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Electrum bitcoin wallet


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Electrum is a lightweight Bitcoin client, based on a client-server protocol. It was released on november 5, 2011.
Main features:
Encrypted wallet: the file that contains your bitcoins is protected with a password. You are protected from thieves.
Deterministic key generation: If you lose your wallet, you can recover it from its seed. You are protected from your own mistakes.
Instant on: the client does not download the blockchain, it requests that information from a server. No delays, always up-to-date.
Transactions are signed locally: Your private keys are not shared with the server. You do not have to trust the server with your money.
Freedom and Privacy: The server does not store user accounts. You are not tied to a particular server, and the server does not need to know you. You can export your private keys.
No scripts: Electrum does not download any script. A compromised server cannot send you arbitrary code and steal your bitcoins.
No single point of failure: The server code is open source, anyone can run a server.
Firewall friendly: The client does not need to open a port, it simply polls the server for updates.
Free software: Gnu GPL v3. Anyone can audit the code.
Written in Python. The code is short, and easy to review.
Support for Bitcoin URIs, signed URIs and Bitcoin aliases
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Frequently Asked Questions


How does Electrum work?


Electrum’s focus is speed, with low resource usage and simplifying Bitcoin. Startup times are instant because it operates in conjunction with high-performance servers that handle the most complicated parts of the Bitcoin system.


Does Electrum trust servers?

Not really; the Electrum client never sends private keys to the servers. In addition, it verifies the information reported by servers, using a technique called Simple


What is the Seed?


The seed is a random phrase that is used to generate your private keys.


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Your wallet can be entirely recovered from its seed. For this, select the “restore wallet” option in the startup.

How secure is the seed?


The seed created by Electrum has 128 bits of entropy. This means that it provides the same level of security as a Bitcoin private key (of length 256 bits). Indeed, an elliptic curve key of length n provides n/2 bits of security.


How can I send the maximum available in my wallet?


Type an exclamation mark (!) in the Amount field. The fee will be automatically adjusted for that amount.

How can I send Bitcoins without paying a transaction fee?

You can create a transaction with zero fee in the GUI, by following these steps:

  • Activate the option ‘set fees manually’
  • Enter 0 in the fee field
  • Enter the amount in the amount field

Note that transactions without fees might not be relayed by the Electrum server, or by the Bitcoin Network.

What does it mean to “Freeze” an address in Electrum?

When you freeze an address, the funds in that address will not be used for sending bitcoins. You can not send Bitcoins if you don’t have enough funds in the non-frozen addresses.

What encryption is used for wallets?

Electrum uses AES-256-CBC to encrypt the seed and private keys in the wallet.

I have forgotten my password but still have my seed. Is there any way I can recover my password?

No, you cannot recover your password. However, you can still recover your money: restore your wallet from its seed, and choose a new password.

Why can I open the wallet without entering my password?

Only the seed and private keys are encrypted, and not the entire wallet file. The private keys are decrypted only briefly, when you need to sign a transaction; for this you need to enter your password. This is done in order to minimize the amount of time during which sensitive information is unencrypted in your computer’s memory.

Does Electrum support cold wallets?

Yes. see Cold Storage

Can I import private keys from other Bitcoin clients?

In Electrum 2.0, you cannot import private keys in a wallet that has a seed. You should sweep them instead.

If you want to import private keys and not sweep them you need to create a special wallet that does not have a seed. For this, create a new wallet, select “restore”, and instead of typing your seed, type a list of private keys, or a list of addresses if you want to create a watching-only wallet.

You will need to back up this wallet, because it cannot be recovered from seed.

Can I sweep private keys from other Bitcoin clients?

Sweeping private keys means to send all the bitcoins they control to an existing address in your wallet. The private keys you sweep do not become a part of your wallet. Instead, all the bitcoins they control are sent to an address that has been deterministically generated from your wallet seed.

To sweep private keys go to Wallet menu -> Private Keys -> Sweep. Enter the private keys in the appropriate field. Leave the ‘Address’ field unchanged. That is the destination address and it’ll be from your existing electrum wallet.

Where is my wallet file located?

The default wallet file is called default_wallet which is created when you first run the application and located under the /wallets folder.

