The simple guide to bitcoins using Electrum

Bitcoin is the most established digital currency available today. It provides a safe, anonymous way to use manage your bitcoins. However, managing bitcoins is not quite as simple as managing a bank account. In this article I will explain how to manage your bitcoins using Electrum. Please note that in this article I will provide working knowledge of how to use Electrum, without entering the mysterious land of cryptography and technical details of Bitcoin.

First of all, I suggest you install the latest version of Electrum. Note that Electrum exists for Linux, Windows, OS X and Android. Instructions will vary depending on your operating system.

Once you have installed it, it will ask you what you want to do: create a new wallet, or restore a wallet. For now, just chose to create a new wallet leaving the default options.

The initial screen

Then, the second step comes along: Electrum will show you your “wallet generation seed”, which is a list of 13 words you will absolutely need to save somewhere safe.

The list of 13 words. If you are serious about bitcoins, you should memorise them

Remember: anybody with these words will be able to recreate exactly your Electrum wallet, and spend _all of your bitcoins if they wish!_

Once you’re done, it will prompt you with a password request. You should treat it like you treat your Internet Banking password.

Once you are done, you are finally good to go:

Electrum started for the first time

It shows by default a list of transactions you made. As you can see, there is (obviously) nothing here.

Exchanging Bitcoins into real money and vice versa is a tricky business. The main issue is that when you change real money into bitcoins, the tokens exchanged are 100% anonymous. So, these transactions are very prone to fraud and money

Originally appeared at: http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/simple_guide_bitcoins_using_electrum