January 31, 2023

Install and use the “lightweight” Electrum wallet

Did you start using Bitcoin and choose the lightweight Electrum as your wallet? You have questions urgent? Are you afraid to press the wrong button and “delete all bitcoins”? After reading this article, you don’t need to ask questions, and your doubts and fears will disappear forever. In addition, a bonus is a collection of the most common "teapot" questions and answers - quickly! So that you do not spend too much time, but can immediately use the wallet.

Soon in the cinemas ... Electrum isBitcoin wallet that was created for speed and convenience. It combines all the best features of any standard Bitcoin wallet and its own capabilities, making it a leader among the "light" wallets. What is a light wallet? It differs from the “heavy” ones in that it does not download the entire Blockchain onto your computer, the size of which has already exceeded 20 GB. It only downloads about 200 MB of data on recent transactions.

Simply put, Electrum is an ascetic and does not participate in the “public life” of the chain of blocks, but only occasionally appears in sight: when it needs to transfer or receive bitcoins.

How to install electrum?

On linux - open the Terminal and enter the command:

$ sudo apt-get install electrum

You can also search for it in the Application Center, Program Manager or similar catalogers / application stores.

On windows

Download the “Windows Installer” installer file, run it and follow the instructions. As usual.

On mac

Select the download marked as “executable file”, then double-click on the file and drag the Electrum icon into the “Applications” folder.

Set up a wallet

It is established! Now it's time to check the “Create new wallet” item in the dialog offered at the first start. You have the opportunity to see your Seed - a seed, a very important sequence of 12 English words that must be preserved. Copy it to the clipboard, you will need it in the next window, but in addition it is recommended to take your notebook and write these words there in the right order, because Seed is an important key to recover your funds if you lose your wallet or password from him.

Then you will see a window that you wantmake sure that you still “remember” your Seed and not stupidly flipped through the previous dialogue. Paste the secret words in the window next to the grain picture with Ctrl + V and click Next.

You are prompted to come up with a password for the wallet andsimultaneously encrypt your Seed with it. Refuse is not worth it. Because by leaving the fields empty, you give attackers a chance to get your money, especially if your operating system does not have one hundred percent protection against viruses.

You can configure your wallet to use a different server, which is the subject of the next settings window. We will not change them and just choose the default server. Click "Next."

Everything is ready! You can use your personal Bitcoin wallet. If you have money on services such as Localbitcoins, then you can transfer it to one of the addresses available in the "Receive" tab (select the "receive" sub-item, which is also receiving). You can use these addresses and give them to other people. In the list of “receive” addresses there are already several bitcoin addresses generated for you, they look like a difficult to read sequence of numbers and letters. An analogue of your account in the local GovnoBank, only here you do not need to enter any personal information, and using addresses as necessary makes the program generate new ones if you do not want to use the same address several times, of course.

Right-click on any of the addresses. Options are available for you:

  • Copy to clipboard. Here, of course, the address is copied to the buffer.
  • QR code. Allows you to get the code of your address for creating a poster or picture, posting on the Web, on posters and stands, and in other things - anywhere.
  • Change label. A short comment for a single address. Only you will see it. You can write "Bribes of entrepreneurs district of the Station" or there "Contributions to the iPhone to the school principal" and so on, just so that you do not get confused in your wallet.
  • Private key. This is a cryptographic key for spending your bitcoins, do not show it to anyone or send it to anyone. In no case do not paste it into any field on any website on the Internet, everything that you write there is visible to administrators even before you press the Enter or OK or Leave a Comment button, etc.
  • Sign the message. Generation of a unique code that is associated only with a specific address and content that has been encrypted using your password. The password is the same that you created at the very beginning to encrypt your wallet. It is tied to private keys. Thus, you can confirm, if necessary, that you are using the wallet by sending a signed message to another person.
  • To freeze. The address will no longer be used to send bitcoins. If you do not have funds left at non-frozen addresses, you will not be able to send coins even if funds are available at frozen addresses.
  • Send from. Sending bitcoins from a specific address, the recipient and the amount are entered in the next window.

Transaction monitor

In the tab "History" you can find allinformation regarding transactions with your signatures. After the money has been sent, you can see here the appearance of the record about it with the label “Pending”. The wait may take some time before the transaction is included in the blocks, all additional information about it can be obtained from the context menu. The wallet believes that the transaction completely occurred after receiving 6 network confirmations.

How to make a payment in Electrum

Nothing is easier than paying for something inbitcoins. Enter the wallet address in the "To" field, write at the request of the "Description" of the transaction, which will only be visible to you and will later be displayed in the History, and indicate the amount. It is also recommended to pay a commission of 0.0002 or more. If you do not have enough money to make a payment, the amount of bitcoins will glow red.
Press the "Submit" button and enter your password. Ideally, you need to use one address for one transaction, after which it is automatically placed in "Used". This subcategory will appear in the “Receive” tab of the main menu, where all addresses are stored. If a transfer is made to the address that got into the “Used” ones, he will survive “reincarnation” in the “Receive” category.

