Is there a comprehensive list of Bitcoin's core consensus rules anywhere?

In the Bitcoinwiki "Full Node" article it says:

Here are examples of consensus rules, though there are many more:

  • Blocks may only create a certain number of bitcoins. (Currently 12.5 BTC per block.)
  • Transactions must have correct signatures for the bitcoins being spent.
  • Transactions/blocks must be in the correct data format.
  • Within a single block chain, a transaction output cannot be double-spent.

I've looked around for a list of the "many more" but haven't located one yet.

  • In reading bitcoinwiki "Consensus" page, I spotted this sentence: For clarity, these rules should be called hard rules or the rules of Bitcoin instead of consensus rules. This lead me to the "Protocol rules" page (en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_rules) which provides lists of "tx" messages and "block" messages. I'm guessing these are part of the rule set? Are there more...? Apr 6, 2017 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


in fact the current consensus rules are defined in code of bitcoin client which is used today by majority. this is by the definition of term "consensus". tomorrow we can have another consensus rules.

the wiki page https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Protocol_rules is good, but it does not describe BIP16 and many other protocol improvements which were already put as consensus rules (CSV, CLTV opcodes handling, may be something else)

some things mentioned on wiki page seems to be wrong, for example the transaction can be less than 100 bytes (tx messsages, rule #6)

  • Thanks. I get that they're in the code, I was just wondering if they'd been transposed to a written list anywhere. I might get started on one. I also noticed a few inconsistencies on the wiki page. Apr 7, 2017 at 8:54
  • "some things mentioned on wiki page seems to be wrong" They aren't wrong, they are standard rules not consensus rules. May 1, 2020 at 4:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.