If you’ve been trading Bitcoin long enough then most likely you know what Electrum is. If you’re new to BTC and the whole cryptocurrency trading thing, the information below will be new and useful to you. And even if you choose not to use the Electrum desktop wallet – to be honest, that’s what we would recommend, but more details on that later – still, learning about the world’s oldest BTC wallet is worth it.
What is Electrum?
Electrum is open-source software originally created by Thomas Voegtlin back in 2011. Throughout the past several years, the software has been edited by multiple third-party developers. The Electrum wallet is a desktop type of wallet, which means that you need to download the software and install it. Unfortunately, you cannot use the wallet on any mobile device. Neither there is no official mobile application for smartphones or tablets.
Electrum wallet has always been claimed as a fast and secure digital asset storage and tool for Bitcoin transactions. To this day, users’ privacy has been a number one priority for the creators of the wallet:
- Electrum wallet is fast because it does not download the blockchain to a user’s computer, so nothing will slow down the setup process and the wallet’s software will always be up-to-date and relevant.
- As far as security standards go, the wallet provides high-quality encryption for users’ private keys. As creators claim, keys always stay secured and never leave users’ computers. So there is a minimum hacking threat. Plus, a user will always have an opportunity to recover the wallet by using a recovery phrase (or a seed phrase as it is often referred to).
- Another secure option is to go online via a watch-only wallet mode, keeping users’ private keys offline.
- When making Bitcoin transactions, a user’s private key will not stay inside the network because it is not shared with the server that connects the wallet to the network. A user may rest assured that the server will not remember their account. The reason is that with Electrum, you don’t need to be tied to any particular connecting server, and therefore the server’s system will have no need to keep your private data.
- Last but not least, you can use Electrum to work with a hardware wallet. For instance, a Ledger or a TREZOR wallet. This is a great advantage because if you decide to use a hardware wallet, you will be able to safely store your private key offline all the time. In fact, that is the key hardware wallet feature – keeping your private key offline without the risk of exposing it. So you can use the wallet to make transactions and use a compatible hardware wallet of your choice to store your private key.
The Actual Electrum Wallet Review
The following sections will take you through personal thoughts about Electrum based on the actual experience of using this wallet. We will answer the most frequent questions about Electrum, thus examining it from the beginner’s standpoint. Because while many Bitcoin enthusiasts claim that the Electrum desktop wallet is an excellent choice for BTC, many people say that the wallet is just too hard for beginners to handle.
Is the installing process easy?
First things first: installing the wallet on your computer is rather a straight-forward process… for an experienced crypto trader. So it is subject to a discussion about whether it is as simple for those who are just entering the world of Bitcoin trading.
However, here’s the main advice for newcomers: just hit the “Next” button all the time until the setup process is complete. Sound easy? Well, that’s the point – it should be. But there’s one thing that we must bring up: for some reason, there are no user tips that would explain the meaning of each step so that a user would understand what they are even doing.
The only part of the installation process that is explained in detail is setting up the recovery phrase. That’s actually great because setting up seed phrases is the most important part of installing any crypto wallet software. Once you got your seed phrase, take your time writing it down.
- You may know it by now, but we feel obliged to say this now – you must never show your wallet’s seed phrase to anyone. We mean it, don’t ever expose your seed phrase online or offline to anyone. Because it is only with this set of words you will be able to restore your wallet if it gets hacked, or you lose access to it for any reason.
- Writing a seed phrase is a crucial step. When the installation software gives you your seed phrase, write it down and place it somewhere safe. Just try not to forget where you wrote it down.
What are the setup steps?
Here’s what the installation steps look like:
- Pick a server;
- Name your wallet.dat file (this is the storage file for your private key);
- Pick one of the two offered wallets – Segwit or Legacy;
- Pick a wallet you’re about to use – will it be your existing software or hardware wallet, will you create a new wallet instead;
- If you need a new wallet, then you will need to specify its type – standard, 2FA (stands for two-factor authentication), multisig;
- Write down the seed phrase;
- Create a password – you may as well decide to encrypt it. However, this is not necessary.
Again, while the whole procedure may not seem too hard, still, we believe that a beginner may find themselves confused by certain steps.
Is Electrum user-friendly?
When you launch the Electrum software, you will see that the user interface is pretty simple. The client’s widow has three functional tabs:
- Transaction history.
The bottom part of the interface will include a system settings tab and a tab that will take you to the security settings where you will be able to check your seed phrase and/or update your password.
However, we can’t say that using Electrum is much fun. In terms of aesthetics, the interface is not that great. It’s pretty simple, that’s true, and has a though-out functionality, but it all seems not too appealing for a newcomer. That’s a personal opinion, though.
What functions does the wallet have?
Electrum is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a fully functional desktop wallet. It works great for Bitcoin transactions:
- You can customize your transaction fees;
- You can label addresses to always know where the Bitcoin funds are coming from;
- If you need to export the wallet’s data, you may as well do it with ease;
- You can also send one transaction to several people, using a “pay t0 many” function;
What coins does Electrum support?
That is one of the biggest drawbacks of Electrum because it supports only Bitcoin. But don’t get upset, since there are other wallets that imitate Electrum and support a greater number of coins. For example, Electron Cash supports Bitcoin Cash coins.
Electrum is a safe and reliable Bitcoin wallet for computers. It is protected with a password and uses encrypted private keys. If you happen to lose access to your wallet, you can recover it using a seed phrase that you wrote down during the installation process. With it, you can also send one transaction to multiple persons at a time.
You may hear active Bitcoiners praise Electrum for privacy security standards and a set of functions, saying that it is great for sending and receiving small amounts of BTC. Although it’s not the best place to start for a beginner.
Is Electrum Safe in 2021?
Electrum wallet is safe. Password-protected, this wallet also uses encrypted private keys. There is also a seed phrase option that lets a user restore access to the wallet in case it gets hacked, or a user’s computer gets broken.
Can Electrum be trusted?
Yes, you can trust Electrum. It is safe, fast, and comes packed with a bunch of useful functions that let you send and accept BTC assets, use it in a bundle with a hardware wallet, keep track of each transaction, export the wallet’s history, etc.
Is Electrum still a good wallet?
Electrum is good quality and safe Bitcoin wallet. However, one of the biggest downsides of this wallet is that you can use it only on a computer – there is no mobile application. Another thing to take note of is that it only supports BTC.
Is Electrum safe for Bitcoin?
Electrum is a safe, open-source wallet for Bitcoin transactions. To use it, you will need to download and install the program. The software does not download the blockchain on your computer and that is why it’s one of the fastest software wallets on the market.