Note: Screenshot here may display for v3.1.2 but function work the same on v4.0.0


Electrum is one of SmartCash’s most popular wallets. It uniquely walks the fine line between beginner usability and expert functionality. This guide introduces Electrum with step-by-step examples highlighting the most important beginner features. No previous experience with either SmartCash or Electrum is needed. Learning Electrum requires practice. This guide will show you how whether you currently own SmartCash or not. It is an excerpt from the upcoming book 



Installation

Operating system-specific installers and installation instructions are available from the download page.

Installation on Windows

Three versions of Electrum are available for Windows. The one labeled “Windows Installer” is the most convenient.

Installation on Mac

Choose the download marked “Mac.Electrum-smart-x.x.x.dmg” 


Double-clicking the downloaded file opens a mounted volume. Drag the Electrum-Smart.app icon into your Applications folder. This appears to the left of the window under Favorites. Open the Applications folder and double-click the Electrum-Smart icon.

You may receive an error message stating that Electrum-Smart “can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.” Should this happen, locate Electrum-Smart in your Applications folder then control-click on it. Select “Open” from the menu, then click the “Open” button on the popup.

Installation on Ubuntu Linux


change 3.1.2 with the correct version from here https://github.com/SmartCash/electrum-smart/releases


wget https://github.com/SmartCash/electrum-smart/releases/download/v4.0.0/Linux.electrum-smart-4.0.0.tar.gz

tar -xzvf Linux.electrum-smart-4.0.0.tar.gz


cd electrum-smart


Setup

Electrum gathers configuration data from a wizard when run for the first time. For more on the concepts behind this process, skip to the later sections of this guide discussing backups, security, and addresses.

Launch Electrum by double clicking its icon, or some other method. This launches the Install Wizard. Its first question regards your method of connecting to a server. Although you can connect to a trusted server (and this is recommended for secure use), letting Electrum decide on a server is a good beginner option. Click Next.


The next screen prompts you to name your wallet file with the text “This file does not exist.” The Wizard offers the default name default_wallet. Accept it, then click Next.

The next screen offers a choice of four types of wallet, with the default set to “Standard wallet.” Leave this option selected then click Next.

The next screen asks about the kind of keystore to create. A keystore is the set of signing keys you’ll use to make SmartCash transactions, and is controlled by a seed. Leave the default option “Create a new seed” selected and click Next.


The next window displays your seed. The words displayed in your window should be different than that those in the figure below. Write your seed on a piece of paper. Don’t print it with a printer.


The next window asks you to type your seed. Click inside the text area and type the words of your seed. When you have entered the correct words, the Next button will become active. Click it.

Electrum can, at your option, encrypt the copy of your seed stored to disk. In the event that your computer is attacked, an intruder obtaining Electrum’s files will be unable to decrypt your seed. You may also encrypt the entire wallet file by selecting the “Encrypt wallet file” option. Doing so encrypts all wallet contents, not just the seed. This protects not only your money, but your privacy in the event of an attack.

Wallets intended for experimentation and learning benefit little from encryption. For now, leave the password fields blank and click “Next.”

Electrum should present its main screen. The circle in the lower-right corner should be green (or blue if you’re connecting through Tor). If it is, you’re ready to start using Electrum. Otherwise, you’ll need to configure your network settings by clicking on the circle.


Funding Your Wallet

If you already keep SmartCash on an exchange or elsewhere, you may now transfer those funds into your Electrum wallet. If you do, a very small transfer is recommended.


Receive a Payment

To receive a payment, you’ll need an address. Click on the Receive tab to obtain one. You can either scan the QR code or copy the receiving address to the clipboard and paste it into your withdrawal service.

Monitor Transactions

The transaction will initially be marked as “unconfirmed” under the History tab, indicating that it has not yet been added to the block chain. A transaction added to the current block has one confirmation. A transaction added to the preceding block has two confirmations, and so on.

Adding a description to this payment will help you identify it later. To do so, double-click the Description field and add a descriptive label.

As a transaction accrues confirmations, its icon changes. When the transactions has six confirmation, a checkmark appears next to its timestamp.

Currency exchanges  don’t always send funds immediately. Delays of a few minutes are to be expected because transfers are often batched together to save on fees.

Make a Payment

Payments can be made through the Send tab. Activate it by clicking. The “Pay to” field holds a SmartCash address of your intended payee, which can be manually entered or pasted from the clipboard. Adding a description will help you identify the payment later.

The total amount of the transaction is the sum of the sent amount and transaction fee.


SmartCash fees are a complex topic. Briefly, a fee is required to send any transaction. Whereas the banking system charges fees based on the amount being sent,

SmartCash charges fees based on the number of bytes needed to encode a transaction. The fee is the product of two terms: the transaction length, in bytes; and the market fee density. The fee density fluctuates with network transaction volume. 

