sparrow wallet bitcoin

Sparrow Wallet: The complete guide to storing, sending and receiving bitcoin

Sparrow Wallet: Tutorial for installing and configuring desktop software
27th May 2024

In the landscape of Bitcoin wallets combining security and privacy, Sparrow Wallet has always been a benchmark in this area. Designed for power users, Sparrow offers full control of your private keys along with many features. The wallet offers an intuitive interface for those looking for a complete Bitcoin experience while protecting their privacy.

This is all the more necessary to use a wallet like Sparrow wallet as recently the founders of Samourai Wallet and the developer of Tornado Cash are under the yoke of American justice.

By following this guide, you will have all the knowledge you need to get the most out of Sparrow Wallet.

Installing and configuring Sparrow Wallet

Sparrow Wallet is a desktop Bitcoin wallet that supports most physical wallets commonly known as cold wallets. The software is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

sparrow wallet

Downloading and installing the software

To install the wallet:

  • Go to the official website of Sparrow Wallet ;
  • Select your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux) and download the corresponding installation file;
  • Run the downloaded file and follow the installation instructions.

Creation of a new wallet

If you want to create a new wallet:

  • Launch Sparrow Wallet;
  • Select “New wallet” from the home screen;
  • Choose a wallet type:
    • Simple: a simple wallet is controlled by a single recovery phrase:
    • Multi-signatures: a multi-signature wallet offers increased security by requiring multiple signatures to complete a transaction;
  • If you choose a simple wallet, Sparrow Wallet will generate a 12-word recovery phrase. This sentence is essential to recover your wallet in the event of loss or damage to your device. Write down the recovery phrase on a piece of paper and keep it in a safe place;
  • Confirm the recovery phrase by entering it again;
  • Set a password for your wallet (optional);
  • Click on “Create wallet” to finalize the creation of your wallet.

Importing an existing wallet

When you already have a Bitcoin wallet, you can import it into Sparrow Wallet. To do this you will need the recovery phrase or private keys of your wallet existing. Follow the following steps:

  • Launch Sparrow Wallet;
  • Select “Import wallet” from the home screen;
  • Choose the import method:
    • Recovery phrase: enter the recovery phrase for your existing wallet;
    • Private keys: import the private keys from your existing wallet;
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the import of your wallet.

Initial setting

Before starting to use Sparrow wallet, a basic configuration is essential:

  • Select your preferred language in the settings menu;
  • Sparrow Wallet recommends connecting to a full Bitcoin node for the best experience. This is because a full Bitcoin node allows you to independently verify transactions and protect your privacy. You can either run your own Bitcoin node or connect to a public node.

Back up your wallet

It is crucial to backup your Bitcoin wallet to avoid loss of your funds. In this context, Sparrow wallet allows you to save your wallet as a backup file. For that :

  • Go to “File” > “Backup Wallet”;
  • Choose a secure location to save your backup file;
  • Enter your password and click “Save”.

Additionally, note that you should keep your backup file secure and offline. Don't share it with anyone.

Restore a wallet

If you need to restore your wallet from a backup, follow these steps:

  • Go to “File” > “Restore Wallet”;
  • Select the backup file you want to use;
  • Enter your password and click “Restore”.

Manage your Bitcoin addresses

Sparrow Wallet allows you to generate new Bitcoin addresses and manage existing addresses. Depending on your needs, here is the process to follow:

  • Address generation: Click “Receive” > “Generate new address”;
  • Viewing addresses: Click “Receive” to view the list of your Bitcoin addresses;
  • Copy an address: Right-click an address and select “Copy Address”.

Send bitcoins

To send bitcoins, follow these steps:

  • Go to “Send”;
  • Enter the recipient's Bitcoin address;
  • Enter the amount you want to send;
  • Click “Send”;
  • Review the transaction and click “Confirm”.

Receive bitcoins

To receive bitcoins, give your bitcoin address to the sender. It can then send you bitcoins to this address. You can also display a QR code of your Bitcoin address to make payment easier.

Policy

Sparrow Wallet supports several features to protect your privacy:

  • Tor: You can connect to Sparrow Wallet via Tor to hide your IP address;
  • Wasabi CoinJoin: You can use Sparrow Wallet with Wasabi CoinJoin to mix your bitcoins with others, making it harder to trace your transactions.

Connecting to a Bitcoin node

Sparrow Wallet can connect to your own Bitcoin node for added privacy and security. To activate this function:

  • Go to “Preferences” > “Node”;
  • Select “Run local node” and click “Configure”;
  • Follow the instructions to configure your Bitcoin node;
  • Select your node from the list of available nodes.

Exploring the Sparrow Wallet Interface

The main interface of Sparrow Wallet is divided into four main tabs:

1. Accounts

This tab allows you to view your Bitcoin accounts. There you will find information such as the balance of each account, transaction history and settings for each account.

