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Wanna use Bitcoin on your site? BitPay's open-source library wants to help

Open source JavaScript kit for 'anything you can imagine'

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Bitcoin payment processor BitPay has released the source code to a library aimed at making it easier for developers to build applications that use the virtual currency.

"Bitcore is an open source JavaScript library for doing anything you can imagine with the Bitcoin protocol," the company said in a blog post introducing the tool.

Because it is implemented entirely in JavaScript, the library can be used to build both client-side Bitcoin applications that run in web browsers and server-side applications running on Node.js.

The code itself is not completely new. Rather, it is BitPay's own fork of the BitcoinJS project, which was originally launched by Stefan Thomas of the Bitcoin education website WeUseCoins.com.

"We've decided to open source that fork and put some effort into ensuring that it had sufficient capability out of the box to attract developers to start using it," BitPay explained.

By putting its weight behind an open source Bitcoin library, BitPay says it hopes to "unchain developers from fallible, centralized APIs" backed by individual companies' proprietary software, while at the same time encouraging wider adoption of Bitcoin across the web.

Alongside the Bitcore library itself, BitPay also released Insight, an open source tool for exploring the Bitcoin block chain that's intended as a demo application to show developers how to use the Bitcore APIs. The company says it has several more projects underway.

For the time being, however, BitPay says Bitcore is in its early stages and "needs some developer love" from outside contributors. "Please use at your own risk," the Bitcore homepage urges. "Bitcore is still under heavy development and not quite ready for 'drop-in' production use."

Coders who would like to chip in for that effort are encouraged to contribute bug fixes, help optimize the code, and submit security issues to the project's team.

BitPay has released the Bitcore code under an MIT-style open source license, and it can be downloaded from the project's Github page, here. ®

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