Bitcore Node has a service module system that can start up additional services that can include additional:

  • Blockchain indexes (e.g. querying balances for addresses)
  • API methods
  • HTTP routes
  • Event types to publish and subscribe

The bitcore-node.json file describes which services will load for a node:

  "services": [
    "bitcoind", "web"

Services correspond with a Node.js module as described in 'package.json', for example:

  "dependencies": {
    "bitcore-lib": "^0.13.7",
    "bitcore-node": "^0.2.0",
    "insight-api": "^3.0.0"

Note: If you already have a bitcore-node database, and you want to query data from previous blocks in the blockchain, you will need to reindex. Reindexing right now means deleting your bitcore-node database and resyncing.

Using Services Programmatically

If, instead, you would like to run a custom node, you can include services by including them in your configuration object when initializing a new node.

//Require bitcore
var bitcore = require('bitcore-node');

var Bitcoin =;
var Web =;

var myNode = new bitcore.Node({
  network: 'regtest'
  services: [
      name: 'bitcoind',
      module: Bitcoin,
      config: {
        spawn: {
          datadir: '/home/<username>/.bitcoin',
          exec: '/home/<username>/bitcore-node/bin/bitcoind'
      name: 'web',
      module: Web,
      config: {
        port: 3001

Now that you've loaded your services you can access them via<service-name>.<method-name>. For example if you wanted to check the balance of an address, you could access the address service like so.'1HB5XMLmzFVj8ALj6mfBsbifRoD4miY36v', false, function(err, total) {
  console.log(total.balance); //Satoshi amount of this address

Writing a Service

A new service can be created by inheriting from Node.Service and implementing these methods and properties:

  • Service.dependencies - An array of services that are needed, this will determine the order that services are started on the node.
  • Service.prototype.start() - Called to start up the service.
  • Service.prototype.stop() - Called to stop the service.
  • Service.prototype.blockHandler() - Will be called when a block is added or removed from the chain, and is useful for updating a database view/index.
  • Service.prototype.getAPIMethods() - Describes which API methods that this service includes, these methods can then be called over the JSON-RPC API, as well as the command-line utility.
  • Service.prototype.getPublishEvents() - Describes which events can be subscribed to for this service, useful to subscribe to events over the included web socket API.
  • Service.prototype.setupRoutes() - A service can extend HTTP routes on an express application by implementing this method.

The package.json for the service module can either export the Node.Service directly, or specify a specific module to load by including "bitcoreNode": "lib/bitcore-node.js".

Please take a look at some of the existing services for implementation specifics.