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Electrum is a lightweight Bitcoin client, based on a client-server protocol. It was released on november 5, 2011.

Main features:

  • Encrypted wallet
  • Deterministic key generation. If you lose your wallet, you can recover it from its passphrase.
  • No blockchain download; the client requests that information from a server
  • Private keys are not shared with the server.
  • Firewall friendly: The client does not need to open a port, it simply polls the server for updates.
  • No single point of failure: The server code is open source, anyone can run a server.
  • Python. Very compact code, easy to contribute.

Brain Wallet

Electrum uses a type 2 deterministic key generation algorithm. This means that all the keys are derived from a seed.

Electrum makes it easy to memorize its seed, because it uses a mnemonic code.


  • hexadecimal: 8a44dfd6ad4f687b5e3c80563c327027
  • mnemonic: "shade weave eternity kept true tangle new talk clay warmth fish match"

Multiple wallets

Electrum uses one single file per wallet. Your default wallet is located in your user account. If you want to use another wallet, use the -w option followed by the wallet path and name:

$ ./electrum -w /path/to/my/wallet/wallet_name

Export and import addresses

You can export your private keys using the 'addresses' command:

$ ./electrum addresses -ak
12YNehfAoYTiwjTXULwaZqTCauu2D61fq6:5Jvcq19ePCXKcVun4n7US99CsrEByUK2kgxXBA3rBVBqYZjhfwD  [change] 

The option -a means: 'list all addresses' The option -k means: display the private keys

You can also import addresses into an electrum wallet, with the 'import' command:

$ ./electrum import 1LGoehbyeX4QBEPK1a6dhyaoMQZfqg5LKX:5JBSttEGhjEcPidSovW66Rin2EZ6LEHZ2qx8Pu2RqqNaDTBVWaF
keypair imported

Note that imported keys do not belong to the deterministic sequence of your wallet; if you import keys in a wallet, you must backup it up!




See Thin Client Security