Bitcoin Core Requirements And Warnings

Bitcoin Core requirements and warnings

Bitcoin Core gives you increased security and privacy at a cost. You need to take responsibility for the security of your bitcoins, meet higher minimum system requirements, and beware of some possible problems.

Warning icon No matter what Bitcoin software you use, you should never buy more bitcoins than you can afford to lose. Bitcoin is still an experimental system and bitcoins remain a risky investment.

Wallet Responsibility Checklist

Bitcoin Core puts you in charge of your wallet, which means your bitcoins are at risk unless you complete certain tasks:

  • Make sure your

  • Setup an (cold storage) for significant amounts of bitcoins

  • Watch for security notifications

  • Allow your heirs to if you die or become incapacitated

If you need help with any step, please ask for assistance in any of Bitcoin’s friendly forums or live chatrooms.

System Requirements

Bare Minimum (With Default Settings)

  • Disk space
    80 GB

  • Download
    250 MB/day (8 GB/month)*

  • Upload
    5 GB/day (150 GB/month)

  • Memory (RAM)
    512 MB

  • System
    Desktop
    Laptop
    Some ARM chipsets >1 GHz

  • Operating system
    Windows 7/8.x
    Mac OS X
    Linux
    Some BSDs


* Plus a one-time 60 GB download the first time you start Bitcoin Core.

Bare Minimum (With Custom Settings)

  • Disk space
    5 GB

  • Download
    150 MB/day (5 GB/month)*

  • Upload
    10 MB/day (300 MB/month)

  • Memory (RAM)
    256 MB

  • System
    Desktop
    Laptop
    Most ARM chipsets

  • Operating system
    Windows 7/8.x
    Mac OS X
    Linux
    Some BSDs


* Plus a one-time 60 GB download the first time you start Bitcoin Core.

Learn more: Bitcoin Core configuration options

  • Disk space
    80 GB

  • Download
    500 MB/day (15 GB/month)*

  • Upload
    5 GB/day (150 GB/month)

  • Memory (RAM)
    1 GB

  • System
    Desktop
    Laptop
    Some ARM chipsets >1 GHz

  • Operating system
    Windows 7/8.x
    Mac OS X
    Linux


* Plus a one-time 60 GB download the first time you start Bitcoin Core.

Possible Problems

  • Legal: Bitcoin use is prohibited or restricted in some areas.

  • Bandwidth limits: Some Internet plans will charge an additional amount for any excess upload bandwidth used that isn’t included in the plan. Worse, some providers may terminate your connection without warning because of overuse. We advise that you check whether your Internet connection is subjected to such limitations and monitor your bandwidth use so that you can stop Bitcoin Core before you reach your upload limit.

  • Anti-virus: Several people have placed parts of known computer viruses in the Bitcoin block chain. This block chain data can’t infect your computer, but some anti-virus programs quarantine the data anyway, making it more difficult to run Bitcoin Core. This problem mostly affects computers running Windows.

  • Attack target: Bitcoin Core powers the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network, so people who want to disrupt the network may attack Bitcoin Core users in ways that will affect other things you do with your computer, such as an attack that limits your available download bandwidth.

By default, you need to backup Bitcoin Core after every 100 transactions. This includes both transactions you send as well as payments you request (whether or not you actually received the payment).

For example, you need to backup after sending 33 payments and requesting 67 payments (even though you only received 60 payments).

Bitcoin Core can be configured to allow you to go more transactions between backups. See the -keypool setting.

Anyone who gets access to your wallet can steal your bitcoins. The first line of defense against this is encrypting your wallet, an option from the File menu in the graphical interface.

However, encrypting may not be enough if your computer becomes infected by malware. Learn about for security against this type of attack.

In addition to securing your wallet, you also need to keep your backups secure. Anyone who gets access to them can also steal your bitcoins.

Learn more: secure your wallet

Computers that connect to the Internet are frequently hacked or infected with bitcoin-stealing malware. Computers that never connect to the Internet are a much more secure location for your bitcoins.

Bitcoin Core can be run on an always-offline computer, creating an offline wallet (also called a cold wallet). The offline wallet will securely store the private keys, while a separate online Bitcoin Core wallet will send and receive transactions.

Learn more: Creating and signing offline transactions

Your Bitcoin wallet isn’t like a bank account—it won’t automatically go to your heirs if you die or become disabled.

You have to plan ahead and make sure there is a way for your heirs to access your wallet backups when you’re no longer available.

Learn more: Estate planning: how can I ensure my bitcoins are inheritable?


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