Lightweight Bitcoin Client

Step by step tutorials

Why Electrum?

Starting up

Restoring wallet from your seed. Creating a seedless wallet

How to make offline transactions using your Master Public Key

Get an offline computer. This can be a physical device or a separate installation on your current computer. I would advice a Debian installation with encrypted home folder for extra security.

You now have an online wallet where you can check your balances and give out new addresses, but you can't however spend the coins. So if an attacker would be able take over your online computer your coins can't be lost.

To make a transaction do the following:

What to do with my old addresses and wallet when switching to Electrum?

The best way to switch to Electrum is to send all the bitcoins you have on your old wallet to one of the addresses on your Electrum wallet. This way you'll have all your bitcoins secured with your seed.

You could import the private keys from your old client, but you will have to keep a backup of those keys separately as they won't become part of your Electrum seed.

Switching, creating or restoring multiple wallet files

You might want to open an alternative wallet or restore another wallet. You can do this by starting Electrum from command line and pointing it to the wallet file. If the wallet does not exist it is created or restored.

Example (executable for OSX):

cd /Applications/
./Electrum -w ~/path/to/your-new-wallet-file

To switch back to your default wallet start Electrum without -w parameter (or just launch from the application icon).

cd /Applications/

Once multiple wallet files exist you can switch between them using the open wallet feature going to File > Open wallet