Frequently Asked Questions — Electrum 3.3 documentation

Frequently Asked Questions¶

How does Electrum work?¶

Electrum ’ south focus is speed, with gloomy resource use and simplifying Bitcoin. Startup times are moment because it operates in junction with high-performance servers that handle the most complicate parts of the Bitcoin arrangement .

Does Electrum trust servers?¶

In light, not very. The Electrum node never sends private keys to the servers. In summation, it verifies the information reported by servers, using a technique called bare Payment Verification
By nonpayment, Electrum tries to maintain connections to ~10 servers. The node subscribes to block header notifications to all of these, and besides sporadically polls each for dynamic tip estimates. For all connected servers except one, that is all they are used for. Getting block headers from multiple sources is utilitarian to detect lagging servers, chain splits, and forks .
One of the servers, randomly, is selected as the “ chief ” waiter.

  • The client subscribes to its own addresses (nit: sha256 hashes
    of scriptPubKeys) so that it would be notified of new transactions touching them.
    It also synchronizes the existing history of its addresses.
    This means the client sacrifices some privacy to the server, as the server
    can now reasonably guess that all these addresses belong to the same entity.
  • As above, confirmed transactions are verified via SPV.
  • The server is trusted about unconfirmed transactions.
  • The server can lie by omission. That is, it can “forget” to mention
    (both confirmed and unconfirmed) transactions that are relevant to the client.
  • All connected servers are polled for fee estimates, but whether those values
    are used depends on the “auto-connect” setting of the client.
    With “auto-connect” disabled, only the fee estimates sent by the main server are used.
    With “auto-connect” enabled, the client uses the median of all received fee estimates.
    In either case, low-high sanity limits are applied in the client.
  • The main server is also used to broadcast the transactions the client makes.
  • A list of server peers is also requested by the client, to learn about
    other servers it can use. (There is a list of hardcoded servers in the
    client to bootstrap)

far, all of the machine-accessible servers will see the node ’ s IP address ( which might be that of a proxy/VPN/Tor, if used ) .
The fast inauguration times and low resource usage is achieved at the cost of the above detailed privacy loss. The protocol and the client is designed in a way that minimises confidence in the server .
Anyone can run a waiter. If you feel strongly about privacy, or if SPV-security guarantees are not enough for you, you should consider running your own Electrum waiter .

What is the seed?¶

The seeded player is a random idiom that is used to generate your private keys .
Example :

slim sugar lizard predict state cute awkward asset inform blood civil sugar

Your wallet can be entirely recovered from its seed. For this, select the “ I already have a seed ” option in the ace .

How secure is the seed?¶

The seed phrase created by Electrum has 132 bits of information. This means that it provides the lapp level of security as a Bitcoin private keystone ( of length 256 bits ). indeed, an elliptic curl keystone of distance newton provides n/2 bits of security .

I have forgotten my password. What can I do?¶

It is not possible to recover your password. however, you can restore your wallet from its seed phrase and choose a new password. If you lose both your password and your seed, there is no way to recover your money. This is why we ask you to save your seed give voice on composition .
To restore your wallet from its seed give voice, create a newfangled wallet, select the type, choose “ I already have a sow ” and proceed to input your seed phrase .

How does Electrum get the Bitcoin price it uses?¶

Electrum gets the Bitcoin price from a third base party, but provides diverse options. Please see menubar > Tools > Preferences > Fiat to view the current mount or choose a newfangled one .