On Windows:

  • Show hidden files
  • Go to UsersYourUserNameAppDataRoamingLocalElectrum

On Mac:

  • Open Finder
  • Go to folder (shift+cmd+G) and type ~/.electrum

On Linux:

  • Home Folder
  • Go -> Location and type ~/.electrum
Can I do bulk payments with Electrum?

You can create a transaction with several outputs. In the GUI, type each address and amount on a line, separated by a comma.

Amounts are in the current unit set in the client. The total is shown in the GUI.

You can also import a CSV file in the ‘Pay to’ field, by clicking on the folder icon.

Can Electrum create and sign raw transactions?

Electrum lets you create and sign raw transactions right from the user interface using a form.

Electrum freezes when I try to send bitcoins

This might happen if you are trying to spend a large number of transactions outputs (for example, if you have collected hundreds of donations from a Bitcoin faucet). When you send Bitcoins, Electrum looks for unspent coins that are in your wallet, in order to create a new transaction. Unspent coins can have different values, much like physical coins and bills.

If this happens, you should consolidate your transaction inputs, by sending smaller amounts of bitcoins to one of your wallet addresses; this would be the equivalent of exchanging a stack of nickels for a dollar bill.

Is there a way to get a BTC/USD exchange ticker in Electrum?

Yes, go to Tools->Plugins and enable ‘exchange rates’

What is the gap limit?

The gap limit is the maximum number of consecutive unused addresses in your deterministic sequence of addresses. Electrum uses it in order to stop looking for addresses. In Electrum 2.0, it is set to 20 by default, so the client will get all addresses until 20 unused addresses are found.

How can I pre-generate new addresses?

Electrum will generate new addresses as you use them, until it hits the gap limit

If you need to pre-generate more addresses, you can do so by typing wallet.create_new_address() in the console. This command will generate one new address. Note that the address will be shown with a red background in the address tab, to indicate that it is beyond the gap limit. The red color will remain until the gap is filled.

WARNING: Addresses beyond the gap limit will not automatically be recovered from seed. To recover them will require either increasing the client’s gap limit or generating new addresses until the used addresses are found.

If you wish to generate more than one address, you may use a ‘for’ loop. For example, if you wanted to generate 50 addresses, you could do this:

for x in range(0, 50):     print wallet.create_new_address()
How to upgrade Electrum?

Warning: always save your wallet seed on paper before doing an upgrade.

To upgrade Electrum, just install the most recent version. The way to do this will depend on your OS.

Note that your wallet files are stored separately from the software, so you can safely remove the old version of the software if your OS does not do it for you.

Some Electrum upgrades will modify the format of your wallet files.

For this reason, it is not recommended to downgrade Electrum to an older version, once you have opened your wallet file with the new version. The older version will not always be able to read the new wallet file.

The following issues should be considered when upgrading Electrum 1.x wallets to Electrum 2.x:

  • Electrum 2.x will need to regenerate all of your addresses during the upgrade process. Please allow it time to complete, and expect it to take a little longer than usual for Electrum to be ready.
  • The contents of your wallet file will be replaced with an Electrum 2 wallet. This means Electrum 1.x will no longer be able to use your wallet once the upgrade is complete.
  • The ‘Addresses’ tab will not show any addresses the first time you launch Electrum 2. This is expected behaviour. Restart Electrum 2 after the upgrade is complete and your addresses will be available.
  • Offline copies of Electrum will not show the addresses at all because it cannot synchronize with the network. You can force an offline generation of a few addresses by typing the following into the Console: wallet.synchronize(). When it’s complete, restart Electrum and your addresses will once again be available.
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plommer, ever since you told me about electrum in another thread long before this 1, i've been thinking about it.  Then you made up this thread last week and i thought about it even more.  


Today i came across a youtube channel that had several videos that helped me understand cold storage a lot better and i'll paste the link below.  


I gotta tell you that what you posted about electrum is still very complicated to me at this point and sooner or later i am going to better understand it but not after what i saw on video about paper wallets and brain wallets.  


The best part about electrum at this point is that it is a software that you can download from a pc that is not hooked up to the internet.  I can then insert a flash drive to copy the downloaded electrum software to and then insert the flash drive into another 1 of my pcs that never ever connect to the internet and doesn't have wifi, etc.  Then i run the electrum software to have everything installed.


Can bitaddress.org be made so that it is accessible offline?  Would it even matter since it's java.  I'm under the impression that java is very secure but you still have to be online i believe.  So in comes the electrum wallet that i am tying into what i saw on a bitcoin youtube channel, which i am posting the link at the end of this post.


