User Friendly Bitcoin Wallet

Many people are curious about what the fuss is all about with Bitcoin but do not want to store their private keys – even if they only ever plan on using it as a means of payment. Enter the Electrum wallet – an excellent and user friendly Bitcoin wallet  that manages your addresses for you. Depending on your needs, it can also act as a standard SPV client to connect to any number of remote nodes or even as a thin server to help you set up and manage a full node yourself. But in any case, you can be sure that your funds are secure.

How do I get my Bitcoin addresses?

When you launch Electrum, it will ask you to select a server (whether you want to use a remote, SPV or thin server). If it is your first time using the wallet, you will be prompted to create a new seed and write it down (this is your backup). When that process is complete, click Next to enter the main window. There you can generate addresses. The same is valid with SPV, in which Electrum will choose a random server for you and generate addresses from there.

Is the wallet only available for desktop environments?

No, Electrum is also available as a mobile app for Android, IOS and Windows Phone – it even has an open-source hardware wallet based on Raspberry Pi. There is also a version for cold storage.

What is the purpose of a thin server?

A thin server is a simplified Electrum server that doesn’t need to store the blockchain database. You can run it from a read-only USB drive or SD card and connect to it from any computer that can run Electrum apps to request blockchain data. You can user -friendly bitcoin wallet  as an internet-connected SPV client to retrieve block headers and transaction information from the network.

Is the wallet suitable for storing large amounts of Bitcoins?

Electrum does not make a distinction between user funds and wallet funds. Both are kept in your private key and are never shared with anybody else. Anyone who gains access to your password can steal both, so it is essential to keep them safe on a physical medium (USB/SD card) when not using the app. Smaller amounts are also stored in encrypted form; they will only be visible after decryption, defeating spam mailers that constantly try to track your bitcoins.

Does Electrum support multi-signature wallets?

Yes – the Electrum wallet can set up and manage multi-signature addresses. From the “Addresses” tab, right-click on an existing address and go to “Multi-signature” to create a new one. This can be a user -friendly bitcoin wallet  to create a 2-of-3 address: two out of three signatures are required to make a transaction, requiring the consent of all the parties. This is one of many possible use cases for multisignature addresses and is not limited to three keys.

How do I run a full node, and why would I do that?

Electrum can be used to run a full node with multiple available servers. Go to the “Server” tab and click “Standard server”. The following steps involve setting up a port, a username and a password for the JSON RPC interface, plus your preferred network. Check the “Start server automatically” box to keep it running on reboot. You may need advanced knowledge of command-line tools like screen or tmux to leave it running permanently in the background, but this is beyond the scope of this document.

eric milne

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