My transaction has been unconfirmed for a long time. What can I do?¶

Bitcoin transactions become “ confirmed ” when miners accept to write them in the Bitcoin blockchain. In general, the speed of ratification depends on the fee you attach to your transaction ; miners prioritize transactions that pay the highest fees .
recent versions of Electrum practice “ moral force fees ” in order to make certain that the fee you pay with your transaction is adequate. This feature is enabled by default in late versions of Electrum .
If you have made a transaction that is unconfirmed, you can :

  • Wait for a long time. Eventually, your transaction will either be
    confirmed or cancelled. This might take several days.
  • Increase the transaction fee. This is only possible for
    “replaceable” transactions. To create this type of transaction,
    you must have checked “Replaceable” on the send tab before sending
    the transaction. If you’re not seeing the “Replaceable” option on
    the send tab go to Tools menu > Preferences > Fees tab and set
    “Propose Replace-By-Fee” to “Always”. Transactions that are
    replaceable have the word “Replaceable” in the date column on the
    history tab. To increase the fee of a replaceable transaction right
    click on its entry on the history tab and choose “Increase Fee”.
    Set an appropriate fee and click on “OK”. A window will popup with
    the unsigned transaction. Click on “Sign” and then “Broadcast”.
  • Create a “Child Pays for Parent” transaction. A CPFP is a new
    transaction that pays a high fee in order to compensate for the
    small fee of its parent transaction. It can be done by the
    recipient of the funds, or by the sender, if the transaction has a
    change output. To create a CPFP transaction right click on the
    unconfirmed transaction on the history tab and choose
    “Child pays for parent”. Set an appropriate fee and click on “OK”.
    A window will popup with the unsigned transaction. Click on “Sign”
    and then “Broadcast”.

What does it mean to “freeze” an address in Electrum?¶

When you freeze an address, the funds in that address will not be used for sending bitcoins. You can not send bitcoins if you don ’ t have enough funds in the non-frozen addresses .

How is the wallet encrypted?¶

electrum uses two separate levels of encoding :

  • Your seed and private keys are encrypted using AES-256-CBC. The
    private keys are decrypted only briefly, when you need to sign a
    transaction; for this you need to enter your password. This is done
    in order to minimize the amount of time during which sensitive
    information is unencrypted in your computer’s memory.
  • In addition, your wallet file may be encrypted on disk. Note that
    the wallet information will remain unencrypted in the memory of
    your computer for the duration of your session. If a wallet is
    encrypted, then its password will be required in order to open
    it. Note that the password will not be kept in memory; Electrum
    does not need it in order to save the wallet on disk, because it
    uses asymmetric encryption (ECIES).

Wallet charge encoding is activated by nonpayment since adaptation 2.8. It is intended to protect your privacy, but besides to prevent you from requesting bitcoins on a wallet that you do not control .

Does Electrum support cold wallets?¶

Yes, see coldness storage .

Can I import private keys from other Bitcoin clients?¶

In Electrum 2.0, you can not import secret keys in a wallet that has a sow. You should sweep them rather .
If you want to import private keys and not sweep them, you need to create a particular wallet that does not have a seed. For this, create a newly wallet, select “ restore ”, and rather of typing your seed, type a list of private keys, or a number of addresses if you want to create a watching-only wallet .
You will need to back up this wallet, because it can not be recovered from a seed .

Can I sweep private keys from other Bitcoin clients?¶

Sweeping private keys means to send all the bitcoins they control to an existing address in your wallet. The private keys you sweep do not become a partially of your wallet. alternatively, all the bitcoins they control are sent to an savoir-faire that has been deterministically generated from your wallet seed .
To sweep private keys, go to the Wallet menu – > Private Keys – > Sweep. Enter the private keys in the allow field. Leave the “ Address ” field unchanged. That is the destination address, and it will be from your existing electrum wallet. Click on “ Sweep ”. It ’ ll immediately take you to the send tab where you can set an allow fee and then click on “ Send ” to send the coins to your wallet .

Where is the Electrum datadir located?¶

The data directory of Electrum is where wallet files, config settings, logs, blockchain headers, etc are stored .
On Windows :

  • Show hidden files
  • Go to \Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Electrum (or %APPDATA%\Electrum)

On Mac :

  • Open Finder
  • Go to folder (shift+cmd+G) and type ~/.electrum

On Linux :

  • Home Folder
  • Go -> Location and type ~/.electrum

Where is my wallet file located?¶

The default wallet file is called default_wallet, which is created when you first gear run the application and is located in the /wallets folder, inside the datadir .

