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How to Use Sparrow Wallet: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Use Sparrow Wallet: A Comprehensive Guide

Dec 11, 2023
Bitcoin Basics

How to Use Sparrow Wallet: A Comprehensive Guide


Sparrow Wallet is a versatile desktop Bitcoin wallet offering a range of features from creating hot wallets to multi-signature vaults. In this guide, we’ll walk you through setting up these different wallets, managing privacy, and connecting to your own Bitcoin node.

Preparing Your Hardware

Before diving into Sparrow Wallet, ensure you have the following:

  • A computer with Sparrow Wallet installed
  • Hardware devices for cold storage (e.g., Ledger Nano S, Trezor Model T, Coldcard Mk4)
  • All devices initialized as single signature wallets
  • Bitcoin running on your own node (optional for advanced users)

If you need help setting up your hardware wallets, refer to the tutorials linked in the video description.

Creating a Hot Wallet

A hot wallet is connected to the internet and is suitable for regular transactions.

  1. Start a New Wallet:
    • Go to File > New Wallet.
    • Name your wallet (e.g., Hot Wallet) and hit Create Wallet.
  2. Configure Wallet Settings:
    • Choose Single Signature.
    • Select Native SegWit for efficiency and low fees.
    • Under Keystore, choose New or Imported Software Wallet.
    • Generate a new set of words (12 or 24) and write them down securely.
  3. Secure Your Backup:
    • Confirm the backup by reentering the words.
    • Consider using a metal backup solution like Billfodl for durability.

Creating a Cold Wallet

A cold wallet is stored on a hardware device, providing added security for your Bitcoin.

  1. Connect Your Hardware Device:
    • Plug in your hardware device (e.g., Trezor Model T) and unlock it.
  2. Create a New Wallet in Sparrow:
    • As with the hot wallet, go to File > New Wallet.
    • Name it (e.g., Trezor T) and select Create Wallet.
    • Choose Single Signature and Native SegWit.
    • Under Keystore, choose Connected Hardware Wallet.
    • Scan or connect your device and import the keystore.

Creating a Multi-Signature Wallet

Multi-signature wallets require multiple keys for transactions, enhancing security.

  1. Set Up Multi-Signature Configuration:
    • Go to File > New Wallet.
    • Name it (e.g., MultiSig Wallet).
    • Choose Multi-Signature and configure (e.g., 2 of 3 signers).
    • Select Native SegWit.
  2. Add Signers:
    • For each signer, choose the appropriate option (connected hardware, air-gapped, etc.).
    • Import the keystores from your different hardware devices.
    • Ensure each device is aware of the multi-signature wallet by exporting and importing the relevant files or QR codes.
  3. Complete the Setup:
    • Once all signers are added, apply and finalize the setup.

Sending and Receiving Transactions

  1. Receive Bitcoin:
    • Navigate to the Receive tab.
    • Generate a new address and share it or the QR code to receive funds.
  2. Send Bitcoin:
    • Go to the Send tab.
    • Enter the recipient address, label, and amount.
    • Adjust the fee based on urgency.
    • Create the transaction and confirm.
    • For a multi-signature wallet, sign with the required number of devices.

Connecting to Your Own Node

For privacy and self-sovereignty, connect Sparrow to your own Bitcoin node.

  1. Access Settings:
    • In Sparrow, go to Preferences > Settings.
  2. Configure Server Settings:
    • Toggle off the public server.
    • Enter your node’s information (IP address and port or Tor address).
  3. Test and Apply:
    • Test the connection to ensure it's successful.
    • If connected, the server indicator will turn blue.

Final Thoughts

Sparrow Wallet offers a wealth of features for managing Bitcoin transactions securely and privately. Whether you're setting up a simple hot wallet or a complex multi-signature vault, this guide should help you navigate the process with ease. Always remember to backup your wallet securely and test your setup before transferring significant amounts of Bitcoin.


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