Change, or Change Adress, and Seed’s role in forming these addresses

Surprisingly, Bitcoin is also cash! In the sense that it uses principles identical to the exchange of cash in our reality. That's why when you make a transfer, you seem to have several notes in your wallet, which you pay to another person. Each address is one note from which it is impossible to "tear off a piece" and send it.

If you send fewer bitcoins than yoursis at a specific address, it is completely empty. You might think, “where is the remainder?” And the remainder has already been transferred to the “delivery address”, a list of those is located under the “Receipt” list in the “Receipt” section. You can thus not only increase your anonymity, but also confuse people who would like to track your transactions through Blockchain.info, because the output is not clear where the “change” is and where your “payment” is to the addressee. Each time a payment is made, a new address is created for delivery, where it gets.

Remember that if you transfer small amounts anddon’t worry about privacy, you can turn off addresses for change in Settings. Then, using a third party and increasing the risks of identifying you, the wallet will return the change back to the address from which the payment is made.
Also, if multiple wallets will usesame group of addresses, then a randomly generated address for change in one wallet will not be displayed in another. Electrum solves this problem by using Seed, from this “seed” the correct addresses are always generated in the correct sequence and the same addresses for delivery on any device / wallet, if you have at least 10 of them!

Paper wallet

Your friend bitcoiner from another country or evena paper wallet can give you to a neighboring house, money from which is withdrawn primarily by entering a “private key”, which starts with the number 5 or the letters “K” and “L”. After that, the bitcoins from the Paper address are transferred to yours, and the paper address is deleted from the system. To complete the import, you need to select "Wallet" - "Private keys" - "Import" from the wallet menu. A message appears that “Imported keys cannot be restored from Seed”, while you do not need it and you just click “Yes”.

Now enter your private key from the paper inwindow, click "Import." In the address table there will be a tab “Imported” where your address will appear. At the bottom left, the balance indicator will show the total amount of all bitcoins in the wallets of both yours and imported ones. The wallet does not arrive with import addresses as it does with "native" ones. Paper addresses cannot be restored from Seed, for example, so that you can save money from accidental risks by transferring them to your own address. After 1 confirmation of the network, it will become clear that the transaction was successful and you can delete the paper address from the wallet.


Setting a password is required in this kindprograms, and if you are tired of your initial password or if you want to increase the level of security by changing it to a new one, you need to go to the Wallet - Password menu, there is still an icon in the lower right.

If you lose your password or forget it, accesslost. There is only 1 chance to restore it - using the procedure for using Seed. But why should you spend time on this? It’s better to remember your passwords well, get yourself a notebook and a hat.

Burning issues

This is not a complete collection of questions about the wallet, but only the “Top” of the most common ones, so as not to burden you unnecessarily and at the same time answer as useful as possible.

-Where is the wallet file located?
The file is called default_wallet and is located infolder / wallets. To find it on Linux you need to go to the Home folder, enable the display of hidden files and go to the hidden /.electrum folder. On a Mac, you will need to go to Finder and find the /.electrum folder in the same way. The Windows version looks something like this: UsersYourUserNameAppDataRoamingLocalElectrum.

-What is the difference between portable and regular versions?
The portable version is no different thanthe ability to write it to a flash drive and keep the wallet there along with all the necessary files. From a security point of view, this is good: you can hide your wallet from prying eyes and hands and also not worry about viruses and trojans that will take away passwords or make screenshots. Just remember that the computer must be maintained at the appropriate level of security. Thousands of hackers are hunting for bitcoins! Always remember this, do not disclose to anyone any information about your wallets and addresses if you are not sure that you are reporting secure information. A scammer who has taken possession of your funds will “lead” them away and you can never cancel it or find out the direction of the transfer.

-Why do I need a blockchain_headers file?
This cache file. If you delete it, nothing bad will happen. But it’s better not to.

-Can I use the wallet only on a USB flash drive, inserting it into my computer every time I need to complete a transaction?

-What to do to change the location of the default folder for keys?
Run d: path to the file default_wallet.dat with the -w switch. Default_wallet is the standard wallet name, it may be different for you!

- Why do I have only 5-6 addresses to which you can send bitcoins? Can I create new addresses myself?
You cannot create addresses yourselfthe wallet does this automatically if you have a new address in the “Used” category. If you need more wallets, you will have to finally use the existing ones and new ones will be automatically added.

-Where are my comments and other information stored by Electrum?
In the electrum file.dat, if you transfer the wallet from one PC to another, you can simply move this file to the wallet folder on the new PC. You can also completely transfer everything that is in the program folder from one PC to another so as not to waste time on procedures for restoring access to bitcoins.

Well, briefly, in fact, should help any beginner.

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