With electrum, i am going to assume that i can make as many paper wallets as i want offline on my separate pc.  I can decide to make 15 different paper wallets off my electrum software and have 15 printouts separately for each 1.  I can then send $200 to each paper wallet from say my circle wallet on which each printout is going to have a private key (private address) and public key (public address).  When sending from my circle to the public key for the paper wallet, there is no way shape or form that the private key ever touches base with the internet and doesn't need to until i want to send it to another wallet or withdraw it somewhere.


It is very intriguing in this scenario that i can have a total of $3,000 as a small example spread out over 15 different paper wallets.  Lets say i go to another country, i want to bring 10 of these paper wallets with me that are on 10 separate sheets of paper.  I can have 1 person hold 2 sheets, put another 1 in my backpack, another 1 in my pocket, and the other 6 in my carry on bag or anywhere else i decide.  Either way for all 10 of these paper wallets on 1 sheet of paper, the private key is on the paper and has never touched a computer that was online.  


So what do i do now?  I'm overseas, the airplane has landed and now i want to get some money off 1 of these paper wallets.  Before i can do anything about my paper wallets, i go to a place that has internet.  And let it be internet access that is trustworthy.  Someplace public might not be as secure, but the person's wifi that you are visiting might be secure enough.  So i go on there to the blockchain.info website to create my own wallet.  I get out 1 of my sheets of paper that has a private key on it with $200 worth of bitcoins stored and i punch in the private key to have the $200 worth of bitcoins sent from the paper wallet to the newly created blockchain.info wallet i just did minutes ago and there's not even going to be any confirmation needed.  Because the paper wallet i had the money stored in was never online, it just got sent there before i even took the flight overseas and look what i have now?


I mean if i come across a bitcoin 2 way atm where i can sell $200 worth of bitcoin off of 1 of my 15 paper wallets i made before i went overseas, all i'm going to need is the private key and again, there isn't going to be any confirmation needed when i enter the private key into the bitcoin atm.  In other words, if you try selling your bitcoin from a circle wallet at a 2 way bitcoin atm, you're going to end up having to wait what, 30-40 minutes or more?  


Remember when i asked you something to the effect of what is better?  blockchain wallet or electrum wallet?  The answer is definitely blockchain and definitely both but i just don't sense that many people here understand anything much aside from you and a very few other people.  I mean here in the usa, banks cannot be trusted.  There's just too many restrictions and i almost have nightmares about waking up 1 day and money is not accessible to my account for whatever reason.  With these paper wallets and blockchain, and being able to separate all the money and have as many paper wallets as i want, the news i heard a few weeks ago or so about blockchain being down for 8-9 hours does not bother me anymore.  I mean banks are down as it is right now most of the time except monday-friday 9am-5pm except holidays.  Blockchain being down here and there for 8 hours is nothing compared to the amount of hours that banks are technically "down."  


Plommer this is a lot of information for me to be sharing with you right now but i am really excited about what i learned today.  I could be off by a few things and misunderstand a few others but that's where you can come in and correct me on any information i'm passing along here.  And here is 1 of the youtube videos that i was looking at today:  


The guy's channel has a total of 42 videos about bitcoin over the last few years but i notice that he made it very easy for me to understand bitcoin, blockchain, and wallets a lot better.  Let me know what you think.

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and plommer about the electrum wallet for storing a single large amount of bitcoin, i might rather go with my own brainwallet on that 1 because i can make a brainwallet and have the private key in my head, and i have the control.  Unless of course electrum gives you the ability to make your own brainwallet but without doing any research i don't believe electrum has this built into their software.

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GSP I agree that a paper wallet created offline is the safest place to store your bitcoin (especially for large amounts).


Electrum is great for sending and receiving bitcoin to and from books and coinbase. Coinbase wont block you for sending bitcoin to your electrum wallet like they will if you send to a book directly.

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Do you think that coinbase would block someone from canada who sends coinbase bitcoin directly to a sportsbook?  That would totally be stupid but it doesn't matter to me because i've already decided within the last week or so that usa banking is not a good fit for me.  I understand why there are a lot of restrictions to it with terrorism mainly, my bank account has been frozen for over a week now but i really don't want to have to deal with this anymore.  

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