2. Send

This section allows you to send bitcoins to other Bitcoin addresses. You can manually enter the destination address or scan a QR code. You can also specify the amount you want to send and add notes to the transaction.

3. Receive

The “Receive” tab is useful for generating new Bitcoin addresses to receive payments. You can display the address as text or QR code. You can also copy the address to the clipboard to share it easily.

4. Transactions

This wallet function is used to view the detailed history of all your Bitcoin transactions. You can filter transactions by account, date or amount.

Interface customization

Sparrow Wallet offers the ability to customize the interface according to your preferences. You can choose between different themes, change display options and set additional security settings.

Themes

Sparrow Wallet offers several themes for you to choose from. You can change the theme by going to the app settings.

Display Options

You can customize the interface display by accessing the application settings. For example, font size, interface language, and number format are all editable.

Some advanced features to discover on Sparrow Wallet

Sparrow Wallet offers a suite of advanced features for power users. These features help improve the security, flexibility and privacy of bitcoin transactions.

Connect a hardware wallet

Using a hardware wallet, such as ColdCard or Bitbox, is an effective way to improve the security of your bitcoins. In fact, these hardware wallets store your private keys offline, on a dedicated physical device. To connect a hardware wallet on Sparrow Wallet:

  • Make sure your hardware wallet is correctly configured and connected to your computer;
  • Launch Sparrow Wallet and go to advanced settings;
  • Select the “Connect a hardware wallet” option;
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to choose the type of hardware wallet you are using and establish the connection;
  • Once connected, you will be able to manage your bitcoins on Sparrow Wallet using your hardware wallet.

Multi-signatures

Multi-signature transactions provide an additional level of security by requiring multiple signatures to authorize a transaction. This means that even if one of your private keys is compromised, a hacker cannot steal your bitcoins without obtaining the required additional signatures.

To create a multi-signature wallet:

  • Access advanced settings of Sparrow Wallet;
  • Select the “Create a multi-signature wallet” option;
  • Set the number of signatures required to authorize transactions;
  • Add the public keys of the co-signers who will have the authority to authorize transactions;
  • Once the multi-signature wallet is created, you will be able to use it to send and receive bitcoins with an increased level of security.

Coin Control

Le Coin Control is an important feature which allows users to select specific UTXOs (Unspent Transaction Outputs) to use for a transaction. This can be useful for improving transaction fees or maintaining privacy.

You can select the UTXOs to use for a transaction by following the steps below:

  • When creating a transaction, navigate to the “Coin Control” option;
  • Select the specific UTXOs you want to use for the transaction;
  • You can also sort and filter UTXOs based on various criteria, such as size or age.

Creating and signing custom transactions

Sparrow Wallet allows users to create and sign personalized transactions. This provides maximum control over operations and can be useful in certain use cases. To create and sign custom transactions:

  • Access advanced settings of Sparrow Wallet;
  • Select the “Create a custom transaction” option;
  • Enter transaction details, such as entries, exits, and fees;
  • Sign the transaction with your private key;
  • The personalized transaction can then be broadcast to the Bitcoin network.

Security and privacy: Protect your cryptocurrencies with Sparrow Wallet

In the Bitcoin world, security and privacy are paramount. Indeed, unlike traditional currencies, your assets are not guaranteed by a bank or a central institution. Therefore, it is your responsibility to take the necessary steps to protect your assets from hackers and other threats.

Therefore, your protection begins by securing your seed phrase and your private keys. This confidential information provides access to your funds, which is why it is crucial to keep it secure. Here are some tips to protect them:

  1. Never save your seed phrase or private keys digitally. Write them down on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere safe and offline.
  2. Divide your seed phrase into several parts and store them in different places. If part of your seed phrase is compromised, the rest will remain safe.
  3. Never use your seed phrase or private keys on a website or app. Legitimate websites and apps will never ask you for this information.

In addition to protecting your seed phrase and private keys, there are other steps you can take to protect your wallet against threats:

  • Use a strong and unique password for your wallet. Do not use the same password that you use for other accounts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) on your wallet. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring an additional code when logging in.
  • Keep your wallet software up to date. Software updates often include important security fixes.
  • Use a VPN when you connect to your wallet from a public Wi-Fi network.

You can read: What is a VPN and what is it for?

Final word on Sparrow wallet

Sparrow Wallet stands out as a solid choice for intermediate and advanced users looking for a secure, intuitive, and feature-rich Bitcoin wallet. Its commitment to user security makes it a valuable tool for those who want to take full control of their Bitcoin funds.

By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you have gained a thorough understanding of Sparrow Wallet and are now ready to manage your Bitcoin with confidence. Remember to continue exploring the wallet's features and personalize your experience to meet your specific needs.

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Moctar Bouraima

I am passionate about what Bitcoin can bring in terms of financial emancipation and it is with great joy that I share my articles on the subject; Whether it's blockchain, web 3, DeFi, because I know that it helps in one way or another to move the ecosystem forward.

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