How-to: Use Electrum Bitcoin Wallet in Whonix ™
How does Electrum work?
Electrum’s focus is speed, with low resource usage and simplifying Bitcoin. Startup times are instant because it operates in conjunction with high-performance servers that handle the most complicated parts of the Bitcoin system.
Does Electrum trust servers?
In short, not really. The Electrum client never sends private keys to the servers. In addition, it verifies the information reported by servers, using a technique called Simple Payment Verification [archive].
The non-official thin client Electrum appears to be well-designed. It does not need to download/verify the blockchain and users store their private keys locally, which eliminates the need to trust third-party severs. This is an advantage over some other Bitcoin wallets which are affected by this: if the third-party server were ever compromised, all of the users' bitcoins could be stolen. There is also the possibility that the third-party could lose a user's private keys or walk away with them.
Installed by default in Whonix-Workstation ™.
binaries-freedom package [archive] is maintained similar to Debian stable frozen packages.
binaries-freedom package updates will only include updates which are major releases or releases that fix security or network issues. This is to reduce the maintenance load of the package maintainer.
Should the user wish to use a newer version of Electrum than available in the package, it is possible to uninstall the
binaries-freedom package. (Uninstallation is optional if Electrum is manually installed in home folder. ) Since Whonix ™ is based on Debian, the user can optionally install Electrum using the usual instructions from the Electrum website. Recommendations from the safely installing software wiki page such as Verifying Software Signatures applies. See also Install Newer Software Versions.
To start Electrum from start menu.
Start Menu →
To start Electrum from command line, run.
Qubes-Whonix ™ users are recommended to configure a Split Bitcoin Wallet [archive] to better protect their private keys. To protect against identity correlation through Tor circuit sharing, follow the instructions below (see Stream Isolation for more information).
Electrum: First Run
To avoid any issues with Whonix ™ meta package removal, first install the
sudo apt purge binaries-freedom
Done, removal of the
binaries-freedom package is complete.
After installing Electrum, please consider making a donation to Whonix ™ to keep it running for many years to come.
Donate Bitcoin (BTC) to Whonix ™.
- Electrum Bitcoin Wallet in Whonix ™ Development Notes
A manually installed Electrum won't interfere with the
binaries-freedompackage. That is, unless the user installs Electrum to folder
/usr/bin. (Files in that folder would be replaced when the
binaries-freedompackage gets updated. However, the Electrum start menu entry might be confusing since the start menu entry would start Electrum from the
binaries-freedompackage (from folder
/usr/bin), and not the manually installed Electrum.
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