Wallet Electrum: Installation, Configuration, Reviews

2 months ago
Electrum Wallet
Electrum Wallet

Electrum wallet is one of the most popular clients among lightweight cryptocurrency wallets. The combination of security, simplicity, functionality, regular updates, as well as options for working with leading digital assets arouse stable interest among users. 

Thanks to this, Electrum has been in the TOP-10 of the most popular cryptocurrency storage applications for many years. 

What is an Electrum Wallet?

The internal interface of Electrum does not splash with bright colors. It does not attract users with bold design solutions, it is rather ascetic. Everything is left to the functionality. The main purpose of the wallet is to send cryptocurrency, receive funds and keep a list of previously conducted transactions. 

History of Creation

The Electrum wallet appeared in December 2011 as a development by Thomas Voitlen, whose main specialty was neural networks. Being the only alternative means of storing bitcoin at that time without having to download the full version of the blockchain the wallet quickly gained popularity. 

At that time, there was only one cryptocurrency, and the size of its transaction base was relatively small. Developments have not yet appeared on the market that allow storing and transferring cryptocurrency “light”. Largely because they did not yet have a vital need. 

The actual lack of competition along with the novelty of the solution allowed the Electrum wallet to quickly gain popularity in the blockchain community. From the very first days, the development team put safety at the forefront, and during 2012 - 2015 actively worked on product optimization. 

In early 2016, Voitlen announced that the development of a wallet for other crypto assets will be carried out as part of open-source projects: anyone can join the project and make their own contribution. 

Later, in 2017, the official release for the Dash cryptocurrency was released, and later for Vertcoin. 

The latest stable version is 3.3.8.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies

Despite the declared multicurrency, each Electrum wallet only works with one coin. That is, by downloading from the official electrum.org website, the user gets the opportunity to work only with BTC, although it can create any number of wallets on one platform. The same applies to other currencies.

To download an Electrum wallet, for example, for Dash, go to electrum.dash.org. The list of officially supported cryptocurrencies (i.e., developed by teams of coin developers) includes only three assets: 

  1. Bitcoin (BTC) — electrum.org;
  2. Dash (DASH) — electrum.dash.org;
  3. Vertcoin (VTC) — electrum.vertcoin.org.

The remaining coins (most of them) are supported by the community, which is made possible thanks to the open source code, as well as the policy on activating third-party developments based on the Electrum source code that has been publicly declared since 2016.

As a result, there was a situation in which the popular client for cryptocurrency Litecoin is an unofficial application, and the client for the much less common Vertcoin coin is the official wallet. 

Download Electrum Wallet for Litecoin (LTC) at electrum-ltc.org. Finding versions for other coins is also straightforward. However, you must be extremely careful not to run into fraudulent sites. 

So, at the beginning of 2019, Electrum developers warned users about the increasingly frequent occurrence of phishing versions of the Electrum wallet for altcoins. The wallet for Stellar turned out to be fraudulent: 

They also officially announced that they have nothing to do with the Electrum Dark project:

According to the developers themselves, only the original Electrum wallet designed for Bitcoin (BTC) has 100% reliability and security. Responsibility for the safety of using others lies entirely with the user:

Technical Features

Technical Features of Electrum
Technical Features of Electrum

Simple Payment Verification (SPV) is used, which, in fact, allows you to make the wallet easy. The program code is written in Python. It requires the Qt5 library to work. Integration is supported with all popular cryptocurrency storage hardware wallets - Trezor, Ledger, KeepKey. There are versions for Windows, Linux, OSX and Android. A portable version is available that works through a regular USB flash drive.

In addition, the Electrum wallet is:

  • the ability to use third-party plug-ins to obtain additional information (for example, cryptocurrency courses);
  • manual setting of the size of commissions;
  • choice of server for connection, manual and automatic mode
  • multilingual localization of good quality;
  • the ability to export keys and transaction history;

Due to the fact that the same source code is used to develop Electrum applications, the differences between wallets for different coins are minimal.

Electrum wallet review

How to use Electrum Wallet

Cryptocurrency wallet
Cryptocurrency wallet

Important: in all installation paths of Electrum, only Latin letters and numbers should be used in the folder names, otherwise the application will install, but will not start. For security reasons, it is recommended to install Electrum when the Internet connection is disconnected, or better, use a virtual machine or prefer a portable version. 

To download a wallet, you will need to download files. The page for selecting download options on the Electrum bitcoin-wallet platform looks like this:

Electrum Wallets Download Page // Source: Electrum
Electrum Wallets Download Page // Source: Electrum

Presented versions for all popular operating systems.

Windows

The installation process is straightforward. When the .exe file is launched, the following window appears:

Installation on Windows // Source: Electrum
Installation on Windows // Source: Electrum

There are 4 options for creating a wallet to choose from:

  • standard;
  • with two-factor authentication;
  • with multi-signature;
  • import of private keys;

If there are no special wishes, it is recommended to select the “standard” option. Trusted Coin multi-signature and two-factor authentication enhance security, but the latter option is not free. Identification codes are sold in packages; they cost approximately $ 0.2— $ 1 per procedure (payment is charged in bitcoins, the exact cost depends on the rate of the first cryptocurrency). This makes such a method inapplicable to small translations.

