If cryptocurrencies ever had soulmates, we’d be calling them wallets. Weirdly, it does make sense. Both complement each other, both are incomplete without each other, and both are dependable on each other. You may be wondering, then, do these wallets store physical cryptocurrency like we store fiat currency in our purses and wallets?
Well, cryptocurrencies are virtual, so physically storing them is impossible. Wallets store public/private keys of the transactions of the cryptocurrencies, which can be used to retain and trade the cryptocurrencies. This means the safety of your wallets is of paramount importance and must always assume top priority.
Unfortunately, each wallet has its pros and cons, and it tends to get quite difficult to ascertain the right one for you. Don’t fret over it, this Electrum wallet review is structured specifically to educate you about the good and the bad side of the wallet and to assist you in your decision-making process.
Electrum – Origin And Overview
One of the oldest wallets in the world, Electrum burst onto the scene of cryptocurrency wallets just two years after Bitcoin’s creation. Thomas Voegtlin created it in November 2011. Since then, the code has been open source and therefore, has seen many modifications and enhancements by various developers and blockchain evangelists.
It’s a pretty lightweight, easily operable wallet that’s completely focused on one cryptocurrency – the Bitcoin. Before you start wondering, no, it doesn’t support any of Bitcoin’s forks like Bitcoin Cash, either.
While this may come as a disappointment to many, you’ve no idea how feature-rich this wallet is. It does just one thing but is good at it. If you’re just starting in the world of Bitcoins, unsure of how cryptocurrencies work, this wallet may not be the right choice for you.
But if you’re an intermediate or an advanced trader, and have been trading for a while, this wallet should definitely be something you look forward to. It’s quite flexible, in that users can set their transaction fees and choose the level of security they wish to enforce in their accounts.
All in all, it’s feature-rich, flexible, customizable, and provides state-of-the-art security – big reasons it’s still around and going great since it came around. Electrum is an open-source, hassle-free, lightweight wallet, and with this Electrum bitcoin wallet review, you’ll see why it’s the preferred choice of many despite supporting just one cryptocurrency.
- First and foremost is always the money factor. With Electrum, you can rest assured, the wallet is absolutely free to download.
- Electrum is ideal for users who prefer to make payments using cryptocurrencies regularly – it’s fast, efficient, and, as it should, provides real-time updates on the mobile application instantaneously.
- Password protection makes life difficult for hackers and prevents any unauthorized access
- Users enjoy real-time server-based updates. This means you needn’t download the whole blockchain to stay up-to-date with the changes happening in all nodes. The server acts as a medium – the blockchain is updated on the server and the server passes on the update immediately to the user.
- Your private keys are neither stored in this server and cannot be accessed by the creators, developers, or those involved in the development and maintenance of the wallet. This means your private keys aren’t just private keys encrypted and stored somewhere, they’re really private.
- Just like the private keys, no user data is stored on the server. Electrum takes privacy very seriously and allows its users to decide what information to be shared on the server, what information to be displayed, etc.
- Since keys and user data aren’t stored on the servers, it’s also safe from hackers who might try to hack servers to steal the data. If hackers were to succeed, all they’d have is the updated ledger of Bitcoin transactions, nothing useful or confidential.
- Read any electrum wallet review, and you’ll realize some of them speak about bugs that were squashed due to the users’ efforts. How? The wallet code is open-source, meaning anyone can verify the code to find any glitches or bugs. This can also help identify security breaches on the server or a specific user’s wallet.
- When you decide on a trade, and just before you confirm it, the wallet calculates the fees that would apply to the transaction. This avoids any surprise costs you could incur later on and has earned praise in many Electrum reviews for its transparency.
- As we already discussed in this Electrum wallet review, it’s a multi-signature wallet, which is a great option for enhanced account security to protect all your Bitcoins. Not to mention, the two-factor authentication adds to your account security.
- They provide great customer support. One of the things that users have always praised is that while the wallet does have stringent security protocols, customer support is always reachable, responsive, and supportive.
- Simple user interface led by three buttons at the top – send, receive, recent transactions. The bottom shows system settings and security options like viewing your seed or changing your password. Could it get any easier?
- Extensive documentation for users and open-source contributors to understand the code and get answers to questions.
- The wallet is coded in Python, one of the oldest and most popular programming languages. You don’t need to learn a specific language to be a contributor.
- The thing it’s so good at is storing Bitcoins. Unfortunately, this also means that it’s the only thing it does. Bitcoin is the only supported cryptocurrency that Electrum can store.
- If you’re not alert of scammers or take security lightly, this hot wallet can be targeted by hackers. While the servers do not have any confidential data, user accounts can be scammed or hacked to steal data. It has happened before; it could happen with you as well unless you’re careful.
- There was a security breach in November 2017, and it took the security team over two months to fix the breach – a concern since time is of the utmost essence in such situations.
Setting Up The Wallet
So far, you may have wondered why most Electrum reviews indicate that it’s not for beginners. Well, this here’s the reason – a negligible explanation about installation and user functionalities.
A novice trying to install this would be confused with terms like segwit, legacy, seed strings/phrase, etc. which is quite technical for someone new to handle. If you end up doing something wrong, well, we’re sure you don’t need us to understand that the losses may not be small.
Having said that, it’s not impossible to download it. The installation comprises seven major steps, which are as follows:
Choose the server based on your location. It’s alright if you don’t have a server near your location; you can pick the one closest to you.
Give an appropriate name to your “.dat” file. This is a really important step and you must remember this name, because this is where your private key will be stored.
Next is to decide between a legacy and a segwit wallet. If you’re not familiar with the term, stick with the default option which would be segwit.
Choose between the options of entering an existing wallet or creating a new one.
This step is applicable only if you’ve created a new wallet (skip to the next step if you chose an existing wallet). You’ll be prompted to choose the type of wallet here, that is, pick from a standard, 2FA, or a multisig wallet. We’ve already discussed these types in this Electrum bitcoin wallet review, so it should be clear to you that a standard wallet is discouraged, while a multisig will ensure the highest level of security.
Now you’ll be prompted to write down your seed phrase. Carefully read the details on this screen as it teaches you what it is used for and how, this is the only advice the installation wizard gives, since it’s the most important aspect.
Now, optionally, you can create and encrypt your wallet password. That’s it, you’re good to go!
Concluding This Electrum Wallet Review
Bitcoin has been continuing its upward rally despite some hiccups, and since it was the first-ever cryptocurrency, a wallet purpose-built for it was always going to be met with high expectations. However, Electrum is one of the few wallets who support merely one cryptocurrency, and still get positive feedback from users.
Granted, it does have a few areas that could use improvements, but the general consensus about Electrum is positive, and apart from that one crypto limit, there aren’t really major disadvantages you might face. It’s ample clear from this Electrum wallet review that it believes in what the founder believed in, and what all subsequent developers followed religiously – do just one thing, but be damn good at it.
Laura has been interested in finance for a very long time, especially since her graduation in Economics. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency, she decides to read up more on the subject and soon became an expert. Laura has been dabbling with crypto ever since and started investing in them in 2017.