How to get a list of unspent transactions outputs (UTXO) from local files?

Where is stored this data? In what files this data is fully present?

I understand that this list is in "chainstate". But may be there is a more secure way to get it?

I try to extract it from the local files which Bitcoin Client dumps on disk.

I think there would be a "Crypto-proof UTXO set".


2 Answers 2


I've been working on this as a part of a bigger Bitcoin tools Python 2 library for a while. You can find it on github.

You can run the code on ldb_parser.py which will give a txt with all the UTXOs from the chainstate parsed in a json. (Notice that this is a huge amount of data.)

Then you can call the decode_utxo function using the data from the json and store the result in a file to analyze it. (This file will be even bigger!).

Here you have an example (once you have run ldb_parser.py):

from bitcoin_tools.utils import load_conf_file, decode_utxo
from json import loads, dumps

fin_name = "utxos.txt"
fout_name = "parsed_utxos.txt"

# Load config file
cfg = load_conf_file()

fin = open(cfg.data_path + fin_name, 'r')
# Output file
fout = open(cfg.data_path + fout_name, 'w')

for line in fin:
    data = loads(line[:-1])
    utxo = decode_utxo(data["value"])

    fout.write(dumps(utxo) + '\n')


And each line you will get in parsed_utxos.txt look like:

{"coinbase": 0, "version": 1, "outs": [{"index": 1, "amount": 14250000, "out_type": 0, "data": "865e218ff25929eee880e0e3b6f95280b2d05443"}], "height": 468349}
{"coinbase": 0, "version": 1, "outs": [{"index": 0, "amount": 132000, "out_type": 1, "data": "0b2a00367244680f6da18acd861a08f0a89cb3b4"}], "height": 449294}
{"coinbase": 0, "version": 1, "outs": [{"index": 1, "amount": 2423800, "out_type": 1, "data": "7f172a63c49c5d03e3307d432bd6b784b69d0e0d"}, {"index": 2, "amount": 10000000, "out_type": 1, "data": "1d0c4b60e8270f9b6ca5f167f08a5466a0cee565"}], "height": 474328}

Where each entry in outs in an output and, and data corresponds to the transaction data (hash160 of the address for P2PKH transactions).

Now, you have to take into account some considerations:

Not every single UTXO is a P2PKH, so what you will find in data depends on the out_type field.

out_types 0 and 1 correspond to P2PKH and P2SH respectively, and will have 20 byte of data (hash160 of the public key for P2PKH and scriptHash for P2SH).

out_types 2,3,4 and 5 correspond to P2PK outputs, and will contain 33 bytes of data (1 byte for the type of public key and 32 bytes for the actual key).

Finally, any other out_type will imply that the data hold by the UTXO is not compressed, and the value will correspond to the data size + the number of special scripts (nSpecialScripts) which is currently 6). This is the case of P2MS transactions and non-std transactions.

All this has been directly extracted from the Bitcoin Core source code.

Finally, notice that in order to use the library you will need to install the python dependencies in requeriments.txt and create a conf.py file to set your chainstate path and data path (or modify the code to not use the config file).

  • I'm working on merging all this to master branch (it's currently on dev), so links may vary in the future).
    – sr_gi
    Aug 30, 2017 at 16:34
  • Note that the database format for the UTXO set changes in Bitcoin Core 0.15 (it becomes easier). Aug 31, 2017 at 4:49
  • @PieterWuille Thank you for pointing this out, I'll update the code.
    – sr_gi
    Aug 31, 2017 at 13:50
  • @sr-gi you update the code? Sep 3, 2017 at 23:42
  • 2
    You can find it under dev branch (it will be merged with master along this week). The decoding function for 0.15 is here: github.com/sr-gi/bitcoin_tools/blob/dev/bitcoin_tools/analysis/…
    – sr_gi
    Nov 6, 2017 at 15:47

The UTXO set is stored in the chainstate folder. It is stored in LevelDB databases which may do some optimizations which may make the actual data on disk difficult to parse (e.g. some compression). If you want to read that data, you should modify Bitcoin Core to give it to you instead of trying to read it from files on disk. You could also open the databases in a LevelDB viewer, but that could corrupt your databases and is otherwise not recommended.

  • would you propose any leveldb viewer? Aug 30, 2017 at 19:17

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