Electrum is a Bitcoin client that is particularly suited to the context of Tails because:

  • You can use your wallet from different devices and avoid losing bitcoins in a backup mistake or computer failure.

  • Electrum does not download the blockchain, so there is no waiting time when starting.

  • You can sign transactions from an offline working session for additional security.

To start Electrum choose Applications ▸ Internet ▸ Electrum Bitcoin Wallet .

To learn how to use Electrum, read the Electrum documentation.

For an explanation of how Bitcoin works in simple terms, read The In-Depth Guide to Bitcoin That Won’t Leave You Frustrated.

Bitcoin is not anonymous.

To make it harder to relate your different transactions, you should use a different receiving address for each transaction. Electrum automatically generates new addresses for you to use.

Electrum uses mBTC as the default base unit. 1 mBTC = 0.001 BTC. To change the base unit, choose Tools ▸ Preferences.

Do not blindly trust the bitcoin balance that Electrum displays as unconfirmed. Wait for transactions to be confirmed.

Recovering your wallet from its seed

Backing up your seed

Your wallet can be recovered entirely from its seed: the chain of words generated by Electrum when creating the wallet. But if you lose your seed, you lose your entire wallet.

That's why we recommend you both:

  • Turn on the Electrum Bitcoin Wallet feature of the Persistent Storage to store your bitcoin wallet and preferences across separate working sessions.

  • Backup your seed outside of Tails. For example, you can write it down on a piece of paper and keep it with you.

Fixing a corrupted wallet

If Electrum fails to start or stays minimized, maybe your Electrum folder is corrupted.

To recover your wallet from its seed:

  1. Make sure that Electrum is closed.

  2. Open your Home folder.

  3. Click the Main Menu button in the title bar and turn on the option Show Hidden Files.

  4. Open the .electrum folder.

  5. Delete the wallets folder.

  6. Start Electrum.

  7. When creating a new wallet choose I already have a seed and specify the seed of your wallet.