The Code for This Bitcoin Node Scanner is Now Open Source

CoinScope, a tool that provides aggregated data about bitcoin nodes, has been made open source.

AccessTimeIconFeb 23, 2017 at 8:19 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:07 p.m. UTC

CoinScope, a tool that provides aggregated data about bitcoin nodes, has been made open source.

The code was made publicly available on GitHub on 22nd February. The project, which has been around since 2015, is somewhat akin to Bitnodes, the node data tool operated by startup 21 Inc that seeks to map the bitcoin network by measuring the amount of nodes connected at any given time.

As detailed in a 2015 presentation by developer Andrew Miller at the Scaling Bitcoin workshop in Montreal, the tool's aim isn't to reduce the anonymity of nodes on the network. Rather, according to Miller, CoinScope's purpose is to provide a vehicle to assess the health of the network itself.

drafted in connection with CoinScope describes how one using the tool can see the bitcoin network in a new way by uncovering relationships between nodes and mining pools – a process that yields intriguing data points about the network's composition.

The paper notes:

"We introduce a "decloaking" method to find influential nodes in the topology that are well connected to a mining pool. Our results find that in contrast to bitcoin's idealized vision of spreading mining responsibility to each node, mining pools are prevalent and hidden: roughly 2% of the (influential) nodes represent three-quarters of the mining power."

The main technological aspect that makes the decloaking possible through the CoinScope tool is an element dubbed AddressNode. It works by discovering peer-to-peer links in bitcoin, then applying those links to the live topology of the whole network.

Image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.