A secure bitcoin wallet daemon written in Go (golang)

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btcwallet is a daemon handling bitcoin wallet functionality for a single user. It acts as both an RPC client to btcd and an RPC server for wallet clients and legacy RPC applications.

Public and private keys are derived using the heirarchical deterministic format described by BIP0032. Unencrypted private keys are not supported and are never written to disk. btcwallet uses the m/44'/<coin type>'/<account>'/<branch>/<address index> HD path for all derived addresses, as described by BIP0044.

Due to the sensitive nature of public data in a BIP0032 wallet, btcwallet provides the option of encrypting not just private keys, but public data as well. This is intended to thwart privacy risks where a wallet file is compromised without exposing all current and future addresses (public keys) managed by the wallet. While access to this information would not allow an attacker to spend or steal coins, it does mean they could track all transactions involving your addresses and therefore know your exact balance. In a future release, public data encryption will extend to transactions as well.

btcwallet is not an SPV client and requires connecting to a local or remote btcd instance for asynchronous blockchain queries and notifications over websockets. Full btcd installation instructions can be found here. An alternative SPV mode that is compatible with btcd and Bitcoin Core is planned for a future release.

No release-ready graphical frontends currently exist, however the proof-of-concept btcgui project shows some of the possibilities of btcwallet. In the coming months a new stable RPC API is planned, at which point a high quality graphical frontend can be finished.

Mainnet support is currently disabled by default. Use of btcwallet on mainnet requires passing the --mainnet flag on the command line or adding mainnet=1 to the configuration file. Mainnet will be enabled by default in a future release after further database changes and testing.

Installation and updating

Windows - MSIs Available

Install the latest MSIs available here:

Windows/Linux/BSD/POSIX - Build from source

  • If necessary, install Go according to the installation instructions here: It is recommended to add $GOPATH/bin to your PATH at this point.

  • Run the following commands to obtain and install btcd, btcwallet and all dependencies:

go get -u -v
go get -u -v

Getting Started

The following instructions detail how to get started with btcwallet connecting to a localhost btcd. Commands should be run in cmd.exe or PowerShell on Windows, or any terminal emulator on *nix.

  • Run the following command to start btcd:
btcd --testnet -u rpcuser -P rpcpass
  • Run the following command to create a wallet:
btcwallet -u rpcuser -P rpcpass --create
  • Run the following command to start btcwallet:
btcwallet -u rpcuser -P rpcpass

If everything appears to be working, it is recommended at this point to copy the sample btcd and btcwallet configurations and update with your RPC username and password.

PowerShell (Installed from MSI):

PS> cp "$env:ProgramFiles\Btcd Suite\Btcd\sample-btcd.conf" $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcd\btcd.conf
PS> cp "$env:ProgramFiles\Btcd Suite\Btcwallet\sample-btcwallet.conf" $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcwallet\btcwallet.conf
PS> $editor $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcd\btcd.conf
PS> $editor $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcwallet\btcwallet.conf

PowerShell (Installed from source):

PS> cp $env:GOPATH\src\\btcsuite\btcd\sample-btcd.conf $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcd\btcd.conf
PS> cp $env:GOPATH\src\\btcsuite\btcwallet\sample-btcwallet.conf $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcwallet\btcwallet.conf
PS> $editor $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcd\btcd.conf
PS> $editor $env:LOCALAPPDATA\Btcwallet\btcwallet.conf

Linux/BSD/POSIX (Installed from source):

$ cp $GOPATH/src/ ~/.btcd/btcd.conf
$ cp $GOPATH/src/ ~/.btcwallet/btcwallet.conf
$ $EDITOR ~/.btcd/btcd.conf
$ $EDITOR ~/.btcwallet/btcwallet.conf

Client Usage

Clients wishing to use btcwallet are recommended to connect to the ws endpoint over a websocket connection. Messages sent to btcwallet over this websocket are expected to follow the standard Bitcoin JSON API (partially documented here). Websocket connections also enable additional API extensions and JSON-RPC notifications (currently undocumented). The btcd packages btcjson and btcws provide types and functions for creating and JSON (un)marshaling these requests and notifications.

Issue Tracker

The integrated github issue tracker is used for this project.

GPG Verification Key

All official release tags are signed by Conformal so users can ensure the code has not been tampered with and is coming from the btcsuite developers. To verify the signature perform the following:

  • Download the public key from the Conformal website at

  • Import the public key into your GPG keyring:

    gpg --import GIT-GPG-KEY-conformal.txt
  • Verify the release tag with the following command where TAG_NAME is a placeholder for the specific tag:

    git tag -v TAG_NAME


btcwallet is licensed under the liberal ISC License.