Gianluca Longinotti Fact checked by Gianluca Longinotti
Updated: 8 may 2024
9 minutes

Do you need a reliable crypto wallet to take care of your needs? The Electrum wallet is your best bet! In this Electrum Wallet review, you shall get all the necessary information.

What is an Electrum wallet?

Electrum wallet is a crypto wallet dedicated to Bitcoin. The creation dates back to 2011, making it one of the oldest Bitcoin wallets.

The wallet was created by Thomas Voegtlin. Before discovering Bitcoin in 2010, Thomas Voegtlin was a computer science researcher, specializing in machine learning and neural networks. Remember that at that time, we were in the early days of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin had just been born, and Ethereum (now the second-largest crypto in the world) had not yet seen the light of day. There was no secure, easy-to-use crypto wallet yet. This lack pushed Thomas Voegtlin to create Electrum wallet in 2011.

Today, Thomas Voegtlin is still involved in the development of Electrum Wallet. He is one of the only two developers with writing rights on Github, alongside “SomberNight.” That said, Electrum’s code is open-source. Any developer can, therefore, recover the source code, propose a modification, or use it for another project.

Electrum crypto wallet is a “lightweight” client wallet, meaning users do not need to download the entire Bitcoin blockchain to form a full node.

Today, the Electrum wallet is considered one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets due to its ease of installation, compatibility with major hardware wallets, and open-source application. Even so, it focuses more on feature richness than usability and design.

Electrum

  • Enhanced security
  • Intuitive interface
  • Mobile app available

 

What type of wallet is Electrum wallet?

Electrum wallet is a “hot wallet” type wallet. There are different types of hot wallets – exchange wallet (integrated into a crypto exchange platform), web wallet (accessible directly from a web browser), mobile wallet (mobile application), etc. Electrum belongs to another subcategory of hot wallet: it is a software wallet. It is therefore a software to download and install on a device.

What hot wallets have in common is that they need an internet connection to work. As a result, they are more vulnerable to cyberattacks than their competitors, cold wallets, which can remain offline.

But hot wallets have the advantage of being very practical to use. The ideal is therefore to use them only for daily operations, but in no case to store a large sum in crypto.

In fact, Electrum wallet should be used like your traditional wallet to keep your euros. It allows you to have a little money on hand for your everyday expenses, but you certainly wouldn’t put all your savings there!

What Cryptos can be stored on the Electrum Wallet?

Electrum is a crypto wallet dedicated exclusively to storing Bitcoin (BTC). Although the cryptocurrency market is constantly expanding and now offers a large choice of virtual currencies, Electrum has chosen to remain faithful to its primary vocation, which is to focus on Bitcoin.

By supporting only Bitcoin, Electrum ensures a superior storage experience in terms of transaction speed and efficiency. You can, therefore, benefit from an optimal quality Bitcoin wallet.

Bitcoin Wallet Electrum

In which countries is Electrum wallet available?

Some crypto wallets are not available in all countries around the world. What about Electrum wallet? Difficult to say, because the team does not communicate any information on this subject. The wallet’s website is more than concise and does not address this subject at all.

That said, the possibility (or not) of downloading the Electrum wallet software probably depends more on the legislation in force in a country than on Electrum’s desire to serve a certain population.

Is Electrum Wallet compatible with other hardware wallets?

Electrum Wallet

This wallet has the advantage of being compatible with several brands of hardware wallets. This includes the biggest names in hardware crypto wallets like Ledger, Trezor and KeepKey. You can link your Ledger key to your Electrum wallet.

Combining a software wallet like Electrum with a hardware wallet can considerably increase the level of security of the wallet. This technique allows the private keys of the software wallet to be stored on the hardware wallet which, being offline, is more secure. Private keys are thus protected from hackers and the risk of data leaks is almost completely eliminated.

When the two wallets are paired, the Electrum wallet must be unlocked form the hardware wallet before use. This further strengthens the security level of Electrum wallet.

The features available on this wallet

Now, let’s discover the main features offered by Electrum Wallet.

Desktop software and mobile app

The Electrum wallet is available on two platforms: desktop and mobile. The Electrum wallet desktop application is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. The software can be downloaded free of charge from the Electrum wallet, otherwise, you may expose yourself to major security concerns! 

