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Ilya Drozdov
Ilya Drozdov

How to Download Bitcoin Core and Join the Bitcoin Network in the UK


How to Download Bitcoin Core in the UK




Bitcoin Core is the original and most popular software for running a full node on the Bitcoin network. It allows you to validate transactions, store the blockchain, and contribute to the decentralization and security of Bitcoin. But how can you download Bitcoin Core in the UK, where the software is currently blocked by the official website? In this article, we will show you how to download, install, and use Bitcoin Core in the UK, as well as explain its features, benefits, and risks.


What is Bitcoin Core and why do you need it?




Bitcoin Core is a free and open-source software project that was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin. It is also known as the Satoshi client or the reference implementation of the Bitcoin protocol. Bitcoin Core consists of two main components: a graphical user interface (GUI) called bitcoin-qt, and a command-line interface (CLI) called bitcoind.




download bitcoin core uk



Bitcoin Core allows you to run a full node on the Bitcoin network, which means that you download and verify all the blocks and transactions in the blockchain, and relay them to other nodes. By running a full node, you can enjoy several advantages, such as:


  • You can trust your own validation of transactions, without relying on third parties.



  • You can enhance your privacy and security, by avoiding leaks of personal information or funds.



  • You can support the network and its consensus rules, by rejecting invalid blocks and transactions.



  • You can access advanced features, such as coin control, fee estimation, or transaction replacement.



Bitcoin Core features and benefits




Bitcoin Core offers many features and benefits for users who want to run a full node on the Bitcoin network. Some of them are:


  • It is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux, and other operating systems.



  • It supports multiple languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, and more.



  • It allows you to create and manage multiple wallets, each with its own addresses and keys.



  • It enables you to send and receive bitcoins with QR codes, URI links, or copy-paste.



  • It displays your balance and transaction history in your local currency or in BTC.



  • It lets you adjust your transaction fees according to your preferences and network conditions.



  • It provides you with various options to encrypt, backup, restore, or export your wallet data.



  • It updates regularly with new features, bug fixes, and security improvements.



Bitcoin Core requirements and warnings




Bitcoin Core requires a one-time download of about 500GB of data plus a further 5-10GB per month. By default, you will need to store all of that data, but if you enable pruning, you can store as little as 6GB total without sacrificing any security. For more information about setting up Bitcoin Core, please read the full node guide.


Download verification is optional but highly recommended. Performing the verification steps here ensures that you have not downloaded an unexpected or tampered version of Bitcoin Core, which may result in loss of funds. You can verify your download by following the instructions on this page.


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[^3. How to download Bitcoin Core in the UK




As you may have noticed, the official website of Bitcoin Core, bitcoincore.org, is currently blocked in the UK. This is due to a court order that was issued in 2019, which forced several internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to websites that facilitate the distribution of pirated content. Unfortunately, Bitcoin Core was among the websites that were affected by this order, even though it has nothing to do with piracy.


However, this does not mean that you cannot download Bitcoin Core in the UK. There are several ways to bypass the block and get the software you need. Here are some of them:


  • You can use a VPN (virtual private network) service to change your IP address and access the website from another country. There are many VPN providers that offer free or paid plans, such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or ProtonVPN. Just make sure to choose a reputable and secure one.



  • You can use a Tor browser to anonymize your online activity and access the website through the Tor network. Tor is a free and open-source software that routes your traffic through multiple servers around the world, making it hard to trace or block. You can download Tor from torproject.org and follow the instructions on how to use it.



  • You can use a mirror site to access a copy of the website that is hosted on a different domain. Mirror sites are often created by volunteers or supporters of a project to provide alternative access points for users who face censorship or restrictions. You can find a list of mirror sites for Bitcoin Core on bitcoincore.mirror.



Once you have accessed the website, you can proceed to download Bitcoin Core in the UK by following these steps:


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Step 1: Choose your operating system and download the software




On the homepage of Bitcoin Core, you will see a button that says "Download Bitcoin Core". Click on it and you will be taken to a page where you can choose your operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.). Select the one that matches your device and click on the download link. You will see a file name that looks something like this: bitcoin-0.21.1-win64-setup.exe. This is the installer file that you need to run on your device.


