How To Connect Bisq To Umbrel & Hugely Improve Your Privacy (2023)

Athena Alpha

In both our Advanced Bitcoin Privacy and Advanced Bitcoin Security guides we outline why it’s so important to make sure your wallet is connected to your own node. While Bisq is an exchange, it also has a built in wallet that’s used to receive and send funds, so the same privacy and security benefits come into play when you connect Bisq to Umbrel.

Not connecting to your own Full Bitcoin Node means any transaction you send or receive, your balances, wallet info and more can all be tracked, recorded and tied to your IP Address and identity.

This extremely private information about your finances can then be shared with governments, sold to unknown third parties or worse, hacked and sold to criminals and scammers. The best way to counter these risks is to address the data leak at its source.

Why Connect Bisq To Umbrel?

Everything in Bitcoin is done through nodes

If it’s not your node, then someone else knows your balance and spending info and can also feed you false information creating all sorts of security concerns. For example, as Bisq contains its own Bitcoin Wallet, a rouge Bitcoin Node could allow a transaction that isn’t following the rules of the Bitcoin network. If you then try to spend those bitcoins somewhere else they’ll be rejected by the rest of the network and it’s as good as them stealing your funds.

By default, Bisq automatically connects to multiple Bitcoin nodes run by trusted Bisq contributors. This is so it can access all the information on the Bitcoin Blockchain and to broadcast new transactions when you trade. While this works and is great to get people started quickly, it’s not very private or secure. This is because as stated, the people that own those public servers you’re connected to can see everything you do.

While this seriously affects both your Bitcoin Security and Bitcoin Privacy, the natural way that people learn about Bitcoin means that it’s not until later that they understand enough about What A Bitcoin Wallet Is, how it works and why it’s so critical to run your own node. Fear not though!

Umbrel’s fantastic new home screen

Umbrel not only makes running a Full Bitcoin Node cheap, simple and fun, it also makes it super easy to connect to Bisq (as well as all your other wallets) so your trade transactions and balances stay safe and private.

What Is Bitcoin Core?

Bitcoin Core is the software that runs Bitcoin. It’s what downloads and keeps track of the entire Bitcoin Blockchain and is what Bisq will pull data from when updating your wallet and use to broadcast transactions. On an Umbrel node, Bitcoin Core is the software that runs their Bitcoin Node app. This makes it private and fully under your control.

Before You Begin

In order to connect Bisq to your Umbrel, you’ll need to make sure you have a few things setup:

  1. Bitcoin Core: Install and fully sync the Bitcoin Node app on your Umbrel (this can take a day or two to download the entire blockchain and fully sync depending on how fast your nodes hardware is)
  2. Enable Peer Bloom Filters: Because Bisq connects to Bitcoin Core using Peer Bloom Filters, you need to manually enable it in your Bitcoin Node Umbrel app. Open the app, click on the three dots in the top right hand corner and it’s under Peer Settings -> Peer Bloom Filters. Enable it then save and restart the Bitcoin Node
  3. Bisq: Install Bisq on your computer

Make sure to follow our How To Install Bisq On Ubuntu (or How To Install On Windows) guide as it contains full instructions on how to verify that what you’re installing is the legitimate Bisq application and not some random piece of malware that will steal your coins.

How To Connect Bisq To Umbrel

Step 1: Open Network Settings


Once you have Bisq installed and open, go to the Settings tab and then the Network Info sub tab. Next, select the “Use custom Bitcoin Core nodes” option and it should look like the above image.

Step 2: Get Your Bitcoin Node Server Details


Next, you’ll need to locate your Bitcoin Node Server Details. The Umbrel OS has different Apps for different things and to find the Bitcoin Node details you have to install and then open the Bitcoin Node App.

Once open, click on the purple + CONNECT button in the top right hand corner. We recommend selecting the P2P Tor address from the drop down menu as most people don’t have the connection to their Umbrel Full Node setup with a HTTPS certificate which means it’s not encrypted.

Even on a local LAN this can be dangerous if you have random IoT devices or other users also connected. Tor is encrypted by default, so it’s much safer. Copy your Bitcoin Core P2P Address.

Step 3: Enter Your Bitcoin Node Server Details & Reboot


First note that in the bottom right hand corner of Bisq it tells you how many Bitcoin Network Peers you’re currently connected to. It says 7 for now, but after finishing the below steps it should only read 1.

Copy across the Bitcoin Core P2P Address into Bisq as shown. Note: you do not need any port number. Once entered in, when you click outside the text box, Bisq will prompt you to reboot. Click Shut Down and then reopen Bisq back up again.

Step 4: Re-Reboot Bisq


After rebooting you would assume Bisq would only connect to your Umbrel node. For some reason though it still connects to multiple other, public nodes even though it will show your node address in the greyed out text field. Why does it do this? Unknown.

To fix this, simple click the “Use custom Bitcoin Core nodes” option again. This time a warning message will popup telling you to make sure your Bitcoin node is a trusted Bitcoin Core node. As this is your node, it’s obviously one you trust. Click OK. Bisq will then prompt you to reboot for a second time, so again click Shut Down.

Step 5: Confirm Connection


After rebooting a second time, you should now see that it only connects to 1 single Bitcoin Node. Your node. In the Connected Peers area it should only show your Bitcoin Core address and down the bottom right hand corner it should only say 1 Bitcoin network peer.

Congratulations, you have successfully connected to your Umbrel node over Tor! 🥳

Dive Deeper: Bisq Ultimate Quick Start Guide For Beginners


Does Umbrel Run Bitcoin Core?

Yes. Umbrel can run Bitcoin Core by downloading their Bitcoin Node App. This app will automatically download the full Bitcoin Blockchain and give you access to a Full Bitcoin Node.

How To Install Umbrel Raspberry Pi?

Umbrel gives quick and simple instructions on how to install Umbrel on a Raspberry Pi 4. They recommend the 8 GB of RAM model as well as a number of other specific parts on their website. You will need to scroll down right to the bottom to the “Install on a Raspberry Pi 4” section.

Can I Connect Bisq To Bitcoin Core?

Yes. If you don’t have your own separate Umbrel node, you can instead simply download and run the Bitcoin Core software onto the same computer that has Bisq installed on it. Just make sure your bitcoin.conf file has the following settings: server=1, pruned=0 and peerbloomfilters=1.

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