In addition to the original desktop wallet, Electrum is also available on Android mobile devices. The wallet mobile app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. Again, only use the official store. The mobile app has the same functionality as the desktop option.

Sending and receiving Bitcoin

The “core business” of the Electrum wallet is sending and receiving Bitcoin (BTC). You can, therefore, receive bitcoins to store them on Electrum or send them to another Bitcoin address.

Neither purchase nor sale of BTC directly in the software

Unfortunately, the Electrum wallet only allows you to store and make transfers in bitcoins. Users cannot buy or sell their bitcoins directly from the wallet. Naturally, since the wallet is 100% dedicated to Bitcoin, it does not allow you to exchange cryptocurrencies between them either.

To purchase, sell, or exchange cryptos, the user must go through an intermediary such as an exchange or a broker. For example, he can buy BTC on Binance or eToro, then send them to his Electrum wallet address.

Anonymous transactions

The Electrum wallet allows its customers to carry out transactions without having to reveal their identity. Indeed, Electrum wallet is not subject to the famous KYC process. KYC is a regulatory obligation that requires many crypto players to collect certain information about customers who use their services. Conversely, you can send and receive BTC anonymously on Electrum wallet.

Backup system

Most crypto users worry about what would happen to their funds if their computer or mobile device was lost, stolen, or damaged. Indeed, it is important for users to take precautionary measures to protect their assets against these unfortunate situations.
With Electrum wallet, it is possible to recover your crypto funds. When setting up the Electrum wallet, a “keyphrase” is randomly generated using sophisticated offline algorithms. The user must write it down on paper and store it in a safe and secure place (i.e. offline!). If the user’s computer or mobile device is lost, stolen, or destroyed, they will still be able to restore their Electrum wallet by downloading the software to another computer or mobile device and entering their keyphrase during the restoration process. The user will then be able to regain access to their Electrum wallet will all their private keys and coins. This keyphrase can also be used to enjoy the Electrum wallet synchronously across different computers or mobile devices.

What are the fees for Electrum Wallet?

The Electrum wallet is free to download from the official Electrum website (for desktop computers) and from the Google Play Store (for Android mobile devices). Likewise, as with the vast majority of wallets, receiving BTC is also free. While installing the software and receiving bitcoins is free, other fees may apply when using the wallet.

First of all, standard transaction fees are applied when sending BTC from the wallet. These transaction fees (also called network fees) are automatically calculated based on the amount of bitcoins sent.
If a user wants to speed up the sending of their transaction, they can increase the transaction fee, so that it receives priority processing. Thus, the transaction accompanied by more fees will come before other transactions sent simultaneously with lower transaction fees.

Electrum

  • Enhanced security
  • Intuitive interface
  • Mobile app available

Is this a secure wallet?

Electrum Wallet

Security is an essential aspect for any crypto wallet. Many consider that this criterion should come first, including ease of use, intuitiveness of the interface, functionality, etc.

Generally speaking, we see that hardware wallets are appreciated for their high level of security, but they often fall short on the practical side. Conversely, online crypto wallets are considered more accessible, but offer lower security. What about the Electrum wallet?

Electrum wallet offers a good compromise between security and practicality, because it is a desktop wallet, that is to say, software downloaded and installed locally on a computer. Desktop wallets like Electrum are more secure than online wallets. This is because the crypto is stored on the user’s personal computer rather than on a centralized server which is susceptible to hacking or disruption at any time. However, their security is lower than that of hardware wallets since the computer is connected to the internet, which exposes it to malware and keyloggers.

It is therefore imperative to be careful by keeping your computer clean with a sophisticated antivirus program and avoiding downloading files infected with malware.
In addition, the Electrum wallet provides security features that significantly improve its reliability. For example, the user can add an extra layer of protection by setting up two-factor authentication (2FA) to access the wallet and complete transactions. It is also possible to create a multi-signature (or multi-sig) address to distribute the authorization to spend crypto assets between several wallets.

