Electrum Wallet Reviewed: Personal and Reddit Reviews

Perhaps one of the oldest players in the Bitcoin wallet market is Electrum. Created in November 2011 by Thomas Voegtlin it has since been modified by various developers (the code is open source). Electrum is a client based wallet – meaning it’s software you download and run from your computer. It’s only available for desktop computers at the moment and you can download it here.

Electrum prides itself on the following benefits:

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.

Also another great benefit of Electrum is that it can be used with TREZOR or Ledger so you can send Bitcoins from your cold storage device as well.

Many Redditors also consider Electrum to be the best wallet hands down for a desktop computer. But today I want to take a look at Electrum from a newbie’s point of view since it always seemed to me that the wallet is too complex. Keep in mind that I have never used Electrum before this post and I will be learning how to use it as I go.

Kind of a spooky homescreen

At first glance when you land on Electrum’s homepage the site looks pretty clean and understandable. However I’m still a bit deterred from screenshots like the one shown below as a newbie:

Electrum homepage

Just seems to be too technical (IMO). However this is a huge leap from how the homepage used to look.

Once I click “download” I get the option to choose between “easy installation” and other more advanced installs (e.g. python installations and developer installations). This is really good since I know exactly where to go.

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.

Electrum install

Simple and to the point (perhaps too simple?)

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.

Electrum interface

On the bottom you have the system settings such as changing your password, network connectivity status and also a “lite” mode where you can only quick send Bitcoins to people.

Electrum lite mode

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.

Adding short tool tips to the wallet may help clear out the different fields or even a beginners tutorial to Bitcoin. Electrum does have very extensive documentation about the wallet and also an active BitcoinTalk category where you can get your questions answered. However, like so many other wallets out there they are focused only on functionality and not on what is known as “customer onboarding”.

Customer onboarding is the process of increasing the likelihood that new users become successful when adopting your product. There is a great website that shows different examples of such processes in well known companies. But I guess that’s the price you usually pay for creating a non profit piece of software. People concentrate only on usability, and unfortunately that is what hinders the wallet in the end.

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.

Electrum wallet

Free
Electrum wallet
8.6

Ease of use

8.5 /10

Privacy

9.4 /10

Safety

9.3 /10

Beginner Friendly

7.1 /10

Pros

  • Vert fast
  • Good safety features
  • Privacy is kept

Cons

  • Not beginner friendly

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Lee Ashby
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Lee Ashby

I’m new to Electrum and Bitcoin. Electrum seems to me to be the “Roach Motel” of Bitcoin, money goes in but it can’t go out. Get this stupid long error code with “not enough inputs” Fortunately I don’t have that much money in the wallet, $110. But still I don’t see how Bitcoin will ever become a widely used medium of exchange if it is so technically hard to transact business with it. One other thing – I completely maxed out the transaction fee, still doesn’t work. Guess I’ll send the money using Western Union. Pretty old school but at… Read more »

DISAPPOINTED
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DISAPPOINTED

DO NOT USE THIS APP!!!! I downloaded this so i could use BTC from my hardware wallet. Sounded easy enough until it was time to purchase. The item i wanted cost me .003669 BTC. i needed a wallet that accepts the wallet URL’s and not the wallet address. Electrum was the wallet i chose to bridge that gap. Good idea, but unfortunately, the cost to purchase the item SKYROCKETED to 3.669 BTC!! WTF?!?!?! That’s an additional 3.665331 BTC!!! Can you say RIP OFF?!?! If BTC is valued at $6800+ today, how the hell are the fees for this wallet transaction… Read more »

Johnny
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Johnny

OPINION: ELECTRUM IS CLAIMING TO BE HACKED BUT I THINK THEY STOLE MY $110,000 WORTH OF BITCOINS I opened my Electrum wallet today, January 18, 2007 and found out that on January 2, 2018 all my bitcoins (7.88014412 btc worth $110,682.86 USD) were sent to the following bitcoin address: 1BhbPsVryBx9vBwLgaFRg2jY4Y1dh9i5vf Electrum is claiming to have been hacked and my coins were stored in Electrum and there was no way anyone could access my computer as it stayed offline and powered down until I needed to access my bitcoins. Electrum Wallets Were Vulnerable and Nothing Was Done For Two Years. My… Read more »

Ianiv
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Ianiv

i got on the exchange that i bought 2.911 mBTC. but now i can send only 2.288.
Where the rest lost? could it be that there’s some kind of comission that they charge me with?

Kelvin Akpe
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Kelvin Akpe

I run a full bitcoin node on my pc. How do i link Electrum to my bitcoin node?
Secondly, does connecting the node to Electrum help my uptime even when my pc is offline

Steve
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Steve

What happens if Electrum servers go away and the software has nothing to connect to? Do we loose our funds?

Coiner
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Coiner

One hefty point is that you can connect via TOR.

Sylvio Barreto
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Sylvio Barreto

Hi,
thanks for sharing the information.
Can I use other coins in Electrum, like Ethereum, Litecoin, etc, or just Bitcoins?
Thanks

sergio
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sergio

I use it on UNIX and on ANROID, it is fast, reliable, the 12 words phrase is amazing, the servers are distributed worldwide, I built it myself by compiling the client.

Innes
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Innes

Hi can I put my Electrum wallet as an icon on my desktop? If so how?