Electrum Wallet Review

 

What is The Electrum Wallet?

General Info

Pros & Cons

Advantages

Disadvantages

UX Overview

Installation Tutorial

Security

How Electrum Compares To Other Wallets

FAQ

Does Electrum have a mobile app?

What currencies does Electrum Support?

Does Electrum support cold wallets?

Is Electrum secure?

Which platforms/Operating Systems does Electrum Support?

How do you Update Electrum Wallet?

Conclusion

 

What is The Electrum Wallet?

 

Electrum is a software wallet that is used for storing Bitcoin, and Bitcoin alone. It is not a wallet for beginners, but the Bitcoin community (and we) love it. It is a lightweight wallet that prides itself on speed, and is one of the most trusted wallets. While it is one of the more popular wallets out there, we do not suggest using it for storing a large amount of Bitcoin, and we urge you instead to find a good hardware wallet instead. Something like TREZOR or the Ledger NANO X. The wallet offers a few advanced features as well, such as MultiSig transactions, RBF (Replace-By-Fee), and a couple of coin control features. Newcomers should stay away from this Bitcoin wallet since it is designed for experienced users and those who know how Bitcoin works.

 

History of Electrum Wallet

 

Electrum is one of the oldest and most well-known software wallets for Bitcoin. It was created in November of 2011 by Thomas Voegtlin. Ever since then, various developers have contributed to its source code. The main developers that have access to write code are:

 

 

Electrum’s server code is open source, and any user can run a server. It is suggested that users point Electrum to their own server in order to maintain maximum security and privacy.

 

Pros & Cons

 

Pros

 

  • Control fees
  • Wallet Address Rotations
  • Allows wallet exporting
  • One of the oldest Bitcoin wallets
  • Great security
  • Relatively Easy to use
  • Open-Source
  • 2FA
  • Optional advanced features

 

Cons

 

  • Supports only Bitcoin
  • Had security issues

 

Advantages

 

As you can see in the pros above, Electrum has quite a few advantages to it. It is one of the oldest and most trusted Bitcoin wallets, and has quite a lot going for it. Despite being hacked once, Electrum is one of the most secure wallets at the moment as it doesn’t store any data on its servers. It also allows users to run their own servers, which is one of the most secure options available, and one of the main things you want to look for in a wallet is how secure it is. Electrum is a great wallet for users who’d like to use BTC in order to make regular payments. The wallet is always up-to-date since it gets blockchain info from a server, which also results in no delays.

There is also the fact that Electrum doesn’t store user info on their servers, thus allowing users to control their own keys and their Bitcoin. With it being a digital wallet, Electrum is free to download. Another great feature that Electrum offers its users is the ability to set how many blocks are needed in order to process any given transaction, depending on how urgent it is. Lastly, while it is a pretty standard feature nowadays, we think that 2FA is still great to have as it increases your wallet security quite a bit.

 

Disadvantages

 

With the many advantages that Electrum provides, users would think that are almost just as many downsides to using it… but that is not the case. The only two notable things that should be mentioned are the facts that it supports only Bitcoin and that it had a security breach relatively recently. The security breach that occurred wasn’t due to the wallet itself being hacked, but the update process instead.

As a result, one of the first things users read when they go on their website is “Warning: Electrum versions older than 3.3.4 are susceptible to phishing. Do not download Electrum from another source than electrum.org, and learn to verify GPG signatures.”. Lastly, the installation process and a couple of other features are not beginner-friendly, so it might be a bit off-putting for newcomers.

 

UX Overview

 

The UX for the software is fairly simple. 

You have the four different tabs at the top – History, Send, Receive, and Channels. These are all self-explanatory. Then you can find most of the more complicated options for your wallet in the menus above the four tabs. It’s a pretty standard window and nothing sticks out too much. 

 

Then you have their mobile app and its own interface which is still pretty clean and relatively easy to get around in.

All in all, Electrum seems to focus more on functionality rather than visual flair.

 

Installation Tutorial

 

First thing you want to do is to go to Electrums downloads page which you can find here. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll go with the Windows version. From there you’ll find the ‘Windows Installer’ option under ‘Sources and Binaries’. Click on it and a download should start. Once it’s finished you need to open the file that was downloaded. After that, a window like this one should pop-up.

Once you choose your destination folder, click on Install and you’re done! Pretty simple. A new Icon should appear on your desktop and once you open it you will get to choose between the many options of setting up a wallet on your windows machine.

