Generic blockchain implementation.

Latest on Hackage:0.0.3

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BSD3 licensed by Tyler Olson
Maintained by


Available on Hackage

Generic blockchain implementation in Haskell. Heavily inspired by Bitcoin blockchain, but does not fully comply to the Bitcoin blockchain spec. Should be suitable for creating arbitrary Bitcoin-like blockchains with in various configurations.


$ stack build


$ stack test                          -- run unit tests
$ ./scripts/test_mining <num-miners>  -- run test mining network
$ ./scripts/test_stats <file-path>    -- print blockchain stats

notable differences from Bitcoin blockchain

  • Merkle root computed with extra leaves at end of tree (compared to extra leaves duplicated in bitcoin)
  • Entities serialized as json
  • Blockchain config is encoded in blockchain
  • Blocks include a dedicated coinbase transaction field to simplify special case handling
  • Block headers include an additional field for coinbase transaction hash
  • A "transaction in" must declare its previous transaction hash as either a coinbase transaction or a normal transaction

design goals

  • Enforce invariants in types whenever possible (non-empty transactions, genesis block, coinbase transactions, etc.)
  • Make it simple to create blockchains with arbitrary configurations
  • Make construction of unverified blockchains easy, but provide assurance any validated blockchain instance conforms to expected rules
  • Blocks & transactions are never presumed to be a valid part of a blockchain unless present in a validated blockchain
  • Adding new blocks to a validated blockchain can assume validity prior parts of the blockchain
  • Inspecting unspent transaction outputs of a validated blockchain can assume validity of all transactions
  • Blockchain should be readily serializable


A blockchain is a config and a tree of blocks with each node having a potentially infinite set of branches. A Blockchain also includes a tag to note whether is has been verified to meet all the expected conditions -- Blockchain Validated or Blockchain Unvalidated.

data Blockchain a = Blockchain
    { _config :: BlockchainConfig
    , _node   :: BlockchainNode

data BlockchainNode = BlockchainNode
    { nodeBlock :: Block
    , nodeNodes :: [BlockchainNode]

Blockchain construction revolves around three basic functions. Note: the BlockchainNode constructor is exported, while the top level Blockchain constructor is not.

-- build an unvalidated blockchain from a config and node
construct :: BlockchainConfig -> BlockchainNode -> Blockchain Unvalidated

-- validate the blockchain
validate :: Blockchain Unvalidated -> Either ValidationException (Blockchain Validated)

-- add a block
addBlock :: Block -> Blockchain Validated -> Either BlockException (Blockchain Validated)

Finally, blocks are created by mining. This is a process of finding a Block with a certain shape so that it satisfies the expected difficulty, as defined in the blockchain config. Blocks are mined with the coinbase reward going to the provided public key. Note: this function may take a long time to finish executing. Most realistic use cases should run this in a separate thread that can be canceled.

mineBlock :: PublicKey -> [Transaction] -> Blockchain Validated -> IO (Either MineBlockException Block)


  • Test attempts to double spend address funds -- particularly within the same transaction
  • Implement createTransaction (currently only createSimpleTransaction)
  • Function that validates transactions -- outside of create transaction logic
  • Implement max transaction count per block
  • Cache block header hash on block (and maybe transactions) for more efficient operations * Maybe cache on the blockchain itself, and validate computes/checks hashes?
  • Run lint in CI


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