Configure Bitcoin Node

Think of your bitcoin node as a fake bitcoin detector, it will confirm that bitcoin’s consensus rules are being followed so that when you receive a payment you can validate that you are getting real bitcoins. It will also help with fee estimation, coin selection, and generating transactions.

Keep in mind that while a malicious full node can try to deceive you, it does not have access to your private keys.

You can install Specter-Desktop on your home computer alongside Bitcoin Core. Alternatively, you can use a pre-configured product to setup your Bitcoin Core node, such as RaspiBlitz, Nodl, Umbrel, and MyNode (Premium edition). They all come with Specter-Desktop packaged, but only RaspiBlitz is free (Nodl and myNode Premium are paid products).

Required Configuration

In order for Specter-Desktop to connect to this full node, you’ll need to configure some settings in your bitcoin.conf file. You can do this by going to the directory where Bitcoin Core is installed, and opening the bitcoin.conf file in a text editor (e.g. Notepad). Insert the following 3 lines:

(you don’t want to store private keys in Bitcoin Core, but you need wallet functionality enabled for building unsigned transactions)

Save your changes to bitcoin.conf, close Bitcoin Core, and finally re-open Bitcoin Core for your changes to take effect.

Remote nodes

You’ll also need a way to authenticate a connection to your node. If this node is run on a different computer (a “remote” machine), you’ll need to know the rpcuser and rpcpassword that your Bitcoin Core node is using. We recommend setting rpcuser to specter (if you can) for simplicity.

HWI Bridge

Note that for physically connecting hardware wallets using your laptop/desktop with Specter-Desktop packaged on another device (e.g. myNode, RaspiBlitz or Nodl), you may need to set up HWI Bridge.

Optional Configuration

If you can tweak your settings, we recommend the following (optional):

Advanced Considerations

Comfortable with the concepts in this step?

Read the advanced considerations that can potentially improve your security here.

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