How to enable debug logging?¶

  1. Logging to file
    On Linux/Windows/macOS, you can enable logging to disk. Using the ( Qt ) GUI, go to menubar > Tools > Preferences > General, and check “ Write logs to file ”. After restarting Electrum, debug logs will be written to the logs/ folder inside the datadir .
    If you encounter an error while opening a wallet and hence can not get to “ Preferences ” to enable log, as a workaround you can create a temp throwaway wallet and entree the settings there .
    Using CLI/RPC, you can enable file logging via e.g. :

    $ electrum setconfig log_to_file true
  2. Logging to terminal ( standard error )
    On Linux/macOS, if you start Electrum from terminal, you can specify the -v masthead, to enable debug logs in the concluding ( to stderr ). This choice does not work on Windows ( when using the binaries ) .
    On macOS, when using the official binary, try e.g. :

    $ /Applications/ -v

Can I do bulk payments with Electrum? (batching)¶

You can create a transaction with several outputs. In the GUI, type each address and amount on a line, separated by a comma .
Amounts are in the current unit fixed in the customer. The total is shown in the GUI .
You can besides import a CSV file in the “ Pay to ” discipline, by clicking on the booklet picture .

Can Electrum create and sign raw transactions?¶

Electrum lets you create and sign raw transactions right from the user interface using a form .

Electrum freezes when I try to send bitcoins.¶

This might happen if you are trying to spend a bombastic number of transaction outputs ( for exemplar, if you have collected hundreds of donations from a Bitcoin faucet ). When you send Bitcoins, Electrum looks for unspent coins that are in your wallet in order to create a newfangled transaction. unspent coins can have different values, much like physical coins and bills .
If this happens, you should consolidate your transaction inputs by sending smaller amounts of bitcoins to one of your wallet addresses ; this would be the equivalent of exchanging a stack of nickels for a dollar bill.

What is the gap limit?¶

The col restrict is the maximal phone number of consecutive idle addresses in your deterministic sequence of addresses. Electrum uses it in order to stop looking for addresses. In Electrum 2.0, it is set to 20 by nonpayment, so the client will get all addresses until 20 unused addresses are found .

How can I pre-generate new addresses?¶

Electrum will generate new addresses as you use them, until it hits the opening limit .
If you need to pre-generate more addresses, you can do thus by typing wallet.create_new_address ( False ) in the console. This command will generate one new address. note that the savoir-faire will be shown with a crimson backdrop in the address check to indicate that it is beyond the col limit. The loss discolor will remain until the col is filled .
warn : Addresses beyond the break limit will not automatically be recovered from the seed. To recover them will require either increasing the client ’ s gap terminus ad quem or generating new addresses until the use addresses are found .
If you wish to generate more than one address, you can use a “ for ” closed circuit. For model, if you wanted to generate 50 addresses, you could do this :

 [ wallet. create_new_address ( false )  for  i  in  image ( 50 ) ]

How do I upgrade Electrum?¶

Warning : constantly save your wallet seed on newspaper before doing an ascent .
To upgrade Electrum, just install the most holocene version. The means to do this will depend on your OS .
notice that your wallet files are stored individually from the software, so you can safely remove the erstwhile version of the software if your o does not do it for you .
Some Electrum upgrades will modify the format of your wallet files .
For this reason, it is not recommended to downgrade Electrum to an older version once you have opened your wallet file with the raw version. The older version will not constantly be able to read the new wallet file .
The be issues should be considered when upgrading Electrum 1.x wallets to Electrum 2.x :

