If you have a Mac computer, here is how to build a simple but powerful bitcoin setup without any additional hardware (except for an optional SSD).
- Run Sparrow Wallet and Bitcoin Core on your Mac.
- Connect Sparrow to your Bitcoin Core node.
Why is this the best set up?
With bitcoin core, you do not have to trust any 3rd parties to verify your own transaction history. You also do not leak any of your addresses/transactions to a third party.
With Sparrow, you have a feature rich wallet that has privacy tools built into it, including Samourai Whirlpool (CoinJoin). Sparrow easily connects to your bitcoin core node running on the same machine.
So... How to build this setup?
Step 1: Run a bitcoin node
You don't need specialized hardware to run a bitcoin node. I have been running mine on my daily driver MacBook for over a year.
So, how do you actually run a bitcoin node on Mac? Its simple:
Download bitcoin core > run the software > tell it where to save the blockchain. Then you leave it to sync.
An external SSD is recommended as the chain takes about 500GB of storage. If your Mac has enough storage, that's ok too.
Here is a video guide on how to run a bitcoin node:
Step 2: Run Sparrow Wallet
Arguably the best bitcoin wallet at the moment is Sparrow. Its free and open source (FOSS), and is packed with everything a bitcoiner needs.
Get Sparrow running on your Mac, and become familiar with the Software. I have many guides on Sparrow Wallet which you can find here:
You may want to start with downloading and verifying the software:
And then the beginners guide to using the wallet:
Step 3: Connect Sparrow to your Bitcoin node
Now that you have Bitcoin Core and Sparrow Wallet running on the same Mac, it is very easy to connect the two. You will then be verifying your own transactions and will not dox any personal information to a 3rd party node.
Here is how to connect Sparrow Wallet to Bitcoin Core:
(Optional) Step 4: CoinJoin with Sparrow Wallet
You should now have a very powerful bitcoin setup running on your Mac. Make the most of it and CoinJoin your bitcoin using Whirlpool, which is built into Sparrow Wallet.
Here is how to CoinJoin in Sparrow:
For long term storage, consider a hardware wallet:
SeedSigner is an open source, DIY signing device.
BlockStream Jade for newer users, or those on a budget. (Code "southernbitcoiner" will get you 10% off BlockStream Jade)
Secure your Seed Phrase properly. Somewhere safe and somewhere private. Written back ups or Metal Storage backups are widely accepted as good practice.