", "method": "getinfo", "params": [] }' 
    -H 'content-type: text/plain;'

You will be prompted for your rpcpassword, and then will see something like:


See Also