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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. The use of this library is optional when building libbitcoin-blockchain.

Signed single file application binaries are available for Bitcoin Explorer[3], Bitcoin Node[4] and Bitcoin Server[5] for Linux, macOS and Windows platforms. Extensive end-user and developer documentation is provided for Bitcoin Explorer[6].

Libbitcoin repositories include standard Autotools builds supporting GCC and Clang as well as robust Visual Studio solutions. Single file install scripts for Linux/macOS can download and build all dependencies and repositories[7]. Linux and macOS builds are regularly tested on Travis-CI[8] and Windows builds on AppVeyor. Tests are executed following each automated build and subsequent reports are published through Coveralls[9].

There are a number of community Bitcoin Server deployments, including those maintained by Neill Miller and by Bitprim[10].

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).[11]
  • The first commits were by Patrick Strateman (phantomcircuit) on May 18, 2011[12] and Libbitcoin was announced on July 21, 2011.[13]
  • The related command line application SubvertX (sx) was announced on November 2, 2011.[14]
  • The related server Obelisk was first released on January 6, 2014, with an update to SubvertX (sx) and the second major release of Libbitcoin.[15]
  • SubvertX was redesigned by Eric Voskuil (evoskuil) and released as Bitcoin Explorer (bx 2.0) on December 13, 2014.[16]
  • The privacy protocol design was the work product of a Libbitcoin team meeting in San Diego in August, 2014.[17]
  • Bitcoin Server (bs 2.0) was released on On May 9th, 2015, replacing Obelisk. A blockchain redesign by genjix substantially improved query performance[18].
  • 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 [19].
  • Version 4 is in active development as of 2023.
  • In August 2023, a security advisory for the usage of bx seed is published, after it was discovered that it uses a weak pseudo-random generator. The use of bx seed was mentioned in the book Mastering Bitcoin, and users have also reported coin theft of mnemonics created with bx seed.

Active Maintainers

  • Eric Voskuil (core development)
  • Phillip Mienk (core development)
  • Neill Miller (wallet development, hosting)
  • Kulpreet Singh, PhD (store development)
  • Skaht (bx operational test)

Early Contributors

Projects Using Libbitcoin

See Also