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HSD is an implementation of the Handshake Protocol.



HSD comes with command-line interface tools hsd-cli (to interact with the node server) and hsw-cli (to interact with the wallet server). These applications are available in ./bin (for example the command ./bin/hsd-cli info returns basic node info). CLI usage in the API docs refers to these applications.

When hsd is installed globally, CLI commands are available without the path:

$ hsd-cli info

RPC commands are available with hsd-cli rpc <command> and hsw-cli rpc <command>. The shortcuts hsd-rpc and hsw-rpc are available if you install hs-client globally:

$ npm install -g hs-client


Handshake is a community project, we welcome contributions of all kinds from everyone. Before opening a pull request, please review the style guide and workflow tips in CONTRIBUTING.md.



Several RPC calls have been exposed in addition to the standard bitcoind-style RPC. There is also a RESTful HTTP API with different features. The full node and wallet node each run their own API servers on different ports.

For more details and a complete list of API calls, review the documentation at https://hsd-dev.org/api-docs

Unbound support

HSD currently has a built-in recursive resolver written in javascript, however, for the best performance and best DNS conformance, HSD also includes native bindings to libunbound -- to make use of this, be sure to have unbound installed on your system before installing hsd.

Booting with a local recursive and authoritative nameserver

By default HSD will listen on an authoritative and recursive nameserver (ports 5349 and 5350 respectively). To configure this:

# Have the authoritative server listen on port 5300.
$ hsd --ns-port 5300

# Have the recursive server listen on port 53.
$ hsd --rs-host --rs-port 53 # Warning: public!

Your localhost should now be diggable:

$ dig @ www.ietf.org +dnssec
$ dig @ -p 5300 org +dnssec

Accepting Inbound

To accept inbound connections, add the --listen flag.

$ hsd --listen --max-inbound 50

Note that this will not advertise your address on the p2p network by default. In order to notify peers that you are accepting inbound, you must pass --public-host.

$ hsd --listen --public-host [my-public-ip-address] --max-inbound 50


To mine with a CPU, HSD should be used in combination with hs-client.

# To boot and listen publicly on the HTTP server...
# Optionally pass in a custom coinbase address.
$ hsd --http-host '::' --api-key 'hunter2' \
  --coinbase-address 'ts1qsu62stru80svj5xk6mescy65v0lhg8xxtweqsr'

Once HSD is running, we can use hs-client to activate the miner using the setgenerate RPC.

$ hsd-rpc --http-host 'my-ip-address' \
  --api-key 'hunter2' setgenerate true 1

Airdrop & Faucet

Testnet3 now implements a decentralized airdrop & faucet for open source developers. See hs-airdrop for instructions on how to redeem coins.


First we should look at the current status of a name we want.

$ hsd-rpc getnameinfo handshake

Once we know the name is available, we can send an "open transaction", this is necessary to start the bidding process. After an open transaction is mined, there is a short delay before bidding begins. This delay is necessary to ensure the auction's state is inserted into the urkel tree.

# Attempt to open bidding for `handshake`.
$ hsw-rpc sendopen handshake

Using getnameinfo we can check to see when bidding will begin. Once the auction enters the bidding state, we can send a bid, with a lockup-value to conceal our true bid.

# Send a bid of 5 coins, with a lockup value of 10 coins.
# These units are in HNS (1 HNS = 1,000,000 dollarydoos).
$ hsw-rpc sendbid handshake 5 10

After the appropriate amount of time has passed, (1 day in the case of testnet), we should reveal our bid.

# Reveal our bid for `handshake`.
$ hsw-rpc sendreveal handshake

We can continue monitoring the status, now with the wallet's version of getnameinfo:

$ hsw-rpc getnameinfo handshake
# To see other bids and reveals
$ hsw-rpc getauctioninfo handshake

If we end up losing, we can redeem our money from the covenant with $ hsw-rpc sendredeem handshake.

If we won, we can now register and update the name using sendupdate.

$ hsw-rpc sendupdate handshake \

Note that the ns field's domain@ip format symbolizes glue.

Expiration on testnet is around 30 days, so be sure to send a renewal soon!

$ hsw-rpc sendrenewal handshake

Claiming a name

If you own a name in the existing root zone or the Alexa top 100k, your name is waiting for you on the blockchain. You are able to claim it by publishing a DNSSEC ownership proof -- a cryptographic proof that you own the name on ICANN's system.

