Using Bitcoin Core with Sparrow Wallet

Use Sparrow Wallet with your own, private Bitcoin node.

Increase your privacy, security and have more direct control over your Bitcoin by using your own private bitcoin node with Sparrow Wallet.

In this guide, you will learn how to launch and use your own Full Bitcoin Node in AWS and connect to it with Sparrow Wallet quickly and easily.

Introduction to Sparrow Wallet

Sparrow Wallet is a modern desktop Bitcoin wallet that is designed for security, privacy, and usability. It is a free and open-source project that is actively developed by a community of contributors. Sparrow Wallet supports a wide range of features, including:

  • Hardware wallet support
  • Coin control
  • Transaction fees customization
  • Privacy features such as PayNym and Tor
  • Built-in block explorer
  • Transaction editor
  • Comprehensive help guide

Introduction to Syntactic Engineering Full Bitcoin Node

Syntactic Engineering’s Full Bitcoin Node is a production grade, cli-only, fully synchronized Bitcoin node provided through the AWS Marketplace. It is released weekly, ensuring the blockchain will always be up to date.

Getting Started

To begin, install Sparrow Wallet on your system, and launch the Full Bitcoin Node into your AWS account.

Watch Your Cloud Spend

AWS charges for the disk, bandwidth, and EC2 instance. Syntactic Engineering charges for running the pre-synchronized Full Bitcoin Node. Syntactic Engineering has a free trial, and both will charge hourly for resources used. To keep costs low, be sure to stop or terminate the instance when it is not in use.

Gather Information

Once you have Sparrow installed and a Full Bitcoin Node running, you will need to gather some information before connecting Sparrow with bitcoind.

Sparrow User

Once the Bitcoin Node is running, follow the instructions to connect to the instance using SSH or SSM.

After you’re connected, the first step is to create a sparrow user with a secure, randomized password. To do this, run sparrow. It will look like the following:

$ sparrow
String to be appended to bitcoin.conf:
Your password:

This output contains two important things. The long line that begins with “rpcauth=” will need to be added to /etc/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf. The last line is the sparrow user’s password, which you will provide to Sparrow Wallet to connect to your Bitcoin Node. Make a note of both.

Bitcoin Node IP Addresses

Your Bitcoin Node will have a local, private IP and a public IP. They are available in the AWS console, or from the command line when logged into the server.

Run the following command to retrieve your server’s local and public IPs:

$ curl

$ curl

In this case, my node’s local IP is and its public IP is

Your Desktop IP

Find your desktop’s public IP where Sparrow Wallet is installed by going to Record it.

Update bitcoin.conf

It’s time to edit bitcoin.conf. Using your favorite editor, I’ll use nano in our example, open up /etc/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf:

sudo nano /etc/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

Once bitcoin.conf is open, scroll down or search until you see the “rpcauth” section.

First, add the line that begins with “rpcauth” from above. This will effectively add the “sparrow” user to bitcoind.


Second, we need to configure the network permissions for bitcoind. By default, bitcoind only allows connections on its RPC port from localhost. Since we want to connect to it over the internet, we will need to allow your specific IP access.

Add the following lines to bitcoin.conf in the same section as your rpcauth line.

rpcallowip=  # Your Desktop Public IP
rpcbind=  # Your Node's Local IP

Once those 5 lines have been added, save and exit (ctrl+x).

Restart bitcoind

Bitcoind needs to be restarted to pick up the changes to bitcoin.conf. Run the following to restart bitcoind.

sudo systemctl restart bitcoind

If there are any errors in bitcoin.conf, bitcoind may fail to start. To see if it started successfully, run sudo systemctl status bitcoind. If it failed to start, find the error by running sudo less /var/lib/bitcoin/debug.log.

Update AWS Security Group

The final step in allowing Sparrow Wallet to use your own Bitcoin Node is to open the AWS Security Group to allow the connection to the Bitcoin Node from your Desktop IP over port 8332.

It should look something like this, where port 22 (SSH) and port 8332 are allowing connections from your desktop’s public IP (, and port 8333 is open to the internet (

Be sure to add a “/32” to your IP to indicate that it is a single IP (AWS requires this).

AWS EC2 Security Group Rules

Configure Sparrow Wallet

Finally we can configure Sparrow to connect to our private Bitcoin Node.

In Sparrow -> Preferences -> Server, select Server Type “Bitcoin Core”. Give it your Bitcoin Node’s Public IP, port 8332, user sparrow and password from above. Click “Test Connection”

If everything was configured correctly, Sparrow will look like the following.

Sparrow Bitcoin Core Server Configuration Pane


If Sparrow can’t connect to your Bitcoin Node, double check the following items:

Ensure bitcoind is running (sudo systemctl status bitcoind shows “active(running)”).

Check bitcoind’s debug log with sudo less /var/lib/bitcoin/debug.log.

Ensure /etc/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf contains a block like the following. Be sure it’s not at the bottom of the file (in which case it may not apply to [main]).

rpcallowip=  # Your Desktop Public IP
rpcbind=  # Your Node's Local IP

Ensure the EC2 security group is modified to allow connections from your Desktop’s Public IP on port 8332.

Ensure you provided Sparrow Wallet with the password provided from, where it said “Your password:”.

If you’re still having trouble, or you would like additional help running your own Bitcoin Nodes, reach out to us at [email protected].