I am hoping someone much smarter than i regarding bitcoin can point me in the right direction. And im sorry if my questions sound dumb....

I am trying to work out how i can check if a transaction has been made to a specific address (so my "ecommerce" system knows the payment was made). I would however like to do this without relying on 3rd party sites/API's

I though the answer maybe to run bitcoind on my web-facing server, but now im not so sure; As it seems i can only get transaction details for addresses within my wallet (stored on the web server) and i did not plan on having the BTC stored in the online wallet as i only wanted to check the transaction and store the BTC's in an offline wallet. (if i was to store BTC in a wallet hosted on a web server is this a BIG security risk of having my lovely BTC's stolen?).

I have spent all night (now 7.30 am) trying to work out a plan of action, but think i am now more confused than when i started :-(

I would be very grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction as i really want to develop a BTC related website (and think i may have a good community based idea for a site).

Best Regards Ford

  • You don't specify why you don't want to rely on 3rd party sites or APIs. Is this critical? As mentioned by @Loourr, blockchain.info is the normal way of handling this issue, though I can remember it going down on at least one occasion.
    – Jamie Bull
    Jul 9, 2013 at 14:20
  • Hello and thanks for the reply. i have nothing against blockchain, but by using a 3rd party just increases the chance of failure and typically i prefer to use my own code, as if blockchain can do what i need, my question is how are they doing it and can i do the same...
    – Ford
    Jul 9, 2013 at 15:14
  • Well there's always a trade-off to be made between the risk of service outage and the risk of making a mistake in a new and untested system. For me, BitPay does everything I need with no need to go as far as the block chain itself or even blockchain.info.
    – Jamie Bull
    Jul 9, 2013 at 15:55
  • just an update for anyone reading. After only a few days of deciding to use the 3rd party of blockchain... their API is now returning errors... i should have trusted my instincts and NOT used the 3rd party...
    – Ford
    Jul 15, 2013 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


If you want to see all bitcoin transactions for a given address, coming to or going from, then you need to actually look through the block chain. Fortunately our good friends at blockchain.info have given us a nice api to do just that.

  • Hello Loourr. thank you very much for your reply and i agree blockchain do look and sound good, and i have had a good look at their API's. If possible i would have preferred to do it without the 3rd party, as if they can do it, it must be possible, but how is the problem i now have.... I have nothing against blockchain at all but have always felt it better to use my own system as oppose to relying on 3rd parties. Thanks again for your reply!
    – Ford
    Jul 9, 2013 at 15:24
  • Well I'm not exactly sure, but you can technically do it the same way blockchain.info does. You would just need some node on the network and figure out how to parse the data in a meaningful way.
    – Loourr
    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:11

A full node bitcoin client has local copy of blockchain and keeps updating copy, whether has or not stored on it any private keys.

All need to do is scan chain look for transactions involving address you're interested in.

Code to do that in standard bitcoin client; function triggered by command "rescan".

Need to find and extract that code, modify one or two lines to take address as command line argument, save. done.

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