bitcoin 0.18.2

General purpose library for using and interoperating with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Status

Rust Bitcoin Library

Library with support for de/serialization, parsing and executing on data structures and network messages related to Bitcoin and other blockchain-based currencies.

Documentation

Supports (or should support)

  • De/serialization of Bitcoin protocol network messages
  • De/serialization of blocks and transactions
  • Script de/serialization
  • Private keys and address creation, de/serialization and validation (including full BIP32 support)
  • Pay-to-contract support as in Appendix A of the Blockstream sidechains whitepaper

For JSONRPC interaction with Bitcoin Core, it is recommended to use rust-jsonrpc which uses the underlying strason library which parses decimal numbers as strings, preventing precision errors.

Known limitations

Consensus

This library must not be used for consensus code (i.e. fully validating blockchain data). It technically supports doing this, but doing so is very ill-advised because there are many deviations, known and unknown, between this library and the Bitcoin Core reference implementation. In a consensus based cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin it is critical that all parties are using the same rules to validate data, and this library is simply unable to implement the same rules as Core.

Given the complexity of both C++ and Rust, it is unlikely that this will ever be fixed, and there are no plans to do so. Of course, patches to fix specific consensus incompatibilities are welcome.

Documentation

Currently the documentation is very sparse. Patches to add usage examples and to expand on existing docs would be extremely appreciated.

Contributing

Contributions are generally welcome. If you intend to make larger changes please discuss them in an issue before PRing them to avoid duplicate work and architectural mismatches. If you have any questions or ideas you want to discuss please join us in #rust-bitcoin on freenode.

Installing Rust

Rust can be installed using your package manager of choice or rustup.rs. The former way is considered more secure since it typically doesn't involve trust in the CA system. But you should be aware that the version of Rust shipped by your distribution might be out of date. Generally this isn't a problem for rust-bitcoin since we support much older versions (>=1.22) than the current stable one.

Building

The library can be built and tested using cargo:

git clone git@github.com:rust-bitcoin/rust-bitcoin.git
cd rust-bitcoin
cargo build

You can run tests with:

cargo test

Please refer to the cargo documentation for more detailed instructions.

Pull Requests

Every PR needs at least two reviews to get merged. During the review phase maintainers and contributors are likely to leave comments and request changes. Please try to address them, otherwise your PR might get closed without merging after a longer time of inactivity. If your PR isn't ready for review yet please mark it by prefixing the title with WIP: .

Policy on Altcoins/Altchains

Patches which add support for non-Bitcoin cryptocurrencies by adding constants to existing enums (e.g. to set the network message magic-byte sequence) are welcome. Anything more involved will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as the altcoin landscape includes projects which frequently appear and disappear, and are poorly designed anyway and keeping the codebase maintainable is a large priority.

In general, things that improve cross-chain compatibility (e.g. support for cross-chain atomic swaps) are more likely to be accepted than things which support only a single blockchain.

Release Notes

See CHANGELOG.md