Buy, sell, and transfer bitcoin instantly in your terminal!

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Buy, sell, and transfer bitcoin instantly in your terminal! (Powered by Coinbase.)

Why Coinbase?

Coinbase is a great bitcoin exchange because:

NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with Coinbase. I don't know anyone that works there, have no relationship with the investing companies -- nothing.

Why btc?

I spend a lot of my time at the terminal, and I greatly prefer using the command line to buy, sell, and transfer bitcoin as it's a lot quicker than opening web pages, navigating around, etc.

Using Coinbase's API was a logical next step for me, as I could do everything I'd normally do through coinbase through a simple CLI tool, btc.

Why should you use btc? You should use btc if:


Before using btc, there are a few things you should already have setup.

  1. You should be familiar with bitcoin... Duh!
  2. You should have a coinbase account. If you don't, you can create one here:
  3. You should add a valid US bank account to your coinbase account if you plan on purchasing or selling bitcoin. If you only plan on using btc to transfer bitcoin from one account to another, this is not necessary.
  4. You should create a coinbase API key. This is what you will need below so that the btc program knows how to access your account. You can do this here:


You can install btc via pip:

$ sudo pip install btc

Once btc has been installed, you'll need to give it your coinbase API key so it knows how to make requests. You can find your coinbase API key here: (make sure your API key is enabled).

$ btc init

The init command will ask you for input, and walk you through the making sure that btc is working properly. Your API key will be stored in a file named ~/.btc in your home directory. To remove your API key from btc, simply delete that file.


If you simply run btc on the command line, you'll get a list of help.

$ btc init      # activate btc by supplying your coinbase API key
$ btc address   # list your active bitcoin address for receiving money
$ btc balance   # list your account balance
$ btc request <btc> <email> [<note>]
                # send a payment request to the specified email address
$ btc send <btc> (<email> | <address>) [<note>]
                # send bitcoin to a person by email address or bitcoin address
$ btc test      # test your API key
$ btc logs      # display a list of recent transaction logs
$ btc rates     # show current exchange rates
$ btc buy 1.5   # purchase 1.5 bitcoin using your bank account on file
$ btc sell 1.5  # sell 1.5 bitcoin
$ btc -h        # display help information

All commands that have side effects will prompt you for confirmation before doing anything for added security (so you don't accidentally spend tons of money, or something).


v0.3: 04-18-2013

- Setting ~/.btc to mode 0600 for additional security.

v0.2: 04-17-2013

- Fixing some small documentation issues.

v0.1: 04-17-2013

- First release!

Like This?

If you've enjoyed using btc, feel free to send me some bitcoin! My address is:


Or... You could tip me on gittip :)