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Libbitcoin is a set of cross platform, open source C++ libraries for building bitcoin applications. The toolkit consists of libraries, examples, tests and applications. The project was established on three principles[1]:

  • Privacy: Bitcoin should always remain as private as possible for its users.
  • Scalability: Bitcoin built today with the future in mind.
  • Integrity: No individual or group should have enough power over the network to compromise its original aims.


Libbitcoin is actively maintained. Since version 2.0 the original projects of Libbitcoin, Obelisk and SubvertX (sx) have been rationalized under a common repository, taxonomy and build system[2].

Libbitcoin includes the dedicated consensus library libbitcoin-consensus. This library provides a clean interface to the 34 source and header files from Bitcoin Core considered consensus critical. It also includes Python and Java SWIG[3] bindings. The use of this library is optional when building libbitcoin-blockchain.

Signed single file application binaries are available for Bitcoin Explorer[4], Bitcoin Node[5] and Bitcoin Server[6] for Linux, OSX and Windows platforms. Extensive end-user and developer documentation is provided for Bitcoin Explorer[7].

Libbitcoin repositories include standard Autotools builds supporting GCC and Clang as well as robust Visual Studio solutions. Single file install scripts for Linux/OSX can download and build all dependencies and repositories[8]. Linux and OSX builds are regularly tested on Travis-CI[9] and Windows builds on AppVeyor. Tests are executed following each automated build and subsequent reports are published through Coveralls[10].

There are a number of community Bitcoin Server deployments, including those maintained by Neill Miller and by Bitprim[11].

Libbitcoin Libraries

Libbitcoin Applications


  • Libbitcoin was the second full implementation of Bitcoin, after the original client. It was created by a community of open source developers led by Amir Taaki (genjix).[12]
  • The first commits were by Patrick Strateman (phantomcircuit) on May 18, 2011[13] and Libbitcoin was announced on July 21, 2011.[14]
  • The related command line application SubvertX (sx) was announced on November 2, 2011.[15]
  • The related server Obelisk was first released on January 6, 2014, with an update to SubvertX (sx) and the second major release of Libbitcoin.[16]
  • SubvertX was redesigned by Eric Voskuil (evoskuil) and released as Bitcoin Explorer (bx 2.0) on December 13, 2014.[17]
  • The privacy protocol design was the work product of a Libbitcoin team meeting in San Diego in August, 2014.[18]
  • Bitcoin Server (bs 2.0) was released on On May 9th, 2015, replacing Obelisk. A blockchain redesign by genjix substantially improved query performance[19].
  • Bitcoin Node (bn 2.2) achieved parity with Bitcoin Server on December 21st, 2015, as a release quality full node.
  • All repositories were updated to version 3.0 on March 7th, 2017, including substantial performance, quality and feature improvements [20].

Active Maintainers

  • Eric Voskuil (development)
  • Phillip Mienk (development)
  • Neill Miller (development, hosting)
  • Pablo Castellano (debian packaging)
  • Santi (
  • Mariano (node/server operational test)
  • Skaht (bx operational test)

Early Contributors

Projects Using Libbitcoin

See Also


  1. Libbitcoin Values - Amir Taaki
  2. Libbitcoin Repository
  3. SWIG Website
  4. Download Bitcoin Explorer (bx)
  5. Download Bitcoin Node(bx)
  6. Download Bitcoin Server (bs)
  7. Bitcoin Explorer Documentation
  8. Libbitcoin Repository Build Instructions
  9. Libbitcoin Build Status Reports
  10. Libbitcoin Test Coverage Reports
  11. Libbitcoin Community Servers
  12. GitHub Libbitcoin Contributors
  13. First Libbitcoin Commit by Patrick Strateman
  14. Bitcoin Talk Libbitcoin Announcement
  15. Bitcoin Talk SubvertX Announcement
  16. Bitcoin Talk Libbitcoin, Obelisk and SubvertX Release Announcement
  17. Bitcoin Explorer Release
  18. Libbitcoin Update 2014-09-06
  19. Reddit Post on Obelisk Performance
  20. Libbitcoin Update 2017-03-08