Step 2: Verify your download and install the software




Before you run the installer file, you should verify that it has not been tampered with or corrupted during the download process. To do this, you need to compare the checksum or signature of the file with the one that is provided on the website. A checksum is a string of numbers and letters that is generated by a mathematical function and serves as a fingerprint of a file. A signature is a similar string that is encrypted with a private key and can be decrypted with a public key.


To verify your download, you can use one of these methods:


  • You can use a checksum tool to calculate the checksum of your file and compare it with the one on the website. You can find many checksum tools online, such as MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility for Windows or Checksums Calculator for MacOS. Just make sure to use the same algorithm (SHA256) as the one on the website.



  • You can use a signature tool to verify the signature of your file with the public key on the website. You can find many signature tools online, such as Gpg4win for Windows or GPG Suite for MacOS. Just make sure to import the public key from this page and follow the instructions on how to use it.



If your checksum or signature matches the one on the website, you can proceed to run the installer file and follow the instructions on how to install Bitcoin Core on your device. If not, you should delete the file and try downloading it again from another source.


Step 3: Run Bitcoin Core and sync with the network




After you have installed Bitcoin Core, you can run it by clicking on its icon or launching it from your applications folder. The first time you run it, you will see a welcome screen that asks you to choose a data directory where you want to store the blockchain and other data. You can use the default location or choose a custom one, depending on your disk space and preferences. Click OK to continue.


Next, you will see a screen that asks you to choose a network configuration. You can use the default settings or change them, depending on your network speed and bandwidth. You can also enable Tor to improve your privacy and bypass censorship, but this may slow down your connection and sync time. Click OK to continue.


Finally, you will see the main window of Bitcoin Core, where you can access all its features and functions. However, before you can use it fully, you need to sync with the network, which means that you need to download and verify all the blocks and transactions in the blockchain. This may take several hours or days, depending on your internet connection and hardware. You can see the progress of the sync in the bottom bar of the window. You can also minimize Bitcoin Core and let it run in the background while you do other things.


Once the sync is complete, you will see a green check mark in the bottom right corner of the window, indicating that you are up to date and ready to use Bitcoin Core.


How to use Bitcoin Core in the UK




Now that you have downloaded, installed, and synced Bitcoin Core in the UK, you can start using it to send and receive bitcoins, secure your wallet, backup your data, and more. Here are some of the basic things you need to know how to do:


How to send and receive bitcoins with Bitcoin Core




To send bitcoins with Bitcoin Core, you need to have some bitcoins in your wallet. You can get bitcoins by buying them from an exchange or a peer-to-peer platform, receiving them from someone else, or earning them by providing goods or services. To receive bitcoins with Bitcoin Core, you need to have a bitcoin address, which is a string of letters and numbers that starts with 1, 3, or bc1. You can generate as many addresses as you want with Bitcoin Core, and each address has its own balance and transaction history.


To send or receive bitcoins with Bitcoin Core, follow these steps:


  • To send bitcoins, click on the Send tab in the main window of Bitcoin Core. Enter the recipient's address or scan their QR code in the Pay To field. Enter the amount of bitcoins you want to send in the Amount field. You can also add a label and a comment for your own reference. Click on Choose... to adjust your transaction fee according to your preferences and network conditions. Click on Preview to review your transaction details and make sure everything is correct. Click on Send to confirm and broadcast your transaction to the network.



  • To receive bitcoins, click on the Receive tab in the main window of Bitcoin Core. Click on Request payment to generate a new address or select an existing one from the list. Enter a label and a comment for your own reference. You can also enter an amount of bitcoins you want to request in the Amount field, but this is optional. Click on Show QR code to display a QR code that contains your address and amount. Copy your address or QR code and share it with the sender. Wait for them to send you the bitcoins and confirm your transaction in the Transactions tab.



How to secure your wallet and backup your data




To secure your wallet and backup your data with Bitcoin Core, follow these steps:


  • To encrypt your wallet, click on Settings > Encrypt Wallet... in the menu bar of Bitcoin Core. Enter a strong passphrase that you can remember and confirm it. Click on OK to encrypt your wallet. This will prevent anyone from accessing your wallet without your passphrase, but it will also disable some features of Bitcoin Core until you unlock it.



