I do not want to run a full node like Bitcoin Core but still want privacy running an SPV node like Electrum wallet to use Bitcoin.
How can I setup to run Electrum privately with Tor?
When Tor is correctly setup on your system, it is possible to directly configure Electrum to connect via Tor for all connections, both to Electrum servers and, to third-party services.
Using these steps you can be anonymous in only five minutes.
These instructions work on Fedora 27 and assume a default installation of Electrum v3.1.3 and Tor v0.3.1.10 or newer. Fedora is a modern operating system that will run on most standard modern hardware. The configuration is the same on Windows, but the instructions are different. There are some instructions for setting up Tor on Windows here.
Further instructions for other *nix based systems are available here. NOTE: You do not need to configure your Tor client as a relay or exit node for Tor to operate, so you can skip the step for 'Put the configuration file /etc/tor/torrc place:' in that guide. You will still need to use all of the following steps in this guide.
Install the Electrum package:
sudo dnf install electrum
Run Electrum. If you start Electrum with the
-o offline switch the first time you run it your details don't leak out.
Install the tor package:
sudo dnf install tor
Start the tor daemon and make sure it starts at boot:
sudo systemctl enable tor sudo systemctl start tor
With Electrum setup and running:
Done! Enjoy being anonymous!
You can monitor (and further tweak/break) Tor using nyx.
There are several installation methods available. On Fedora 27:
sudo dnf install nyx
To start nyx simply type
nyx in the console and it will connect to Tor if it is running. Requires control port 9051 to have been uncommented in
There are more configuration options available, and additional ways you can support the Tor network. Please see the several pages available here for information.
*by default, Tor will participate in the Tor network.