Like I would do wget -O - http://blockchain.info/q/getblockcount 2>/dev/null for the main net.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Blockchain.info does not track the testnet, but blockexplorer.com does. In fact the API you're using was originally from blockexplorer.com, and blockchain.info simply adopted it.

wget -O - http://blockexplorer.com/testnet/q/getblockcount 2> /dev/null

or shorter

curl http://blockexplorer.com/testnet/q/getblockcount
  • this doesn't work anymore :( gives a 502... – knocte Jun 27 '16 at 7:13

BlockExplorer doesn't work anymore for me (redirecting to testnet.blockexplorer.com which throws a 502) so I found a new alternative:

http://tbtc.blockr.io/api/v1/coin/info

You have to get the "last_block" element.

(For mainnet: http://btc.blockr.io/api/v1/coin/info)

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