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I would like to know what bcoin is exactly because I'm confused about what it does.

Is it an API for communicating with the bitcoin blockchain?

Is it to build a wallet system for other users to have their own accounts and use it for transactions between one another?

Or is bcoin used for building a personal wallet account for mining bitcoin?

I hope to get full answer because the bcoin website is not clear in what it does (Enterprise-level Bitcoin and Blockchain libraries. Built for businesses, miners, wallets, and hobbyists)

What exactly does it provide for businesses?

Let's say I want to build a business that provides wallet services for end users.. is bcoin what I need?

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  • @RedGrittyBrick bcoin is an open source project, it does not offer any commercial services.
    – pinhead
    Jan 18 at 13:40

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bcoin is a Bitcoin protocol library written in Javascript for Node.js

It offers a Full Node, SPV node, BIP44 wallet with multisig, address indexer, JavaScript events, and plenty of other features that make it a little different from Bitcoin Core. It is also written as a library and can be integrated into other applications or even websites without requiring a full node or wallet (for example, you can use bcoin to generate or validate addresses on your website).

It's important to also note that over the last two years the project has lost its funding and support and is only minimally maintained by a slim group of contributors. For example it only recently added support for bech32m addresses but it does not yet fully validate Taproot. This makes the bcoin full node a risky option.

Let's say I want to build a business that provides wallet services for end users.. is bcoin what I need?

Yes if your stack is already mostly Node.js you will find the bcoin wallet very easy to understand and integrate. bcoin IS NOT A SERVICE, and does not offer a public API or anything like that. You need to install, manage, configure, maintain, and integrate the software entirely on your own.

To learn more, join us on slack (https://bcoin.io/slack-signup) or IRC #bcoin (Libera)

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bitcoind, the official reference Bitcoin full node software, is not really designed for high-traffic business use (such as high-volume storefronts). bcoin is an alternative Bitcoin full node, specifically designed for merchant/business use. It is software you download and install just like the official Bitcoin client, and once set up it offers an RPC API interface just like bitcoind does, but it comes with additional features business users would find useful.

For example: If you have ever tried to use the official bitcoind to set up, for example, a custom merchant storefront, you'd notice that a lot of what seems like common functionality is either missing or clunky. For example, it's missing the ability to check for transactions for a hierarchical key, aka xpub; with the bitcoind rpc you would have to individually subscribe to addresses. And due to the lack of xpubs, consider that to offer a customer a Bitcoin address to pay to, the way to create a Bitcoin address through the bitcoind RPC API necessarily requires that the private key be stored on the server, which is discouraged for public-facing servers.

If you use bitcoind for your storefront, you would need additional software/code libraries that include features like xpubs -- certainly will involve more parts to maintain, may be messy, will certainly be an inefficient design, and will probably run into design limits. So many storefronts will choose to use software like bcoin instead, to avoid those problems.

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