This week, Specter Wallet, an open-source bitcoin wallet that emphasizes privacy and security by allowing users to more easily run their own full nodes, released its latest version (you can download it here).
The biggest feature of this latest release is the new setup process, which makes it possible to go from zero to a ready-to-go Specter setup with Bitcoin Core and Tor in just a few minutes. The process is done via a simple one-click setup wizard which will install, configure and manage both Bitcoin Core and Tor for you.
On startup, Bitcoin Core will begin with initial block downloading (IBD), which could take a few days. However, for users looking for a quick setup, Specter comes with a quick-sync option, which will get your node up to date in just a few minutes. This optional quick-sync will download a trusted snapshot of the Bitcoin blockchain, maintained and signed by the Specter team (at http://prunednode.today), and start verifying after the snapshot point like any other node (you can read more on the tradeoffs involved in the setup wizard on the Specter app).
Another big feature in the new release is with replace-by-fee (RBF) transactions. Up to now, Specter had limited its functionality strictly to increasing the transaction fee. But with the new version, it allows the user to fully customize the replacement transaction. This makes it possible, for example, to add or change recipients, modify the coin selection, edit the amounts and practically do anything that it’s possible to do when composing a new transaction.
Also around the subject of fees, Specter has now integrated the http://mempool.space fee estimation API, so that users can get a highly-accurate fee estimation based on how fast they would like the transaction to get confirmed, with all of the communication going over Tor by default, or even with the user’s own, self-hosted http://mempool.space instance.
This update also has some news about hardware wallets support. Specter now upgraded to hardware wallet interface (HWI) version 2.0.1, which means BitBox02 multisig is finally available from Specter. Since not all hardware vendors have good multisig support, having BitBox02 as an option is an important addition for a better multi-vendor multisig setup.
In an attempt to improve the user experience, there has also been a lot of work done to simplify the connection of USB hardware wallets when Specter is running on a remote machine (such as on Umbrel or myNode). This was thanks to the help of the http://bitcoin.design community, which helped redesign the process for setting up and configuring the USB connection.
Other changes worth mentioning are support for more fiat currencies and precious metals in the bitcoin price feed data, an option to abandon old transactions which were purged from the mempool due to low fees, significant improvement in startup and loading time and various bug fixes.
This is a guest post by Ben Kaufman. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.