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:

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:

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:

  1. Setup Computer
  2. Run Bitcoin Core Node
  3. Install Specter-Desktop

» Next Section: Setup Hardware Wallets