⚠️ This post contains outdated information, and I instead recommend following the excellent tutorials over at Raspibolt. ⚠️

You can now run nodes as a dual hidden services on Tor and I2P (Invisible Internet Project). If Tor is having issues, your I2P service can continue to communicate.

SSH and updating the OS

Start by updating the Raspberry Pi OS to the latest and greatest if you haven‘t done this in a while:

sudo apt-get update -y && sudo apt upgrade -y


The Onion Router logo

Tor, short for The Onion Router enables anonymous communication. It directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network, consisting of more than seven thousand relays, to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone performing network surveillance or traffic analysis.

Tor is a great service to promote privacy and censorship resistance. These goals align directly with the Bitcoin network.

By running Bitcoin over Tor, you get the following benefits:

  • It hides your IP address from the world.
  • You don’t need to worry about setting up firewall port forwarding.
  • Promotes privacy for others to connect into your node anonymously.

See additional documentation in the Bitcoin Core repo.

Installation and setup

So, the first thing we‘ll do is to install Tor

sudo apt install tor -y

Once this has been installed, you should be able to query the tor service to check its status:

sudo systemctl status tor

You’ll see something like this, verifying that it’s active:

● tor.service - Anonymizing overlay network for TCP (multi-instance-master)
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/tor.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (exited) since Sat 2022-08-20 18:57:18 CEST; 15s ago
    Process: 8653 ExecStart=/bin/true (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 8653 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
        CPU: 3ms

Also you should see that port 9050 is listening for incoming connections to proxy for the local loopback address:

netstat -an | grep 9050

You’ll see this:

tcp        0      0*               LISTEN

We will be setting up Bitcoin Core to run as a hidden service to allow incoming connections. So, we need to enable the Tor control port in the Tor configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/tor/torrc

Here we need to uncomment the ControlPort 9051 and CookieAuthentication 1:

## The port on which Tor will listen for local connections from Tor
## controller applications, as documented in control-spec.txt.

ControlPort 9051

## If you enable the controlport, be sure to enable one of these
## authentication methods, to prevent attackers from accessing it.
#HashedControlPassword 16:872860B76453A77D60CA2BB8C1A7042072093276A3D701AD684053EC4C

CookieAuthentication 1

The last thing we need for Bitcoin Core and the satoshi user to be able to access the cookie file.

The control.authcookie can be seen here, by running:

ls -al /run/tor/

You’ll get:

total 8
drwxr-sr-x  2 debian-tor debian-tor 120 Aug 16 22:28 .
drwxr-xr-x 25 root       root       740 Aug 16 22:09 ..
srw-rw----  1 debian-tor debian-tor   0 Aug 16 22:28 control
-rw-r-----  1 debian-tor debian-tor  32 Aug 16 22:27 control.authcookie
srw-rw-rw-  1 debian-tor debian-tor   0 Aug 16 22:28 socks
-rw-r--r--  1 debian-tor debian-tor   5 Aug 16 22:27 tor.pid

So we need to add the satoshi user to the debian-tor group, like so:

sudo usermod -a -G debian-tor satoshi

If you now do id satoshi, you should see that it belongs to the debian-tor group:

uid=1000(satoshi) gid=1000(satoshi) groups=1000(satoshi),4(adm),20(dialout),24(cdrom),27(sudo),29(audio),44(video),46(plugdev),60(games),100(users),104(input),106(render),108(netdev),999(spi),998(i2c),997(gpio),114(debian-tor)

Configure Bitcoin Core

Let’s create a configuration file to let Bitcoin Core use Tor:

sudo touch /media/ssd/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf 
sudo chown satoshi /media/ssd/bitcoin
nano /media/ssd/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

Enter the following text, exit and save the file:


This is what is being configured:

  • proxy= Sets the proxy server to point localhost on port 9050. This proxy server will be used to try to reach .onion addresses as well.
  • listen=1: We want to enable listening for incoming connections, as this is off by default behind a proxy.
  • debug=tor: We set debug to tor get additional information in the debug log about our Tor configuration.


I2P logo

The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is an anonymous network layer (implemented as a mix network) that allows for censorship-resistant, peer-to-peer communication. Anonymous connections are achieved by encrypting the user’s traffic (by using end-to-end encryption), and sending it through a volunteer-run network of roughly 55,000 computers distributed around the world.

See additional documentation in the Bitcoin Core repo.

Installation and setup

sudo apt install i2pd -y

After it’s been installed, start it with:

sudo systemctl start i2pd.service

To start it automatically on boot:

sudo systemctl enable i2pd.service

The current stable version in apt is 2.36.0, and that crashed after a few minutes on my system. The newest version released on Github is 2.43.0, and that has so far worked better. However, this requires a slightly different installation process, see the details in readme.html

Configure Bitcoin Core

Let’s get back to editing the bitcoin.conf file:

nano /media/ssd/bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

Add the following lines:


This is what is being configured:

  • debug=i2p: Like we did for Tor, we set debug to I2P get additional information in the debug log about our I2P configuration.
  • i2psam= I2P SAM proxy to reach I2P peers and accept I2P connections

All done, time to test

Finally, restart the computer with sudo reboot and reconnect with SSH after a few seconds.

First, let’s test that Tor is up and running:

sudo systemctl status tor@default.service

And, similarly for I2P:

sudo systemctl status i2pd

In both cases, you should see them being active.

To see what kind of peers your node sees, you can do:

bitcoin-cli -addrinfo

You can also check which kind of nodes you’re currently connect to:

bitcoin-cli -netinfo 4

You might see that some of them are connected with onion (Tor) and i2p. You’ll also see your .onion and .i2p address.

Finally, you can check the debug log for lines starting with tor and i2p to check that everything is OK:

tail -f /media/ssd/bitcoin/debug.log