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Spaces Protocol

Scalable & Permissionless Bitcoin Identities

Spaces is a naming protocol that leverages the existing infrastructure and security of Bitcoin without requiring a new blockchain or any modifications to Bitcoin itself. Spaces is a permissionless protocol and can be used as decentralized social handles for Nostr, receiving payments and other digital interactions. On-chain Spaces are represented as Bitcoin UTXOs, they take full advantage of Bitcoin’s security, and have minimal on-chain footprint.

Bitcoin Testnet

You can now try the base functionality of the Spaces protocol on Bitcoin testnet3! First, download Bitcoin Core and set it up using these steps:

Spaces Protocol


Testnet sync

# Create a directory for Bitcoin testnet data
mkdir $HOME/bitcoin-testnet

# Create a configuration file with RPC credentials
echo "rpcuser=test" > $HOME/bitcoin-testnet/bitcoin.conf
echo "rpcpassword=test" >> $HOME/bitcoin-testnet/bitcoin.conf

# Start Bitcoin Core in testnet mode
bitcoind -testnet -datadir=$HOME/bitcoin-testnet

Spaces protocol is activated on Bitcoin testnet block 2865460 - wait for bitcoind to sync up to that block before proceeding.

Install spaced

spaced is a tiny layer on top of Bitcoin Core allowing you to interact with Spaces. To compile spaced, you need to install Rust and then

# Clone the repository
git clone https://github.com/spacesprotocol/spaced && cd spaced

# Build the release version
cargo build --release

# Install the binaries
cargo install --path node

# Ensure Cargo's bin directory is in your PATH
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.cargo/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Verify you have spaced and space-cli installed:

spaced --version
space-cli --version

Connect to Bitcoin Core

spaced --chain test --bitcoin-rpc-user test --bitcoin-rpc-password test

Creating a wallet

space-cli is a command-line tool that makes it easy to interact with Spaces. It also functions as a Bitcoin wallet. To create a new wallet, run:

space-cli createwallet <optional-wallet-name>

Getting testnet coins

You can get testnet coins from a testnet faucet but these faucets give very small amounts. If you need more, you can ask in the Spaces Telegram group.

space-cli getnewaddress

The getnewaddress command will return an address you can use to receive testnet coins compatible with most Bitcoin wallets. You can also use getnewspaceaddress to return a special Bitcoin address for receiving Spaces.

Check your balance:

space-cli balance

Opening an auction

To open an auction for a Space, run:

space-cli open bitcoin

You will get a similar output to this

    "txid": "fa55b7e5e5b54e170a99f26dcb43baf207d922efb8d69304993c255f61c6ca43",
    "tags": ["auction-outputs", "commitment"]
    "txid": "aeba215372b5095640416c7bac31feecdb8cc0589803172939c0fb0b233d6785",
    "tags": ["open"]

The tags field indicate the reason(s) for this transaction. In this case, the first is creating a P2TR script commitment and initial outputs to auction off. Second one opens the auction by revealing the Space.

Placing a bid

To place a bid on an open auction:

space-cli bid bitcoin 1500

Bid amounts are in satoshis.

Space details

space-cli getspace bitcoin
  "outpoint": "45b06887c6f560af607f833fe78edd40327b177a60c9c22b21894510cd094b7c:1",
  "value": 662,
  "script_pubkey": "5120dcb42260e175ed4c27709ca0b9246a2a0506471bbac000c7caf5503c5f5ff176",
  "name": "@bitcoin",
  "covenant": {
    "type": "bid",
    "burn_increment": 1000,
    "signature": "........",
    "total_burned": 1000,
    "claim_height": null

You can use listspaces command to see all outputs representing spaces you own including outputs that are actively in an auction.

The bid covenant indicates spending this output requires either another bid spend or a registration spend if the claim height is reached. There are three types of covenants: bid, transfer, and reserved.

Spends that don’t satisfy a covenant condition will be revoked by the protocol causing the winning bidder to lose any coins they have burned or ownership of their name.

The claim_height field is not populated in the above output indicating the name is still in the pre-auctions phase. Every 144 blocks, the top 10 names with highest bids are rolled out to the auctions.

Once a Space is in the auctions phase, the claim_height indicates the block height at which the winning bidder may register the Space.

Auctions continue indefinitely until a winning bidder claims their Space.

Registering a Space

To register a Space:

space-cli register bitcoin

If you are the winning bidder and registering after the claim_height, you will get something like this:

  "outpoint": "45b06887c6f560af607f833fe78edd40327b177a60c9c22b21894510cd094b7c:1",
  "value": 662,
  "script_pubkey": "5120dcb42260e175ed4c27709ca0b9246a2a0506471bbac000c7caf5503c5f5ff176",
  "name": "@bitcoin",
  "covenant": {
    "type": "transfer",
    "expire_height": 2918106,
    "data": null,

Receiving payments

As a Space owner you can receive payments by sharing your Space handle.

space-cli send 1000 --to @bitcoin

Amount is in satoshis.

More information

Use space-cli help to see all other available commands and options. Ask in the Spaces Telegram group if you have any questions or need help.