Run a Node!

Setting up a node from scratch, by downloading Bitcoin Core, and the associated software one by one (eg Electrum SERVER, Lightning node, BTC Pay Server, Blockchain explorer, Mempool Viewer) is tricky and not necessary to attempt if you’re new to this.

I recommend you go for a node “package”. Ideally, you should use a completely Free-Open-Source setup (RaspiBlitz), but for the sake of minimising obstacles, and building experience and confidence, I suggest you go for MyNode, which is not quite FOSS, fairly stable, well maintained, and can be used for free. There is a premium version ($100) which allows a few extra features. The developer is also quite active in the MyNode telegram chat where you can go for assistance.

The alternative to MyNode is the Umbrel package, also not quite FOSS, and it is promoted at “easier” but in fact, it’s just more “glossy” and not particularly easier. It’s also newer and more buggy (from my experience).

If you choose Umbrel, be aware that although it claims to sync faster, this is an illusion. Once it appears ready, it’s not possible immediately to connect your Electrum Wallet because electrum takes several days to build its database. Umbrel does this in the background without the user being aware – they attempt to connect Electrum, inevitably fail, and may just give up.

Parman’s MyNode Guide (Link)

The free version of MyNode is well featured. If you want your node to connect to others by Tor, then you need to pay for the premium version. I suggest you can just go with the free community edition, get comfortable, and then consider moving to RaspiBlitz – the equipment you need is exactly the same; you just have to flash the Raspbilitz file to the microSD card instead.

Parman’s RaspiBlitz Guide (Link)

If you want this to be super easy, you can buy a fully made node through the RaspiBlitz Github page.

My suggestion is you buy the necessary parts and build it yourself. You don’t need to buy a touchscreen (or any screen), that’s optional.

One advantage with RaspiBlitz is that you can run it over WiFi. This guide shows you how. (BTW, this is not possible with MyNode; it has to connect to an Ethernet cable).

Umbrel (Link)

I do not have a guide to an Umbrel setup as I don’t yet recommend it (that might change as Umbrel improves) – I’ve just provided a link to their webpage.

Parman’s Mac/Windows Guide (Link)

These are instructions to just install Bitcoin Core on a Mac or Windows.

On-chain or Lightning

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