Bitcoin backend

Core Lightning communicates with the Bitcoin network through a plugin. It uses the bcli plugin by default but you can use a custom one, multiple custom ones for different operations, or write your own for your favourite Bitcoin data source!

Communication with the plugin is done through 5 JSONRPC commands, lightningd can use from 1 to 5 plugin(s) registering these 5 commands for gathering Bitcoin data. Each plugin must follow the below specification for lightningd to operate.


Called at startup, it's used to check the network lightningd is operating on and to get the sync status of the backend. Optionally, the plugins can use last_height to make sure that the Bitcoin backend is not behind Core Lightning.

The plugin must respond to getchaininfo with the following fields:
- chain (string), the network name as introduced in bip70
- headercount (number), the number of fetched block headers
- blockcount (number), the number of fetched block body
- ibd (bool), whether the backend is performing initial block download


Polled by lightningd to get the current feerate, all values must be passed in sat/kVB.

The plugin must return feerate_floor (e.g. 1000 if mempool is empty), and an array of 0 or more feerates. Each element of feerates is an object with blocks and feerate, in ascending-blocks order, for example:

	"feerate_floor": <sat per kVB>,
	"feerates": {
		{ "blocks": 2, "feerate": <sat per kVB> },
		{ "blocks": 6, "feerate": <sat per kVB> },
		{ "blocks": 12, "feerate": <sat per kVB> }
		{ "blocks": 100, "feerate": <sat per kVB> }

lightningd will currently linearly interpolate to estimate between given blocks (it will not extrapolate, but use the min/max blocks values).


This call takes one parameter, height, which determines the block height of the block to fetch.

The plugin must set all fields to null if no block was found at the specified height.

The plugin must respond to getrawblockbyheight with the following fields:
- blockhash (string), the block hash as a hexadecimal string
- block (string), the block content as a hexadecimal string


This call takes two parameter, the txid (string) and the vout (number) identifying the UTXO we're interested in.

The plugin must set both fields to null if the specified TXO was spent.

The plugin must respond to gettxout with the following fields:
- amount (number), the output value in sats
- script (string), the output scriptPubKey


This call takes two parameters, a string tx representing a hex-encoded Bitcoin transaction,
and a boolean allowhighfees, which if set means suppress any high-fees check implemented in the backend, since the given transaction may have fees that are very high.

The plugin must broadcast it and respond with the following fields:
- success (boolean), which is true if the broadcast succeeded
- errmsg (string), if success is false, the reason why it failed