Sparrow 1.7.2 - connecting to BTC proxy

Good morning,

I am attempting to connect Sparrow 1.7.2 to BTC proxy and am seeing this error:

Could not connect:

Error reply: Unable to set option: Failed to bind one of the listener ports.

Is a Tor proxy already running on port 9050?

Are you still having this issue? This suggest you are running Tor, but attempting to use Sparrow’s built-in daemon. You can switch to your daemon, or you can also connect locally now (direct to Core) with this guide: Sparrow

I am not. I rebooted sparrow and sparrow is now connected to my node!

One thing I was wondering. If I go into the BTC proxy service page and click “properties” then click “quick connect URLs” there is a tor address. When I was first playing around with your old guide, I was connecting sparrow with this TOR address, which is different than the RPC interface TOR address in Bitcoin core. Which one should I use? Are there advantages to one over the other, or should I stick with with the address from bitcoin core?


Is there an advantage to connecting to core rather than private electrum?
I couldn’t find the guide last week so I connected to private electrum and it seemed to work fine.

If you have no issues with electrs, then no. It may be more reliable of a connection for some. Eventually our improved connection options (coming this year) will be the real solution for reliable and fast use of all services.

I thought that there was an advantage to connect to private electrum, as bitcoin Core stores your public keys and balance unencrypted on the computer it is running on. If this computer is regularly connected to the internet, it is at risk to hackers - which will make you a target once your balance is discovered.

On the other hand Electrum server, does not keep any record of your balance, but indexes all Bitcoin transactions equally.

I’m running a pruned node, so electrum is not an option for me.

Dave, is there advantage to connecting to bitcoin proxy vs connecting to bitcoin core?


Yes, electrum is definitely preferred and going directly to Core is opening up a much larger attack vector. Proxy has some extra features, but they will be added to Core and eventually Proxy will be deprecated. Probably later this year.

I’m trying to connect sparrow to embassy one via private electrum server. i keep getting this message:

could not connect. SOCKS server general failure. check if proxy server is running

i have core, proxy and electrs running on embassy and tor running in background of firefox. I dunno what else is the issue

This insinuates that either the tor daemon is not in fact running, or if it is, it is having problems (the Tor Network has been under heavy DDoS attack for nearly a year, so this is common). I would check your tor daemon first, or you can also use Sparrow’s built-in tor option.

Here’s the guides for daemon setup if you need to run through it - Start9 | Tor - OS

Hi start9dave,
Not sure if I should post on top of this thread. I am having a problem connecting to Sparrow1.7.6 to Bitcoin Proxy 0.3.2~7. Dependencies are up to date and satisfied. Not sure if it has to do with upgrading to Mac OS 13.3.1. I receive the following error on Sparrow,

“[Apr 30 11:41:30] Cannot invoke “” because “” is null”

Thanks in advance.

This sounds like a question for the Sparrow team. Does it work if you connect to Core directly instead? How about Electrs?

I will try those.

Having trouble connecting Sparrow to Core and Electrs.
When I try to connect to Electrs, I get :
"SOCKS: Host unreachable. Check if the proxy server is running. "
Thoughts? Next steps?

Are you using Sparrow’s Tor Daemon or your own? Have you set up Tor on your OS?

Embassy has been running for a while. I had Tor set up on Mac OS. I had Sparrow running since November '22. I upgraded Sparrow and whatever Embassy updates were available at the end of April, and now I can’t connect Sparrow to Bitcoin Proxy, nor can I connect to Embassy over Tor. I am sure I did something wrong, but I don’t know if I could diagnose it. I am guessing it is something I did wrong on my end. Any suggestions?

Normally Tor issues can be fixed with a hard reboot (remove power entirely). Let me know if this does not work and we may need to dive on it

The hard reboot worked! Thanks so much for your help!

1 Like

I quit using the TOR proxy on my computer (killed the service from Task Manager) and started using Sparrows proxy. It connects and stays connected more reliably than before.

1 Like

@start9dave How can I tell if I am using sparrow’s Tor Daemon or my own? I am having the same issues junior having above. My set up was working until I moved. Could it be related to firewalls from my internet service? If so, how can I solve this?

Set up: Linux, start9 server pure, electrs, sparrow 1.8.2.

When testing server connection:
Could not connect:

SOCKS server general failure. Check if the proxy server is running.
(^I don’t know what most of this even means)

If you check the box for “Use Proxy” then you are pointing to your system’s tor daemon. This would need to be set up using the guide in the docs. I would recommend this method.