Your name must have a valid DNSSEC setup in order for the claim to be created. If you do not have DNSSEC set up, don't worry -- you can set it up after the handshake blockchain launches and proofs will still be accepted retroactively. Here's some useful guides for setting DNSSEC up on popular DNS services:

  • Namecheap: https://www.namecheap.com/support/knowledgebase/subcategory.aspx/2232/dnssec
  • GoDaddy: https://www.godaddy.com/help/dnssec-faq-6135
  • Gandi: https://wiki.gandi.net/en/domains/dnssec
  • Name.com: https://www.name.com/support/articles/205439058-Managing-DNSSEC
  • Hover: https://help.hover.com/hc/en-us/articles/217281647-Understanding-and-managing-DNSSEC
  • Cloudflare: https://support.cloudflare.com/hc/en-us/articles/209114378

If you run your own nameserver, you're going to need some tools for managing keys and signing your zonefile. BIND has a number of command-line tools for accomplishing this:

  • https://linux.die.net/man/8/dnssec-keygen
  • https://linux.die.net/man/8/dnssec-dsfromkey
  • https://linux.die.net/man/8/dnssec-signzone

First, we need to create a TXT record which we will sign in our zone (say we own example.com for instance):

$ hsw-rpc createclaim example
  "name": "example",
  "target": "example.com.",
  "value": 1133761643,
  "size": 3583,
  "fee": 17900,
  "address": "ts1qd6u7vhu084494kf9cejkp4qel69vsk82takamu",
  "txt": "hns-testnet:aakbvmygsp7rrhmsauhwlnwx6srd5m2v4m3p3eidadl5yn2f"

The txt field is what we need: it includes a commitment to a handshake address we want the name to be associated with, along with a fee that we're willing to pay the miner to mine our claim. This TXT record must be added to our name's zone file and signed:

example.com. 1800 IN TXT "hns-testnet:aakbvmygsp7rrhmsauhwlnwx6srd5m2v4m3p3eidadl5yn2f"
example.com. 1800 IN RRSIG TXT 5 2 1800 20190615140933 20180615131108 ...

The RR name of the TXT record (example.com. in this case) must be equal to the name shown in the target field output by createclaim (note: case insensitive). Note that DNSSEC ownership proofs are a stricter subset of DNSSEC proofs: your parent zones must operate through a series of typical DS->DNSKEY referrals. No CNAMEs or wildcards are allowed, and each label separation (.) must behave like a zone cut (with an appropriate child zone referral).

The ZSK which signs our TXT record must be signed by our zone's KSK. As per the typical DNSSEC setup, our zone's KSK must be committed as a DS record in the parent zone.

The final proof is an aggregation of all signed DNS referrals plus our signed TXT record (example here).

Once our proof is published on the DNS layer, we can use sendclaim to crawl the relevant zones and create the proof.

$ hsw-rpc sendclaim example

This will create and broadcast the proof to all of your peers, ultimately ending up in a miner's mempool. Your claim should be mined within 5-20 minutes. Once the transaction is mined, you must wait about 30 days (4,320 blocks) before your claim is considered "mature".

Once the claim has reached maturity, you are able to bypass the auction process by calling sendupdate on your claimed name.

$ hsw-rpc sendupdate example \

Creating a proof by hand

If you already have DNSSEC setup, you can avoid publishing a TXT record publicly by creating the proof locally. This requires that you have direct access to your zone-signing keys. The private keys themselves must be stored in BIND's private key format and naming convention.

We use bns for this task, which includes a command-line tool for creating ownership proofs.

$ npm install bns
$ bns-prove -b -K /path/to/keys example.com. \

The above will output a base64 string which can then be passed to the RPC:

$ hsd-rpc sendrawclaim 'base64-string'


Join us on libera in the #handshake channel.


HSD does not guarantee you against theft or lost funds due to bugs, mishaps, or your own incompetence. You and you alone are responsible for securing your money.

Contribution and License Agreement

If you contribute code to this project, you are implicitly allowing your code to be distributed under the MIT license. You are also implicitly verifying that all code is your original work. </legalese>


MIT License.


  • Copyright (c) 2014-2015, Fedor Indutny (https://github.com/indutny)
  • Copyright (c) 2014-2018, Christopher Jeffrey (https://github.com/chjj)
  • Copyright (c) 2014-2018, Bcoin Contributors (https://github.com/bcoin-org)


  • Copyright (c) 2017-2018, Christopher Jeffrey (https://github.com/chjj)
  • Copyright (c) 2018, Handshake Contributors (https://github.com/handshake-org)

See LICENSE for more info.