  • Electrum 2.x will need to regenerate all of your
    addresses during the upgrade process. Please allow it
    time to complete, and expect it to take a little longer
    than usual for Electrum to be ready.
  • The contents of your wallet file will be replaced with
    an Electrum 2 wallet. This means Electrum 1.x will no
    longer be able to use your wallet once the upgrade is
  • The “Addresses” tab will not show any addresses the
    first time you launch Electrum 2. This is expected
    behavior. Restart Electrum 2 after the upgrade is
    complete and your addresses will be available.
  • Offline copies of Electrum will not show the
    addresses at all because it cannot synchronize with
    the network. You can force an offline generation of a
    few addresses by typing the following into the
    Console: wallet.synchronize(). When it’s complete,
    restart Electrum and your addresses will once again
    be available.

My anti-virus has flagged Electrum as malware! What now?¶

Electrum binaries are much flagged by respective anti-virus software. There is nothing we can do about it, therefore please stop report that to us. Anti-virus software uses heuristics in arrange to determine if a plan is malware, and that frequently results in false positives .
If you trust the developers of the undertaking, you can verify the GPG touch of Electrum binaries, and safely ignore any anti-virus warnings .
If you do not trust the developers of the undertaking, you should build the binaries yourself, or run the software from source .
ultimately, if you are very concerned about malware, you should not use an operate system that relies on anti-virus software .

Electrum requires recent Python. My Linux distribution does not yet have it. What now?¶

There are several ways to resolve this .

  1. Use the AppImage distributed by us. This is a individual collected binary that includes all the dependencies. presently, we only distribute this binary for x86_64 ( amd64 ) architecture. Just download it, ( verify GPG sig ), make it feasible, and run it. E.g. :
    $ wget
    $ chmod +x electrum-3.3.4-x86_64.AppImage
    $ ./electrum-3.3.4-x86_64.AppImage
  2. Use backports ( e.g. in case of Debian, check the packages in stable-backports )
  3. Upgrade your distribution ( e.g. consumption Debian testing alternatively of stable )
  4. Compile Python yourself, and then install pyqt5 using shoot ( as the package director for the distribution will merely have PyQt5 for the version of Python that is packaged by them ) .
    $ python3 -m pip install --user pyqt5

    ( unfortunately, it seems pyqt5 via shoot is only available for x86/x86_64. On other arch, you might have to build Qt/PyQt yourself. )

  5. Use a virtual car where you run another Linux distribution that has more recent packages .

I might run my own server. Are client-server connections authenticated?¶

Electrum uses a client-server architecture, where the endpoints speak the Electrum protocol. The Electrum protocol is JSON-RPC based. The two chief stacks the client supports are

  1. JSON-RPC over SSL/TLS over TCP
  2. JSON-RPC over TCP

bill that neither option uses HTTP .
The customer only connects to servers over SSL ( so plaintext TCP is not used ). Prior to Electrum 3.1, there used to be a checkbox in the GUI to toggle this but it was removed .
As for authentication, the client accepts both CA-signed certificates and self-signed SSL certificates. When it first connects to a server, it pins the fact whether that server is using a CA-signed or a self-signed cert.

  • If it is self-signed, it will only accept that cert until it expires for that server (TOFU).
  • If it is CA signed, it will forever only accept CA-signed certs for that server.

For your own server, both CA-signed and self-signed certs have their advantages .

  • With self-signed certs, as the client uses TOFU, there is a possibility of
    man-in-the-middle during the first connection.
  • With CA-signed certs, you need to trust the Certificate Authorities.

Does Electrum support altcoins (“cryptocurrencies”)?¶

No. Electrum only supports Bitcoin .
The project has never supported any altcoins, alone Bitcoin. however Electrum is exempt ( as in freedom ) software with a permissive license, and there are many forks of the software that subscribe specific altcoins. These are freestanding projects, with their own maintainers, independent of Electrum. We do not review their code or endorse them in any way. If you are a drug user of these, please direct any and all support requests to their maintainers, rather of us .

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