 

Security

 

While the breach stained Electrums security reputation a bit, it is still one of the safest options out there. It should be noted that no matter how safe a wallet claims to be, users should know that no wallet is ‘hack-proof’. It is a fundamental flaw and there is no way around it. 

 

The breach that happened in December of 2018 resulted in more $22 million stolen from users. The technique that was used by the hackers was fairly simple – Users get a request for an update via a popup message, they proceed with the update, after which the hackers had easy access to their funds. Since then, this same type of attack occurred multiple times, with some as recent as September 2020. Now, Electrum warns its users about its phishing vulnerability at the top of its frontpage.

 

As for other security features, Electrum offers many. One of the main things that helps elevate it is the fact that it doesn’t store user info on their servers. It is also open-source, as was mentioned, which means that anyone can check for bugs, security issues, and other problems with the wallet.

The fact that it is open-source also means that users can run their own servers, which greatly boosts the wallets security. Electrum uses seed phrases as backup measures, which means that your wallet is protected from issues such as losing your private keys or if the device with Electrum on it is stolen, broken, or lost. The fact that it is run on Python, one of the oldest programming languages, also means that quite a lot of users will be familiar with it and will be able to contribute to its various security measures.

 

How Electrum Compares To Other Wallets

 

When compared to Exodus, there are quite a few differences between the two. The two share similarities in that they are both software wallets, having the same vulnerabilities as all other digital wallets that are connected to the internet. Electrum is quite a bit older than Exodus, and is thus the more trusted platform of the two. However, unless we’re talking about security, it falls short in most other categories. Electrum being open-source is a great thing for its overall security, but it also means that it doesn’t come with any kind of customer support.

You can ask for info and help on Reddit and other forums, however. Exodus offers 24/7 customer support. Exodus also supports a lot more coins than Electrum, which is only used for Bitcoin. They are also better when it comes to ease-of-use and design. If you just use Bitcoin and are an experienced user, Electrum is for you. In most other cases, Exodus is the better wallet.

Not as Private as Wasabi

When it comes to Wasabi, the two are fairly similar but differ in a couple of ways. For one, Electrum is not as private as Wasabi since Wasabi routes connections through TOR Browser by default, while Electrum does not. This means that Electrum will, unless used with TOR, reveal your IP to the SPV server. We also come back to the fact that Electrum is not the most user-friendly wallet when it comes to ease-of-use, and Wasabi has better and more intuitively implemented features – Coin control, for example. 

 

The same differences with Wasabi can be applied when we compare Electrum to Zengo. While Electrum will always hold the crown for being the most secure software wallet due to its open-source nature, it will just as well always be plagued by the fact that only experienced users can get the most out of it, while these newer wallets such as Wasabi, Exodus, and Zengo provide users with simple, easy-to-use wallets which are great for beginners. These other wallets also offer more variety when it comes to supported currencies, unlike Electrum which supports just Bitcoin.

 

The biggest difference when it comes to Bitcoin Core Vs Electrum comes from the fact that with Bitcoin Core you have to download the entire blockchain, making it much, much slower than Electrum. Electrum is also easier to use than Bitcoin Core, which is saying something. 

 

FAQ

 

Does Electrum have a mobile app?

 

Yes, Electrum offers its users a mobile app that they can download from the Google Play Store. It is not available on Apple’s App Store, however.

 

What currencies does Electrum Support?

 

Electrum supports Bitcoin. No other currencies are supported and none are planned to be added for the foreseeable future. However, it is the best desktop wallet when it comes to Bitcoin.

 

Does Electrum support cold wallets?

 

Yes, Electrum was developed with hardware wallets in mind. We recommend using it in combination with Ledger Nano S or Ledger Nano X.

 

Is Electrum secure?

 

Yes. Electrum is one of the safest and most secure software wallet options out there. It is open-source which adds to the security levels and is fairly unique in this regard. It should be noted that it has experienced a breach before.

Which platforms/Operating Systems does Electrum Support?

 

You can use Electrum on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.

 

How do you Update Electrum Wallet?

 

The best way to update your Electrum Wallet is by downloading it directly from the website. This is especially true due to Electrum being hacked at one point through exposing and abusing a loop-hole within the update system.

 

Conclusion

 

Electrum is one of the oldest and most trusted desktop wallets currently available. It is fast, secure, and very stable, but not good for newcomers. The wallet provides many different features and the Bitcoin community and developers support it through its open-source nature. If you’re an expert and want to use Bitcoin and Bitcoin alone, this wallet is probably for you. Do make sure to use a hardware wallet such as Ledge Nano X in combination with it, however.

 

User Rating: Be the first one!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply