Fast, safe and private are all features associated with Electrum.
Very few bitcoin wallets can say they’ve been in the game since the very beginning. Founded in 2011, Electrum made its way on the scene when bitcoin’s value was just a few dollars. It is now estimated that some 10% of all bitcoin transactions occur on Electrum. As you’ll soon see, there are many reasons why Electrum is the wallet of choice for many cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
What is Electrum?
Electrum is a desktop bitcoin wallet that is compatible with multiple operating platforms, such as Windows, Mac and Linux. It was developed by a German computer scientist and designed to be lightweight and efficient.
Over the years, various developers have contributed to its source code, making it what many people believe to be one of the most trusted wallets available.
Although there are more than 900 cryptocurrencies on the market today, Electrum’s sole focus is bitcoin in an attempt to ensure that the platform remains fast and efficient at all times.
One of Electrum’s core features is its integration with the major hardware wallets, such as TREZOR, KeepKey and Ledger Nano S. This means you can integrate Electrum with any of these premium hardware wallets.
- Windows, Mac and Linux. Android wallet was also launched in 2016 for mobile use.
- Electrum is compatible with the major bitcoin hardware wallets.
How much does it cost?
As a service provider, Electrum charges transaction fees for sending bitcoin. The default fee is a flat rate of 0.2 mBTC. This rate can be reduced to 0.1 mBTC* or even lower in some cases.
The transaction fee is included in the sum of the amount you want to send. The Electrum platform will issue a warning if the total transaction amount exceeds your wallet balance.
*Note: mBTC = millibitcoin, or one-thousandth of a bitcoin.
Which currencies can I store?
At present, Electrum only supports bitcoin.
How do I add currency to my wallet?
In addition to receiving bitcoin payments, you can transfer bitcoin to your Electrum wallet from another wallet. This can be done by locating your bitcoin receiving address in the “Receive” tab on Electrum.
Next, transfer funds from the service you are currently using into your unfunded Electrum wallet.
How do I make or receive payments with Electrum?
To make a payment on Electrum, click the “Send” tab. The “Pay To” field is where you type in the bitcoin address or copy it from the clipboard.
After clicking Send, you will be prompted to type in the password you created when you opened the wallet.
Your Electrum wallet can also receive bitcoin payments. This can be done by opening the “Receive” tab. Your Receiving address is essentially your bitcoin address. Anyone who knows your bitcoin address can send you a payment.
How secure is Electrum?
Electrum is considered one of the most secure bitcoin wallets available today, and that’s largely due to the encryption techniques it uses to secure your private keys.
Electrum also has a highly secure seed, which is the random phrase that is used to generate your private keys. Without getting overly technical, the Electrum seed provides essentially the same level of security as a bitcoin private key.
Your seed is extremely important, as it is the only way you can recover your password if you forget it. As mentioned earlier, the password you initiate when you open the Electrum wallet is needed to send bitcoin payments.
Where can I get Electrum?
The electrum bitcoin wallet is available for download at electrum.org, which is the official website for the platform. Users of Ledger, TREZOR and KeepKey hardware wallets can also use Electrum to store their bitcoin.
Electrum pros and cons
- Widely used platform.
- Very fast and easy to set up.
- Good privacy features.
- Integration with hardware wallets for added security.
- Not ideal for beginners.
- Only supports bitcoin.
Getting started with the Electrum bitcoin wallet is quick and easy. Simply visit electrum.org and click “Download.” Here, you’ll be prompted to choose your installation method. In just a few clicks, you’ll be ready to use Electrum.
Frequently asked questions
Image source: Electrum Wallet