Wallet Reviews

Everything you need to know about Electrum Bitcoin wallet

Electrum is a lightweight Bitcoin client that was released on November 5, 2011. It is based on the client-server protocol and boasts some impressive features that we will look at over the course of this guide. Its easy for beginners to use and requires no prior experience with Bitcoin or Electrum itself.

The main features of Electrum

  • The client supports multisignature which allows spending of coins between multiple wallets by users.
  • It uses the Gnu GPL v3 free software which any one can audit the code.
  • It has no single point of failure since the server code is open source and anyone can run a server. Also, private keys can be imported and exported into other wallets.
  • The client updates instantly by requesting information from the server. 
  • It supports cold storage by keeping private keys offline andhas a watch only mode when it comnes to online use.
  • It supports an encrypted wallet. The file that holds the private keys is always protected by a password and it never leaves the user’s computer.
  • Transactions on the client are signed offline. So, a user doesn’t have to share private keys with the server.  
  • In case one losses their wallet file, it’s possible to recover it from its seed.

The client can integrate with many hardware wallets.

  • It supports Bitcoin URls, Bitcoin aliases and signed URls.
  • Its code is short and since it’s written in python it’s easyto review.
  • One is not tied to a single server. In case a server goesdown one can access other servers meaning there is no down time.

How to install Electrum on Mac

On the Electrum website, download the file marked ‘executablefor OS X.’ Then double-click on the downloaded file which will open on a mounted volume. Take the Electrum.app icon and drag it to the applications folder. Finish up by double-clicking on the Electrum icon.

There is a chance you will receive an error message that states that the client can’t open since it’s from an unidentified developer. In this case, locate Electrum in your applications folder and control-click onit. Then select open from the menu and click on the open button that pops up.

Installing Electrum on Windows

There are three versions of the client that are available for windows. To ensure you install the most convenient version select the one labeled ‘windows installer.’  The rest of the steps are simple and direct.

Installing Electrum on Ubuntu Linux

On the Software Center, you will find an Electrum version even though it tends to be outdated. However, the instructions given on the download page will allow you to install the latest release which should be quick and direct.

However, it’s important to note that since you are dealing with Bitcoin, there is a high chance there is someone who will try to steal your crypto coins. Therefore, you shouldn’t trust the software you download on the internet. Make sure you audit every line of the Electrum codeotherwise you risk installing a malware.

The best way to do this is to ensure you verify the signature of your package. The download page will provide two links; the software you just downloaded and the other is the signature file.

By employing the appropriate software, use the signature file to verify the authenticity of the software you just downloaded. It’s a mandatory step that any user who intends to hold a substantial amount of Bitcoins should take.

How to setup the Electrum wallet

To launch the client, double-click on its icon which will open the install wizard. Let the client select a trusted server that it willuse and then click Next. The following screen will offer to name your wallet filewith ‘default_wallet’ name. Just accept and click Next.

On the next screen, you will find four options for the type of wallet you prefer. The default setting will be ‘standard wallet,’ which is ok, proceed to the next page.

The next screen will ask what kind of keystore you would like to create.  A keystore is a set of signing keys that one needs to make Bitcoin transactions and its controlled bya seed. Select ‘create a new seed,’ and click next.

The following window will display your seed. Ensure you write your seed and store it safely. Avoid printing the text.

On the next window, you will be required to type your seed. Click on the text area and type your seed. This will activate the Next button which you should click.

The client also allows you to encrypt a copy of your seed that is stored on the disk. If your machine is attacked, the intruder will be unable to decrypt your seed. It’s also possible to encrypt the entire walletfile. By doing so, all the wallet contents are encrypted helping protect notonly your money but privacy.

Transfer funds to Electrum

If you own some Bitcoins on an exchange or somewhere elseyou can proceeed to transfer them to your Electrum wallet. If you are abeginner, its advisable to start with small amounts until you get familiar withthe process. 

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Basil has three years of freelance experience writing on disruptive technologies. He focuses on breaking news and education pieces; helping to spread the gospel of Blockchain. He hopes to have his own blockchain company one day; helping the world through its innovative ledger technology.

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