I am trying to implement an SPV client in python (for my own learning). I want to start by making a simple TCP connection to a full node, but I either cannot get a response to my version message, or to my verack message if the version message goes through. I have referenced this and this is the code that I am trying to run:

#Import dependencies
import socket
import time
import random
import struct
import hashlib
import binascii
import ssl
import socks

# Binary encode the sub-version
def create_sub_version():
    sub_version = "/Satoshi:0.7.2/"
    return b'\x0F' + sub_version.encode()

# Binary encode the network addresses
def create_network_address(ip_address, port):
    network_address = struct.pack('>8s16sH', b'\x01', 
        bytearray.fromhex("00000000000000000000ffff") + socket.inet_aton(ip_address), port)

# Create the TCP request object
def create_message(magic, command, payload):
    checksum = hashlib.sha256(hashlib.sha256(payload).digest()).digest()[0:4]
    return(struct.pack('L12sL4s', magic, command.encode(), len(payload), checksum) + payload)

# Create the "version" request payload
def create_payload_version(peer_ip_address):
    version = 60002
    services = 1
    timestamp = int(time.time())
    addr_local = create_network_address("", 8333)
    addr_peer = create_network_address(peer_ip_address, 8333)
    nonce = random.getrandbits(64)
    start_height = 645953
    payload = struct.pack('<LQQ26s26sQ16sL', version, services, timestamp, addr_peer,
                          addr_local, nonce, create_sub_version(), start_height)

# Create the "verack" request message
def create_message_verack():
    return bytearray.fromhex("f9beb4d976657261636b000000000000000000005df6e0e2")

# Create the "getdata" request payload
def create_payload_getdata(tx_id):
    count = 1
    type = 1
    hash = bytearray.fromhex(tx_id)
    payload = struct.pack('<bb32s', count, type, hash)

# Print request/response data
def print_response(command, request_data, response_data):
    print("Command: " + command)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    # Set constants
    magic_value = 0xd9b4bef9
    tx_id = "a13e7979d3607e187d2ce81ca9fdadfe967b2f3fc1109ce47d46cc09ebd41c50"
    peer_ip_address = socket.gethostbyname('bitcoin.aranguren.org') 
    peer_tcp_port =  50002
    buffer_size = 1024

    # Create Request Objects
    version_payload = create_payload_version(peer_ip_address)
    version_message = create_message(magic_value, 'version', version_payload)
    verack_message = create_message_verack()
    getdata_payload = create_payload_getdata(tx_id)
    getdata_message = create_message(magic_value, 'getdata', getdata_payload)

    # Establish TCP Connection
    s = socket.socket(socket.AF_INET, socket.SOCK_STREAM)
    ws = ssl.wrap_socket(s, ssl_version=ssl.PROTOCOL_TLSv1)
    ws.connect((peer_ip_address, peer_tcp_port))

    # Send message "version"
    response_data = ws.recv(buffer_size)
    print_response("version", version_message, response_data)

    # Send message "verack"
    response_data = ws.recv(buffer_size)
    print_response("verack", verack_message, response_data)

    # Send message "getdata"
    response_data = ws.recv(buffer_size)
    print_response("getdata", getdata_message, response_data)

    # Close the TCP connection

The server I connect to in the code is among the only ones that would respond to the version message, returning b'7b226a736f6e727063223a2022322e30222c20226572726f72223a207b22636f6465223a202d33323730302c20226d657373616765223a20226d65737361676573206d75737420626520656e636f64656420696e205554462d38227d2c20226964223a206e756c6c7d0a'.

I also tried referencing: this stack exchange question and Ken Shirriff's github code, but none seem to work, either because I am using python3 or from other causes. I am a beginner in this, so if somebody could help me understand why I cannot get my messages across in the above code or has another implementation in python3, I would be grateful.

  • 1
    It is probably helpful to run a full node with debugging enabled (e.g. Bitcoin Core with -debug=net), and connect to that. The output in debug.log may tell you what you're doing wrong. Aug 30, 2020 at 16:09
  • Have you tried with magic = f9beb4d9? Aug 30, 2020 at 19:03
  • This is the message you are getting back: {"code": -32700, "message": "messages must be encoded in UTF-8"}, "id": null Aug 30, 2020 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


I think you have your magic byte order backwards. It should be 0xf9beb4d9.

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