Install, Update and Tweak BitcoinLib


Install with pip

$ pip install bitcoinlib

Package can be found at

Install from source

Required packages for Ubuntu, for other systems see below:

apt install build-essential python3-dev libgmp3-dev pkg-config postgresql postgresql-contrib mariadb-server libpq-dev libmysqlclient-dev pkg-config

Create a virtual environment for instance on linux with virtualenv:

$ virtualenv -p ~/.virtualenvs/bitcoinlib
$ source ~/.virtualenvs/bitcoinlib/bin/activate

Then clone the repository and install dependencies:

$ git clone
$ cd bitcoinlib
$ python -m pip install .

You can test your local installation by running all unittests:

$ python -m unittest

Package dependencies

Required Python Packages, are automatically installed upon installing bitcoinlib:

  • fastecdsa (or ecdsa on Windows)

  • sqlalchemy

  • requests

  • numpy

  • pycryptodome

Other requirements Linux

On Debian, Ubuntu or their derivatives:

apt install build-essential python3-dev libgmp3-dev pkg-config postgresql postgresql-contrib mariadb-server libpq-dev libmysqlclient-dev pkg-config

On Fedora, CentOS or RHEL:

dnf install python3-devel gmp-devel

On Alpine Linux, lightweight Linux used for Docker images:

apk add python3-dev gmp-dev py3-pip gcc musl-dev libpq-dev postgresql postgresql-contrib mariadb-dev mysql-client

On Kali linux:

apt install libgmp3-dev postgresql postgresql-contrib libpq-dev pkg-config default-libmysqlclient-dev default-mysql-server

Development environment

Install database packages for MySQL and PostgreSQL

apt install mysql-server postgresql postgresql-contrib libmysqlclient-dev pkg-config libpq-dev

Check for the latest version of the PostgreSQL dev server:

apt install postgresql-server-dev-<version>

From library root directory install the Python requirements

python -m pip install .[dev]

Then run the unittests to see if everything works

python -m unittest

Other requirements Windows

This library requires a Microsoft Visual C++ Compiler. For python version 3.5+ you will need Visual C++ 14.0. Install Microsoft Visual Studio and include the “Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools” which can be downloaded from Also see

The fastecdsa library is not enabled at this moment in the windows install, the slower ecdsa library is installed. Installation of fastecdsa on Windows is possible but not easy, read for steps you could take to install this library.

When using Python on Windows it needs to be set to UTF-8 mode. You can do this by adding the PYTHONUTF8=1 to the environment variables or use the -X utf8 command line option. Please see for more information.

Update Bitcoinlib

Before you update make sure to backup your database! Also backup your settings files in ./bitcoinlib/config if you have made any changes.

If you installed the library with pip upgrade with

$ pip install bitcoinlib --upgrade

Otherwise pull the git repository.

After an update it might be necessary to update the config files. The config files will be overwritten with new versions if you delete the .bitcoinlib/install.log file.

$ rm .bitcoinlib/install.log

If the new release contains database updates you have to migrate the database with the command. This program extracts keys and some wallet information from the old database and then creates a new database. The command is just a helper tool and not guaranteed to work, it might fail if there are a lot of database changes. So backup database / private keys first and use at your own risk!

$ python
Wallet and Key data will be copied to new database. Transaction data will NOT be copied
Updating database file: /home/guest/.bitcoinlib/database/bitcoinlib.sqlite
Old database will be backed up to /home/guest/.bitcoinlib/database/bitcoinlib.sqlite.backup-20180711-01:46
Type 'y' or 'Y' to continue or any other key to cancel: y


Please make sure you have the Python development and SSL development packages installed, see ‘Other requirements’ above.

You can also use pycryptodome, pyscrypt or scrypt. pyscript is a pure Python scrypt password-based key derivation library. It works but it is slow when using BIP38 password protected keys.

If you run into issues do not hesitate to contact us or file an issue at

Using library in other software

If you use the library in other software and want to change file locations and other settings you can specify a location for a config file in the BCL_CONFIG_FILE:

os.environ['BCL_CONFIG_FILE'] = '/var/www/blocksmurfer/bitcoinlib.ini'

Service providers and local nodes

You can Add another service Provider to this library by updating settings and write a new service provider class.

To increase reliability, speed and privacy or if you use this library in a production environment it is advised to run your own Bcoin or Bitcoin node.

More setup information:

Some service providers require an API key to function or allow additional requests. You can add this key to the provider settings file in .bitcoinlib/providers.json