It's ChatGPT, but for Bitcoin: New AI Tool Avoids 'Hallucinations'

An experimental version of the Bitcoin-focused AI chatbot was released on Thursday by Chaincode Labs, which says its new "ChatBTC" is less likely to give incorrect answers about the original blockchain, or to “hallucinate” like the more popular (and generalist) ChatGPT.

AccessTimeIconAug 7, 2023 at 5:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 8, 2023 at 2:18 a.m. UTC
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  • ChatBTC is an artificial-intelligence chatbot created by Bitcoin development shop Chaincode Labs and trained to answer questions about the dominant blockchain using “high-quality sources” of technical information.
  • Unlike Open AI’s ChatGPT product, this new chatbot is less likely to give incorrect answers or “hallucinate,” according to Chaincode Labs.

Looking for answers on Bitcoin? A new, specialized artificial intelligence or AI tool just released by the developer Chaincode Labs aims to provide a font of reliable information— in contrast to the more general and sometimes inaccurate responses that might come from the buzzy AI tool ChatGPT.

Bitcoin enthusiasts no longer have to scour the popular question-and-answer website Bitcoin Stack Exchange or muddle through the Bitcoin-dev mailing list looking for answers to technical questions about the dominant blockchain. Another source of frustration could come from typing queries into ChatGPT, the popular Q&A tool from OpenAI — because the origin of its intel isn't always fully attributed, and there's risk of both plagiarism and inaccurate or outdated responses.

Chaincode's new experimental service, which was launched last week, is called ChatBTC. It works as an alternative to ChatGPT, but is trained on a specific set of specialized and vetted Bitcoin resources, according to Art Assoiants, product manager at Chaincode Labs.

“It's for people who want high confidence in not just the quality of responses, but where those ideas come from,” Assoiants told CoinDesk. “ChatBTC is based on a curated set of high-signal resources that have been the traditional hosts of in-depth technical discourse.”

Artificial intelligence has become one of the hottest tech trends since the viral success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT late last year. OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research company and ChatGPT is its flagship chatbot, garnering more than 100 million users a mere two months after launching. ChatGPT is a large language model, or LLM — software that generates human-like text responses to user questions.

But OpenAI says the general-purpose ChatGPT “has limited knowledge of world events after 2021” and is dogged by “hallucinations,” inaccurate or even offensive answers to questions.

ChatBTC uses the same knowledge base as, also developed by Chaincode Labs, and Assoiants says it pulls resources from websites like Bitcoin Stack Exchange, Bitcoin Talk, the Bitcoin-dev and Lightning-dev mailing lists, Bitcoin Optech, Bitcoin Transcripts and a limited set of blogs.

The service is still in its early alpha phase according to Adam Jonas, head of special projects at Chaincode Labs.

“Please have mercy on this alpha,” Jonas posted on X (formerly Twitter). “There is a feedback form at the bottom if you'd like to help us improve. Not all the answers are 100% accurate.”

Introducing “Holocat”

On the homepage, users are greeted by a standard chat interface much like ChatGPT’s. Scrolling down gives users the option of chatting with a virtual feline by the name of “Holocat” for general answers. Users can also select an avatar of their favorite Bitcoin guru that responds only with answers previously provided by that avatar’s real-life personality. There are currently three Bitcoin Core contributors available for that option — Matt Corallo, Andrew Chow and Greg Maxwell.

Screenshot of ChatBTC interface (Chaincode Labs)
Screenshot of ChatBTC interface (Chaincode Labs)

“If you want to learn about partially signed Bitcoin transactions from the inventor of partially signed Bitcoin transactions, we can do that for you,” says a narrator in a video from Chaincode Labs showcasing ChatBTC. The narrator also adds, “It’s sort of hard to make this hallucinate.”

Unlike with ChatGPT, there’s no free version, but it's pretty inexpensive to use. After asking a few questions, users must pay at least 50 satoshis or “sats” – the blockchain’s smallest units (one bitcoin is 100 million sats) – per prompt, or roughly 1.5 cents per question at the time of reporting.

ChatBTC’s payment interface uses an obscure web standard called L402 that was recently configured to accept bitcoin payments. One of the developers working on that interface is Theophilus Isah.

“I spearheaded that part,” Isah told CoinDesk. “Although it still has some improvements.”

Isah and Assoiants collaborated with fellow contributors Urvish Patel, Emmanuel Itakpe and Stephen DeLorme to create the current version of ChatBTC.

Other Bitcoin-focused chatbots on the market include and talk2satoshi (which appeared to be offline at the time of reporting), both less popular projects, based on social-media engagement on X.

Isah says he chose to get involved with the project about three months ago because he believes the world needs more Bitcoin-focused educational resources.

“This will help onboard people with little or no knowledge about Bitcoin while providing resources (links and references) to its answer source,” Isah said.

Edited by Bradley Keoun and Rosie Perper.


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Frederick  Munawa

Frederick Munawa was a Technology Reporter for Coindesk. He covered blockchain protocols with a specific focus on bitcoin and bitcoin-adjacent networks.

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