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BitPay Unveils Bitcore, its New Open-Source Project for App Developers

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on February 15, 2014 at 21:31 GMT

Atlanta, Georgia-based bitcoin processor BitPay has announced the beta launch of Bitcore, a new open-source project that it says will allow app developers to more easily build projects on the bitcoin network.

Bitcore represents a break from BitPay’s processor plugins, as the JavaScript library is designed not for merchants, but to encourage "more developers to build software that interfaces directly with the real bitcoin network”.

BitPay broke the news via blog post, stating:

“At BitPay, we believe that developers contemplating new Bitcoin projects should not have to resort to using proprietary APIs hosted on services running closed software.”

So far, BitPay suggested that Bitcore is already being used on several projects, but that it should be considered a beta version as it has not completed a third-party code review.

Despite the launch on 14th February, Bitcore is far from new. It has been in use internally at BitPay for the past year, and has already resulted in apps such the block chain explorer Insight.

 

Community feedback

Following the announcement, bitcoin representatives Eric Martindale and Jeff Garzik took to reddit to answer user questions, both technical and strategic, about the launch.

Reaction was generally positive, with many lauding Bitcore as a move that is in keeping with the virtual currency’s decentralized roots.

Reddit user 100acrewood said:

“As a node.js developer, I've been trying to find something this well done for a long time (and was slowly scrapping together my own). My weekend is going to be ruined now since I'll be playing with this non stop, so thanks a lot!”

Technical details

Bitcore is designed to run in two ways, server side on node.js, or client side in a web browser, the blog post said. Further, it was the result of an internal fork of Stefan Thomas’ bitcoinsjs project.

The company explained:

“We’ve decided to open source that fork and put some effort into ensuring that it had sufficient capability out of the box to attract developers to start using it. We felt we needed an initial project that uses the bitcore stack to ensure it was indeed useful for real projects from day one.”

If the reddit response is any indication, the idea appears to be a timely one for the community, as several posts suggested similar projects were currently in the works by different developers.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 4.24.37 PM

Martindale seemed open to working with these community members to fight fragmentation, responding to genjix with an invite for further discussion.

Big picture

While BitPay is optimistic about Bitcore, the true test of the platform will be how much interaction it receives from the community. For example, BitPay noted that Bitcore still needs “developer love”, and that users should be vigilant for ways to fix bugs, optimize code and otherwise contribute to a better development platform.

Said the release:

“We have several other bitcore projects already underway, including tools that help you manage key storage, multi-signature workflows, a JavaScript roller for browsers and much more.”

Martindale suggested that Bitcore could have additional implications for the bitcoin community.

In response to one reddit question, Martindale stated that Bitcore would allow the company to develop projects related to escrow services, though he didn’t elaborate on any larger plans.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.

Image credit: BitPay

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