Electrum Wallet Reviewed: Personal and Reddit Reviews

13

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.

Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.

Electrum wallet

Free
Electrum wallet
8.575

Ease of use

9/10

    Privacy

    9/10

      Safety

      9/10

        Beginner Friendly

        7/10

          Pros

          • Vert fast
          • Good safety features
          • Privacy is kept

          Cons

          • Not beginner friendly

          Leave a Reply

          13 Comments on "Electrum Wallet Reviewed: Personal and Reddit Reviews"

          Notify of
          avatar
           
          smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
           
          Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
          Sylvio Barreto
          Guest
          Member
          Sylvio Barreto

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

          Zsofia Elek
          Admin
          Member
          Zsofia Elek

          Hi Sylvio, Electrum is originally a Bitcoin wallet, but as it is open source, it already has a Litecoin version https://electrum-ltc.org/. For Ethereum there are other options available, please check out this article on the topic: https://99bitcoins.com/best-ethereum-wallet-review/

          Sylvio Barreto
          Guest
          Member
          Sylvio Barreto

          Dear Zsofia,

          Thank you very much for replying.
          I will check all the information you shared.

          sergio
          Guest
          Member
          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
          Guest
          Member
          Innes

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

          Augustine Uche
          Member
          Member
          Augustine Uche

          Please what do you suggest I fill in when i go to tools then appearance, especially in the mbtc box? Should I leave it as mbtc or change it to btc? and also what to choose as number after decimal point and online block explorer? what are your recommendations on these Ofir? I am new to electrum. Thanks

          Zsofia Elek
          Admin
          Member
          Zsofia Elek

          Hi Augustine, mBTC is one thousandth of a Bitcoin (0.001 Bitcoin), it is just the way you can represent the value of Bitcoin in the wallet.

          Julian Roach
          Member
          Member
          Julian Roach

          Could I use/send funds from a coinbase account to a electrum account?

          Nissim
          Guest
          Member
          Nissim

          Thank you for work with these articles

          Anonymous
          Guest
          Member
          Anonymous

          No mention of the SPV privacy issue on servers. This is a huge problem that SPV wallets are going to have to face, because it can destroy anonymity.

          wpDiscuz
          X