  • To unlock your wallet, click on Settings > Unlock Wallet... in the menu bar of Bitcoin Core. Enter your passphrase and click on OK to unlock your wallet. You can also choose how long you want to keep your wallet unlocked for.



  • To backup your wallet, click on File > Backup Wallet... in the menu bar of Bitcoin Core. Choose a location where you want to save your backup file and give it a name. Click on Save to backup your wallet. This will create a copy of your wallet.dat file, which contains all your addresses and keys. You should backup your wallet regularly and store it in a safe place.



  • To restore your wallet, copy your backup file to the data directory of Bitcoin Core (the same location where you store the blockchain). Rename it as wallet.dat if necessary. Run Bitcoin Core and wait for it to load your wallet.



How to update Bitcoin Core and troubleshoot issues




To update Bitcoin Core and troubleshoot issues with Bitcoin Core, follow these steps:To update Bitcoin Core and troubleshoot issues with Bitcoin Core, follow these steps:


  • To update Bitcoin Core, check the official website of Bitcoin Core, bitcoincore.org, for any new releases or announcements. You can also subscribe to the Bitcoin Core mailing list or follow the Bitcoin Core Twitter account to get notified of any updates. To install the latest version of Bitcoin Core, download it from the website or a mirror site, verify your download, and run the installer file. You do not need to uninstall the previous version of Bitcoin Core, as the new one will overwrite it.



  • To troubleshoot issues with Bitcoin Core, check the Bitcoin Core documentation for any guides or tutorials on how to use or configure the software. You can also check the Bitcoin Core FAQ for any common questions or problems that other users have faced. If you still cannot find a solution, you can ask for help on the Bitcoin Core forum, the Bitcoin Stack Exchange, or the #bitcoin IRC channel. You can also report any bugs or errors on the Bitcoin Core GitHub repository.



Conclusion




In this article, we have shown you how to download, install, and use Bitcoin Core in the UK, where the software is currently blocked by the official website. We have also explained what Bitcoin Core is and why you need it, as well as its features, benefits, and risks. We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you, and that you have learned something new about Bitcoin Core and how to run a full node on the Bitcoin network.


Summary of the main points




  • Bitcoin Core is the original and most popular software for running a full node on the Bitcoin network.



  • Running a full node allows you to validate transactions, store the blockchain, and contribute to the decentralization and security of Bitcoin.



  • The official website of Bitcoin Core is blocked in the UK, but you can bypass the block and download the software by using a VPN, a Tor browser, or a mirror site.



  • To download Bitcoin Core in the UK, you need to choose your operating system, verify your download, and install the software.



  • To use Bitcoin Core in the UK, you need to sync with the network, send and receive bitcoins, secure your wallet, backup your data, and update your software.



Call to action and resources




If you are interested in running a full node on the Bitcoin network and supporting its development and innovation, we encourage you to download Bitcoin Core today and start using it. You can also donate to the Bitcoin Core project or contribute to its codebase if you have the skills and resources. For more information about Bitcoin Core and how to use it, please visit the following resources:


  • Bitcoin Core website



  • Bitcoin Core documentation



  • Bitcoin Core GitHub repository



  • Bitcoin Wiki



  • Bitcoin.org



FAQs




What is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Core?




Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that operates on a peer-to-peer network of nodes. Bitcoin Core is a software that allows you to run one of those nodes and participate in the network.


Is Bitcoin Core safe and legal to use in the UK?




Bitcoin Core is safe and legal to use in the UK, as long as you follow some basic security and privacy practices. However, you should be aware of the risks involved in using Bitcoin in general, such as volatility, hacking, scams, or regulation.


How long does it take to sync with the network using Bitcoin Core?




The time it takes to sync with the network using Bitcoin Core depends on several factors, such as your internet speed, hardware specifications, network conditions, and pruning settings. It may take anywhere from a few hours to several days.


How much disk space does Bitcoin Core require?




Bitcoin Core requires a one-time download of about 500GB of data plus a further 5-10GB per month. However, you can reduce this amount by enabling pruning, which allows you to store as little as 6GB total without sacrificing any security.


How can I get help or support with Bitcoin Core?




You can get help or support with Bitcoin Core by checking its documentation or FAQ, visiting its forum or Stack Exchange, contacting its developers on GitHub or IRC, or asking other users on social media or online communities. You can find the links to these resources in the conclusion section of this article.


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