Electrum Cryptocurrency Wallet
Electrum was created by Thomas Voegtlin in November 2011, as a result, various developers have contributed to its source code. A software wallet that was designed to give users the freedom to manage their funds and private keys in a secure manner. Electrum allows you to store your private keys offline and integrates with some hardware wallets like TREZOR or Ledger products. Electrum utilizes decentralized servers to ensure minimal to no downtime. Electrum, found online at Electrum.org, has been a popular bitcoin wallet since launching in November 2011. The encrypted wallet protects your bitcoins behind a password and features surprisingly simple code, written in Python. That code is available open source to the public.
Today, you can download Electrum for a wide range of platforms. It’s available for free for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and Android. You can download it from the Google Play Storefor Android, or visit Electrum.org to download easy installation executables for all other versions.
How to Use Electrum Bitcoin Wallet
After installing Electrum from the sources above, you let the software gather configuration data through a wizard. The wizard will ask if you want to create a new wallet, for example, or you want to restore an existing wallet from a seed. You can also create a watching-only version of an existing wallet.
From the next window, you’ll see a “Wallet Generation Seed”, which is a 12 word phrase that you’ll need to memorize in order. This seed allow you to recover your wallet in case your device is lost, stole, or destroyed. You’ll also see your QR code at this page.
Then, setup a password. Or, leave the password fields black if you want to disable encryption.
You can also configure Electrum to run using a custom server.
Receiving a Payment with Electrum
You can transfer funds into your Electrum wallet through one of your receiving addresses. To locate a receiving address, first click on the “Receive” tab. Double click the first “Receiving” address, then copy it to the clipboard. Next, transfer funds from your current wallet (or exchange, or wherever your bitcoins are hosted). Then, paste your Electrum receiving address into the field marked “Receiving bitcoin address”. Choose the amount you wish to transfer, then send it.
You can view pending transactions under the Electrum “History” tab.
To make a payment, you repeat the process from the Electrum side. You click the “Send” tab, then enter a bitcoin address in the “Pay to” field. You can enter the address automatically or paste it from the clipboard.
Electrum will calculate the default transaction fee. Then, click send. Electrum will ask for your password for confirmation.
These are the basics for using your Electrum wallet. Bitzuma has a good beginners guide to Electrum that you can read here.
The Electrum bitcoin wallet come with all of the following features:
- Encryption: The wallet is encrypted, which means your bitcoins are password protected and encrypted to prevent theft – even in the event your device is lost.
- Deterministic Key Generation: If you lose your wallet, you can recover it from its seed. You are protected from your own mistakes.
- Instant On: You don’t have to download the blockchain. Instead, you request information from a server. There are no delays, and the blockchain is always up-to-date.
- Local Transaction Signatures: Transactions are signed locally, so your private keys are not shared with the server. You don’t have to trust the server with your money.
- Freedom and Privacy: The server does not store user accounts. You are not tied to a particular server, and the server doesn’t need to know you. You can export your own private keys.
- No Scripts: Electrum doesn’t allow for the download of any scripts. That means a compromised server cannot send you arbitrary code and steal your bitcoins.
- No Single Point of Failure: The server code is open source and coded in basic Python. Anyone can run the wallet on their server.
- Multisig: Electrum supports multi-signature transactions, which means multiple wallets need to sign a transaction before it’s approved.
- Firewall Friendly: Electrum doesn’t require a specific port in your firewall. It simply polls the server for updates.
- Overall, Electrum promises to be a safe, easy-to-use, cold storage wallet with multi-signature support.