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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"

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