Setup Computer Overview
We will sometimes refer to this computer as “watch-only” because it can only see transactions/balances, and cannot spend. If your computer is infected by malware it can try to deceive you, but, unlike your hardware wallets, it does not have access to your private keys. For this reason, it may be reasonable for you to skimp on many of the advanced security/validation steps.
Your computer will run two important pieces of software:
- Bitcoin Core - to interact with (and validate!) the bitcoin blockchain
- Specter-Desktop - to interact with your hardware wallets when verifying receive addresses and signing transactions
For Windows and macOS users, it often makes sense to simply use your existing laptop or desktop for ease of setup. Bitcoin Core and Specter Desktop have executable ‘double click’ install versions available. You may need to buy an extra ~1TB hard drive to store bitcoin blockchain data (see detailed instructions linked below).
Other users may prefer using a pre-built bitcoin node package which includes Bitcoin Core and Specter-Desktop:
- RaspiBlitz - free to make or can be bought as a pre-made device (example).
- myNode - can be bought outright, or built and Specter-Desktop is included in myNode premium
- Nodl - can be bought outright
Advanced users who have an extra focus on security and/or enjoy customization may prefer to setup their own computer, Bitcoin Core node, and Specter-Desktop following these instructions:
» Next Section: Setup Hardware Wallets