If you’re familiar with bitcoin, you’ll feel right at home with MultiChain.

Quick start for developers

To understand the basics of working with MultiChain, start with these:

It is also recommended to work through the Getting Started guide.

Compatibility with Bitcoin Core

A key design principle of MultiChain is maximal compatibility with Bitcoin Core, the reference client for the bitcoin network. As a fork of Bitcoin Core, MultiChain shares the following technical characteristics:

  • Command-line arguments which affect how MultiChain is run – see running bitcoin.
  • Network protocol which defines how MultiChain nodes communicate with each other – see bitcoin protocol.
  • JSON-RPC API which provides a way for external software to control MultiChain – see bitcoin API.
  • Transaction format which defines the meaning of the raw bytes in a transaction – see bitcoin transactions.
  • Script language which provides the rules for determining whether an output can be spent – see bitcoin scripts.
  • Block format which defines the meaning of the raw bytes in a block and its header – see bitcoin blocks.

As a result, the vast majority of the information in the Bitcoin Developer Documentation is applicable to MultiChain.

Differences from Bitcoin Core

In order to support features such as multiple networks, custom blockchain parameters, permissions, assets and streams, MultiChain does make some changes to Bitcoin Core’s operations. To the maximum extent possible, these use transaction metadata (OP_RETURN and OP_DROP) so that existing bitcoin-compatible code can still be used with a MultiChain network. A detailed description of these changes is provided below:

Getting assistance

If you have any questions or problems when using MultiChain, please ask in the developer forum or contact us if the question is confidential.

Learning materials

Below are links to materials which can help get you up to speed with MultiChain:

We’re looking to expand this list, so please contact us and let us know what you’re looking for.

Open source code

MultiChain is open source under the GPLv3 license, available on Github.

Tools and libraries

Below are some tools for helping with MultiChain development.

Below are some forks of popular bitcoin wallets and libraries, for connecting to a MultiChain blockchain. These work with both bitcoin-style blockchains and bitcoin-compatible permissioned chains: