Electrum is a Bitcoin wallet for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. created by German computer scientist Thomas Voegtlin in 2011. Voegtlin estimates that about 10% of all Bitcoin transactions are sent using Electrum.
Electrum can be used to create secure offline cold storage. An offline computer is used to generate the master public and private keys. The master public key is then scanned into an online computer. The online computer is used to receive payments, while the offline computer securely signs transactions.
One of Electrum’s unique features is its send from ability. An HD Bitcoin wallet contains many different inputs. When it comes time to spend, it is silly to spend a 1 BTC input if only 0.01 BTC must be spent. The Electrum send from ability allows wallet owners to select which input(s) are used in transactions.
Selected inputs can also be frozen, and won’t be included automatically in any outgoing transactions.
Electrum is lightweight and syncs fast, but is a feature packed Bitcoin wallet.
Electrum supports multisignature wallets and two-factor authentication. The wallet is open source and its source code is available on GitHub.
Fast – the client does not download the blockchain, it requests that information from a server. No delays, always up-to-date.
Safe – Your private keys are encrypted and never leave your computer. Your wallet can be recovered from a secret phrase. You can also keep your private keys offline, and go online with a watching-only wallet.
Private – Your private keys are not shared with the server. You do not have to trust the server with your money. Your private keys are encrypted and never leave your computer. The server does not store user accounts. You are not tied to a particular server, and the server does not need to know you.
The install process is pretty simple and straight forward. It also has the option to work with the hardware wallets I’ve stated above. Setting up the wallets take a little more than a minute. The user interface of the actual wallet is pretty straight forward. You have different tabs at the top which allow you to choose between “send”, “receive” and other wallet related options.
All in all it’s pretty simple. My only concern is that for a newbie this wallet may still be confusing as it focuses on functionality and not user experience. Meaning, if I know nothing about Bitcoin and download this wallet I will not know what any of the stuff here means.
To sum things up – Electrum is a great fast, secure and stable wallet, however it does not suit beginners. The wallet has seem to come a long way since it first started out and it also gained massive trust in the Bitcoin reddit community. So if you know a little bit about Bitcoin this is definitely a good choice.