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Electrum is an easy to use Bitcoin client. It protects you from losing coins in a backup mistake or computer failure, because your wallet can be recovered from a secret phrase that you can write on paper or learn by heart. There is no waiting time when you start the client, because it does not download the Bitcoin blockchain.


Security considerations

Since Electrum does not manage the block chain on its own, it relies on external servers to obtain and broadcast transactions. The transactions you create are signed by you and can not be modified by these servers. The only thing they can do is delay or not deliver them, but that means no harm to your coins. In the other direction, the servers also can not make up transactions because they are linked to a chain. The server can only hide transactions from your client which is an inconvenience but can not be used to steal coins from you.

Read-Only Wallet

Electrum can export you "master public key" (in the settings tab). Using this key you can predict all addresses of the wallet but not create transactions from it (you would need the private "seed" for that). You can create a read-only wallet by restoring the wallet from this master public key. Using this method you can have a read-only wallet on your regular computer where you can check the balance while still having your coins in a safe place.