Finally, users can improve the security of the Electrum wallet by using a hardware wallet to unlock their software wallet, allowing them to use all of Electrum’s features while keeping it highly secure. By combining these additional security measures, Electrum offers a very secure crypto wallet for storing and transacting your bitcoins. The software also automatically incorporates advanced encryption technique to protect the user’s private keys, preventing any risk of key theft or loss.

To get an overview of the security level of this wallet, it is worth mentioning the security breaches that the wallet has suffered in the past. In 2018, hackers managed to introduce malware onto the Electrum network. This led to the theft of 200 BTC, or $750,000 at the time. In 2019-2020, $22 million was stolen. This time, it wasn’t a security breach per se, but rather a phishing attack that fooled many unwary users.
That said, this wallet today remains generally considered one of the safest and most reliable software wallets on the market.

Which user profile is this wallet best suited to?

The Electrum Bitcoin wallet is very famous among cryptocurrency users. Founded in 2011, it has built up a significant customer base over the years. The clean design of its interface greatly facilitates its use. However, new Bitcoin users might be turned off, as the platform focuses more on functionality than user experience. Even so, the this wallet is ideal for users who have a bit of technical knowledge and understand what Bitcoin is and how it broadly works.

Electrum wallet does not seem specifically designed for the general public, but rather for experienced cryptocurrency users. This wallet offers advanced features and an installation process that requires some prior knowledge of crypto management and storage. However, for sophisticated users, the Electrum wallet is a great option.

Our opinion on the quality of customer service

Customer service is often considered a weak point of the Electrum Bitcoin wallet. The reason is simple and quite compelling: Electrum does not offer direct customer support.

In fact, the official Ethereum website (which is “succinct” to say the least!) doesn’t even display a “contact” section. We clearly expected more from a recognized wallet like Electrum. The site simply provides documentation on certain features such as setting up two-factor authentication or using Electrum with the command line. It’s a bit thin.

In terms of communication, Electrum relies on Twitter and GitHub. The firm posts updates and announcements on its official Twitter page but makes it clear that no support is provided via Twitter. The account description adds: “If you need help, please use bitcointalk.org, Github, or IRC.” Clearly, we call this “kicking!”

Therefore, if you have checked the official and unofficial documentation and cannot find an answer to your question, you just have to try asking for help from the Electrum community by posting messages on BitcoinTalkForum, Reddit, or GitHub.

Electrum

  • Enhanced security
  • Intuitive interface
  • Mobile app available

Our final opinion

Electrum Wallet has had time to prove itself since its creation in 2011. The wallet is technically advanced and offers a sufficiently rich range of features. Thanks to its many features, such as an easy installation process, compatibility with hardware wallets and an excellent desktop application, Electrum wallet can be considered as the best Bitcoin wallet for desktop computers.

At the same time, its age is reflected in its dated design and its interface, which lacks user-friendliness, which could lose new users. Although the platform does not emphasize user experience, it remains a safe and reliable choice for storing bitcoins. With a well-established reputation in the industry, Electrum Wallet offers a secure storage solution for power users.

If you have some experience managing cryptocurrencies and are looking for an advanced wallet with high reliability, Electrum is definitely a wise choice.

Of course, Electrum wallet users should be aware that the wallet only supports Bitcoin. At a time when other competing wallets can process thousands of altcoins and tokens, the pill can be a little hard to swallow for customers with little nostalgia for veteran wallets.

Les avantages et les inconvénients d'Electrum Wallet

  • Proven effectiveness since 2011.
  • Feature-rich.
  • Compatible with hardware wallets.
  • Only supports one crypto: Bitcoin.
  • Does not have customer service.
  • Lack of user-friendliness of the interface.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about Electrum wallet

Electrum is a software-type hot wallet. The software is available on desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and on mobile (Android).
Yes, there is an Electrum wallet app. It is available for several platforms like Android, Mac, Windows, etc.
Electrum is a safe non-custodial Bitcoin wallet that allows users to store their bitcoins. It enables the storing of your private keys offline, that is, through cold storage.
While Electrum isn’t particularly a hardware wallet, it seamlessly integrates with several hardware wallets to function effectively. Moreso, it is a wallet that uses both hot storage and cold storage wallets for enhanced security.