An open source, sidechain-capable blockchain platform

Designing, building and operating your own blockchain is easy with Elements

Elements is an open source, sidechain-capable blockchain platform, providing access to powerful features developed by members of the community, such as Confidential Transactions and Issued Assets.

Launched in June of 2015, Elements reduces internal development and research costs and harnesses the very latest blockchain technology, opening up many new use cases for implementation. An Elements based blockchain can operate as either a standalone Blockchain or be pegged to another and run as a Sidechain. Running Elements as a Sidechain enables assets to be verifiably transferred between different blockchains.

Built upon and extending Bitcoin’s codebase, it lets developers familiar with the bitcoind API to quickly and cost-effectively create working blockchains and test proof-of-concept projects. Being built on the Bitcoin codebase also allows Elements to function as a testbed for changes to the Bitcoin protocol itself.

An example of an Elements based sidechain in production use is Blockstream’s Liquid.

If you are developer, you might find it easier to start with the Elements Code Tutorial, which explains the key features of Elements and shows how to use them.

This site will guide you through the following

  • Understanding what Elements is and what features and benefits it offers.
  • Understanding how blockchains built with Elements work and the roles of network participants.
  • Choosing between running Elements as a general purpose blockchain or as a pegged sidechain.
  • Setting up and running your own Elements based blockchain.
  • Discovering the Elements open source community.

The features and benefits of using Elements

Features Benefits
Asset Issuance - multiple types of asset can be issued and transferred between network participants. Secured by a federation of parties with aligned incentives.
Confidential Transactions - transaction amount and asset type are private, known only to sender and receiver. Leverages the stability of the Bitcoin codebase, extending it with innovative new features.
Flexible Configuration - Elements can operate as a standalone blockchain or as a sidechain, where assets are pegged to those on another blockchain. No risk of multi-block reorganizations - federated blocksigning provides rapid transaction finality.
Federated, two-way peg - allows assets to be transacted across different blockchains. Issue multiple different types of privately transferable assets on a single blockchain, opening up many new use cases.
Signed Blocks - block creation through multi-party signature retains decentralized properties while decreasing transaction confirmation times and preventing multi-block reorganizations. Public testnet and open source codebase lets you experiment with different security models and features created by other members of the community.

Elements provides the following enhanced features

Extending and building upon Bitcoin’s code allows developers familiar with the bitcoind API to quickly and cost effectively create working blockchains and test proof-of-concept projects. It also allows Elements to function as a testbed for changes to the Bitcoin protocol itself.


The use of Schnorr Signatures within Elements can be considered when investigations are completed.

Find out more about Elements

How blockchains built with Elements work

Running Elements as a Blockchain or Sidechain

Learn Elements by following the code tutorial

Learn more about the features of Elements

Join the Elements community