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  2. ======================
  3. It is possible to run Bitcoin as a Tor hidden service, and connect to such services.
  4. The following directions assume you have a Tor proxy running on port 9050. Many distributions default to having a SOCKS proxy listening on port 9050, but others may not. In particular, the Tor Browser Bundle defaults to listening on port 9150. See [Tor Project FAQ:TBBSocksPort]( for how to properly
  5. configure Tor.
  6. 1. Run bitcoin behind a Tor proxy
  7. ---------------------------------
  8. The first step is running Bitcoin behind a Tor proxy. This will already make all
  9. outgoing connections be anonymized, but more is possible.
  10. -proxy=ip:port Set the proxy server. If SOCKS5 is selected (default), this proxy
  11. server will be used to try to reach .onion addresses as well.
  12. -onion=ip:port Set the proxy server to use for tor hidden services. You do not
  13. need to set this if it's the same as -proxy. You can use -noonion
  14. to explicitly disable access to hidden service.
  15. -listen When using -proxy, listening is disabled by default. If you want
  16. to run a hidden service (see next section), you'll need to enable
  17. it explicitly.
  18. -connect=X When behind a Tor proxy, you can specify .onion addresses instead
  19. -addnode=X of IP addresses or hostnames in these parameters. It requires
  20. -seednode=X SOCKS5. In Tor mode, such addresses can also be exchanged with
  21. other P2P nodes.
  22. In a typical situation, this suffices to run behind a Tor proxy:
  23. ./bitcoin -proxy=
  24. 2. Run a bitcoin hidden server
  25. ------------------------------
  26. If you configure your Tor system accordingly, it is possible to make your node also
  27. reachable from the Tor network. Add these lines to your /etc/tor/torrc (or equivalent
  28. config file):
  29. HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/bitcoin-service/
  30. HiddenServicePort 8333
  31. HiddenServicePort 18333
  32. The directory can be different of course, but (both) port numbers should be equal to
  33. your bitcoind's P2P listen port (8333 by default).
  34. -externalip=X You can tell bitcoin about its publicly reachable address using
  35. this option, and this can be a .onion address. Given the above
  36. configuration, you can find your onion address in
  37. /var/lib/tor/bitcoin-service/hostname. Onion addresses are given
  38. preference for your node to advertise itself with, for connections
  39. coming from unroutable addresses (such as, where the
  40. Tor proxy typically runs).
  41. -listen You'll need to enable listening for incoming connections, as this
  42. is off by default behind a proxy.
  43. -discover When -externalip is specified, no attempt is made to discover local
  44. IPv4 or IPv6 addresses. If you want to run a dual stack, reachable
  45. from both Tor and IPv4 (or IPv6), you'll need to either pass your
  46. other addresses using -externalip, or explicitly enable -discover.
  47. Note that both addresses of a dual-stack system may be easily
  48. linkable using traffic analysis.
  49. In a typical situation, where you're only reachable via Tor, this should suffice:
  50. ./bitcoind -proxy= -externalip=57qr3yd1nyntf5k.onion -listen
  51. (obviously, replace the Onion address with your own). It should be noted that you still
  52. listen on all devices and another node could establish a clearnet connection, when knowing
  53. your address. To mitigate this, additionally bind the address of your Tor proxy:
  54. ./bitcoind ... -bind=
  55. If you don't care too much about hiding your node, and want to be reachable on IPv4
  56. as well, use `discover` instead:
  57. ./bitcoind ... -discover
  58. and open port 8333 on your firewall (or use -upnp).
  59. If you only want to use Tor to reach onion addresses, but not use it as a proxy
  60. for normal IPv4/IPv6 communication, use:
  61. ./bitcoin -onion= -externalip=57qr3yd1nyntf5k.onion -discover
  62. 3. Automatically listen on Tor
  63. --------------------------------
  64. Starting with Tor version it is possible, through Tor's control socket
  65. API, to create and destroy 'ephemeral' hidden services programmatically.
  66. Bitcoin Core has been updated to make use of this.
  67. This means that if Tor is running (and proper authentication has been configured),
  68. Bitcoin Core automatically creates a hidden service to listen on. This will positively
  69. affect the number of available .onion nodes.
  70. This new feature is enabled by default if Bitcoin Core is listening (`-listen`), and
  71. requires a Tor connection to work. It can be explicitly disabled with `-listenonion=0`
  72. and, if not disabled, configured using the `-torcontrol` and `-torpassword` settings.
  73. To show verbose debugging information, pass `-debug=tor`.
  74. Connecting to Tor's control socket API requires one of two authentication methods to be
  75. configured. For cookie authentication the user running bitcoind must have write access
  76. to the `CookieAuthFile` specified in Tor configuration. In some cases this is
  77. preconfigured and the creation of a hidden service is automatic. If permission problems
  78. are seen with `-debug=tor` they can be resolved by adding both the user running tor and
  79. the user running bitcoind to the same group and setting permissions appropriately. On
  80. Debian-based systems the user running bitcoind can be added to the debian-tor group,
  81. which has the appropriate permissions. An alternative authentication method is the use
  82. of the `-torpassword` flag and a `hash-password` which can be enabled and specified in
  83. Tor configuration.
  84. 4. Privacy recommendations
  85. ---------------------------
  86. - Do not add anything but bitcoin ports to the hidden service created in section 2.
  87. If you run a web service too, create a new hidden service for that.
  88. Otherwise it is trivial to link them, which may reduce privacy. Hidden
  89. services created automatically (as in section 3) always have only one port
  90. open.