The next important step is to create or introduce a seed phrase.

Creating a seed phrase // Source: Electrum
Creating a seed phrase // Source: Electrum

Let us dwell on this in more detail, since the other options — creating a keystore file or binding a hardware device — are intuitive. 

Choosing the type of seed phrase // Source: Electrum
Choosing the type of seed phrase // Source: Electrum

Here you have to choose between a regular and a Segwit address (the latter is better), after which you will remember and save a seed phrase of 12 words.

Text for seed phrase // Source: Electrum
Text for seed phrase // Source: Electrum

Next, the memorization of the passphrase is checked and a password is created.

Set Password // Source: Electrum
Set Password // Source: Electrum

You should think up a really good password, with special characters and a length of at least 15 characters.

Linux

After downloading the necessary files, you should install support for Python and the Qt5 library. This can be done in the terminal using the command: 

$ sudo apt install python-qt5 python-pip

The wallet is installed using tar.gz using the mouse, or using the console command:

$ sudo pip2 install Electrum-3.3.4.tar.gz

After installation is complete, the application will become available in the standard way from the main menu. 

Interface Features

When you first start the program will make a request to create a new account. It offers the option of loading an existing storage, as well as the choice between manually installing the server and its automatic search. 

After the connection with the server appears and information is received, you can begin to study the capabilities of the wallet. 

Electrum wallet interface // Source: Electrum
Electrum wallet interface // Source: Electrum

Tabs

The application interface contains only 4 tabs:

  1. On the “Receipt” tab, you can request a payment using an alphanumeric address and a QR code. The latter is more convenient and faster. 
  2. “Sending” offers outgoing transactions with the ability to set the commission size manually.
  3. In the "History" section, you can see all incoming and outgoing transfers made using this software client.
  4. The “coins” tab is the public keys tied to the wallet and the balances on them.

You can activate Lite-mode — in the "minimized" mode, a minimum of operations is available, but there is a view of your own balance and sending funds. 

Management Sections

The Electrum program menu consists of five drop-down lists: 

  1. File;
  2. Wallet;
  3. View;
  4. Instruments;
  5. Help.

The main functionality is in the sections "File", "Wallet" and "Tools". Let's consider them in more detail. The Help and View menus are typical of all such applications. 

  1. The File menu contains commands for launching new wallets, restoring access to them by seed-phrase or key file;
  2. In “Wallet” you can view the current address, create a new one, change the password. And also work with keys, make a backup copy, export them to a separate file;
  3. “Tools” allows you to configure the interface for a specific user, select the server to connect to, use plugins. The original highlight of “Pay to Many” will allow you to send a payment to several subscribers at once .

Using the proposed tools, all the operations necessary for the full circulation of digital coins are carried out. The right mouse button works, with its help additional options of the context menu are available.Separate accounts can be forcibly frozen inside the wallet, after which the movement of funds with their use becomes impossible. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Electrum

Sending a transaction from a crypto wallet
Sending a transaction from a crypto wallet

The Electrum wallet is the choice for storing crypto assets with an emphasis on the security and accessibility of all basic options. It is easy to install and easy to use. Private keys are stored on the client side, which gives additional guarantees for the safety of funds. 

The application takes up little space, works quickly and reliably. There are versions for all popular operating systems. 

The Electrum wallet also has additional benefits: 

  • Integration with leading models of hardware wallets;
  • High degree of security;
  • Anonymity of transactions;
  • Open source application;
  • Feedback between the development team and users;
  • Ability to use with VPN and Tor browser.

Certain disadvantages are also available:

  • Lack of a single interface for all supported currencies; The need to download a separate wallet for each specific asset;
  • Paid one-time codes for two-factor authentication;
  • Installing the application requires attention to the names of folders in the installation paths;
  • Delays in updating the status of transactions resulting from the features of Electrum.

Electrum Reviews

There are not many forums on the network devoted to the analysis and discussion of Electrum, but such branches were kindly created by users of miningclub.info, forum.bits.media and bitalk.org. In reviews of Electrum, members of these branches generally note its convenient and reliable wallet.

And also, pay attention - Electrum is an open source wallet and in the original was developed only for bitcoin. If you use Electrum for Dash, Zcash and other altcoins, then it is not official and the developers are not responsible for it.

The Electrum wallet can be called an almost perfect tool for miners, as well as for users who store assets in 1 — 2 cryptocurrencies, not too often they are transferred and kept in a wallet large amounts. Those who are engaged in new coins, IEO, airdrops, as well as active exchange trading with a constant conversion of funds it is better to pay attention to products more suitable for such requests, for example, Jaxx or Exodus.***

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