Electrum is a popular light bitcoin wallet which validates bitcoin trading information based on the SPV principles proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s feathered with rich functions, open source and high security level.
Why Use Electrum Wallet?
- Electrum is a light wallet with less space occupation. The size of installation file is only 30M and no need to download the blockchain data file to run program. The query is realized through SPV authentication and a random server list, which means very few trusts from the third party are needed to verify the payment information. However, it is not as safe as the full-node bitcoin wallet such as Bitcoin Core.
- High security level. After every transaction, the wallet uses a new change address. The scrolling mode to use addresses makes it difficult for others to probe your balance and payment history. Similarly, the official wallet Bitcoin Core also demands a new bitcoin address for every payment.
- Only one backup makes wallet recovery very easy. Support HD mode (hierarchical deterministic wallet, BIP32), recover all bitcoin addresses through secure seeds; the wallet can be recovered any time with secure seeds which are easy to remember. The security seeds are a short paragraph of English sentences which can be quickly remembered.
- Support multi-signature, the users and enterprises with high security requirements can manage bitcoin by multi-signature.
- Support Two-Factor Authentication, which can make it even harder to steal your bitcoin.
- Supports hardware wallets such as Trezor, Bwallet and KeepKey with convenient operations.
- Support cold storage, sign offline for trading even without network.
- Can be used in Tor network. It enables to build Tor and use it as a proxy to stop attackers or prevent ISP from linking your payments with your IP address.
- The green version of Windows program has been released, the program files can be copied in portable U-disk.
- The wallet requires a link to SPV query server, which may link your payment history and record your IP address.
- English interface is default for the first operation, it needs to enter the wallet to set the language as other languages.
- Running on a computer like the official wallet Bitcoin Core, it’s vulnerable to attack of malware. A highly secure password is needed or transfer most of your money to cold storage for the sake of security or open two-factor authentication.
Installation and Use
Visit Electrum’s official website to download the wallet program, installation version or Standalone green version is optional for Windows: https://electrum.org/
Go to the download folder and install the wallet.
First, select the query server. Automatic connection or manual connection is optional, which helps to improve the privacy and security. Here we go with “Auto connection”.
Set a name for the wallet.
A window will pop up asking what type of wallet to create. Select “Standard wallet”.
Select “Create a new seed” in the “Keystore” window.
Choose “Segwit” as seed type.
A window will pop up to demand to record the English words in orders as the security seed of the wallet and make sure to properly save them on paper to recover the wallet in the future in case of computer failure.
Write down the security seed and click “Next”. You are required to retype the seed to confirm the consistency.
Now, choose a password to encrypt your wallet keys. It’s better to be a combination of numbers, letters and special characters and the strength is better to be “Strong”.
A window will prompt for the first startup, click “Yes”.
Then Electrum wallet overview interfaces shows up. To change the language, for example Chinese, select “Tools – Electrum Preference – General” and set “Chinese”. Restart the client to realize Chinese display.
When Electrum first runs, it automatically creates some bitcoin addresses. The “Addresses” window shows all the addresses of the wallet.
The “Coins” window shows all the bitcoins in the wallet and their addresses.
To receive bitcoin, enter the “Receive” window, copy the address and send the bitcoin to this address.
To send bitcoin, click the “Send” window and paste the receiving address, set the transaction fees and click to send.
All the transaction records will be displayed on the “History” window.
Recover Wallet with Security Seed
For example, the following words:
army van defense carry jealous true garbage claim echo media make crunch
The sequence of all these words is designed to be sufficient to recreate the wallet and all private keys in the Electrum wallet.
When create a wallet for the first time, run the Electrum program of specific wallet will show the user a sequence of words of 12 to 24 letters, which serves as the backup of the wallet.
The seed is defined in the improvement suggestion BIP39, which can be used to recover and recreate the wallet keys which are the same or compatible to the application of Electrum program. You will find such words which seem to be more meaningful are easier to remember and copy, so it’s convenient for backup and recovery of Bitcoin wallet.
Here is an example on how to recovery wallet with security seed. Download Electrum installation package and recover the wallet according to the steps shown in the figure.
- Batch sending, send bitcoin to multiple addresses at one time, transaction CSV file can be led in.
- Use Electrum as cold storage. Please refer to our article “Create Bitcoin Cold Wallet with Electrum”.
Electrum is a light bitcoin wallet with high security and powerful functions. If full blockchain data is not required, it’s an excellent bitcoin wallet alternative apart from Bitcoin Core and it’s suitable for beginners and senior users.
Series articles on bitcoin wallet at EastShore
- Intro and Tutorial for Bitcoin Core Wallet: https://www.eastshore.xyz/intro-and-tutorial-for-bitcoin-core-wallet/
- Intro and Tutorial for Bitcoin Lightweight Wallet Electrum: https://www.eastshore.xyz/intro-and-tutorial-for-bitcoin-light-wallet-electrum/
- Create Bitcoin Cold Wallet with Electrum: https://www.eastshore.xyz/create-bitcoin-cold-wallet-with-electrum/
- Review for Crypto Hardware Wallet Product KeepKey: https://www.eastshore.xyz/review-for-crypto-hardware-wallet-product-keepkey/