Sweep a Paper Wallet

You may have received a paper wallet as a gift from another SmartCash user. Funds are swept from a paper wallet by first importing its private key. For SmartCash, this key will consist of a long sequence of characters starting with the letters “V”. The example below displays a private key right of images.


The funds held on a paper wallet can be swept, or transferred into your Electrum wallet. Begin by selecting the “Private keys” item from Wallet menu.

Enter one or more private keys, one per line, in the field labeled “Enter private keys.” The address at the bottom shows the destination of the swept funds. A different address can be chosen by clicking the Address button. 

When ready, press Sweep. Electrum requires that any output to be swept must have one or more confirmations.

Seeds and Change Addresses

Electrum manages a deterministic key pool. A deterministic key pool generates a family of key pairs (public/private) from a single master key pair. Electrum’s master private key can be represented as a seed. This is the sequence of words you used when creating your wallet.

To understand the problem that this complexity solves, have a look at the Addresses tab. It will be hidden by default. To reveal it, select Show Addresses item from the View menu. Other advanced tabs can be added from the View menu.

If you’ve been following the tutorial as described, you may be surprised to find that all receiving addresses are empty. The wallet itself shows a non-zero balance, so where did the money go?

The answer is “change.” Scroll to the bottom of the Addresses tab. Open the Change list by clicking on the rightward-pointing triangle. If you’ve made a previous transaction chances are you’ll see one or more change addresses with non-zero balances.

SmartCash is an electronic cash system, meaning that it shares much in common with the process of using paper banknotes. Although some cash payments involve exact change, many do not. You tend to “overpay” when using cash, and expect to receive the difference as change.


Perhaps surprisingly, this is how SmartCash transactions work as well. Although it may appear that a transaction merely deducts a certain amount of smartcash from your wallet, what actually happens is quite different. A coin is selected from your wallet. It has a face value that probably differs from the amount you’re paying. Your transaction creates two new coins: one paying the merchant and one returning change back to you. This change ends up in a change address


Electrum’s seed-based design allows you to reconstruct all of a wallet’s addresses and private keys from a short list of words. The most important benefit is that backups become very easy to create and manage. Secondarily, two wallets using the same seed will remain synchronized with each other


Make a Backup

An Electrum seed controls the generation of all addresses and private keys. As such, it’s vital to keep a paper copy of your wallet seed in a safe place. If you followed this tutorial from the beginning, you should have already written your seed on a piece of paper. If not, now would be a good time to create a backup.

Access your wallet’s seed through the seed icon in the lower right of the main screen, or by choosing Seed from the Wallet menu. When prompted, enter the secure password you chose when setting up the Electrum wallet.


Hand-copy the twelve words found in the box to a piece of paper and store it in a safe location. Remember, anyone who finds your seed can spend all of the funds in your wallet.

Additionally, a backup of your wallet, including any annotations you may have made, can be saved by choosing the Save Copy item from the File menu. This file stores the wallet’s encrypted seed along with any annotations. Restoring this backup will require the wallet password if you added one.

Testing Backup: Delete Your Wallet

The only thing needed to recover funds from an Electrum wallet is its seed. The optional procedure below describes how.

Note that this procedure will erase all of your wallet data. It’s designed to simulate a system failure. Restoring your wallet proves that you can recover from catastrophic system failure without loss of money. If you can’t receover, you’ll lose any money currently stored on your wallet.

Before continuing, verify that your current wallet contains only a small amount of smartcash) that you would not be upset about losing. Also verify that you have access to your seed in written form.

To get Electrum to generate a new wallet, the old wallet data need to be deleted. Begin by exiting Electrum. Next, locate the program’s data directory based on your computer’s operating system.


Delete Wallet on Windows

  1. Show hidden files.
  2. Browse to C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming\Electrum-Smart.
  3. delete all files in the directory.

Delete Wallet on Mac and Linux

  1. Open the Terminal;
  2. Type “rm -rf ~/.electrum-smart/“.


Testing Backup: Restore Your Wallet

Having cleared the data directory, restart Electrum. The Wizard will once again show itself. On the Keystore screen, choose the option “I already have a seed” and then click Next.

Copy your twelve word seed into the text field, then click Next. If your seed was entered correctly, Electrum will give you the option to add a password for your wallet.

After restoring your wallet, Electrum may list previous transactions as “unverified.” This condition will persist until all Electrum finishes synchronization with its server. You can monitor progress from the Network window. Access it by clicking on the circle to the lower right of the main window. When the block count under “Blockchain” equals the height indicated for the servers you’re connecting to, Electrum will be fully synchronized and all confirmed transactions should be displayed properly under the History tab.

Copy your twelve word seed into the text field, then click Next. If your seed was entered correctly, Electrum will give you the option to add a password for your wallet.

After restoring your wallet, Electrum may list previous transactions as “unverified.” This condition will persist until all Electrum finishes synchronization with its server. You can monitor progress from the Network window. Access it by clicking on the circle to the lower right of the main window. When the block count under “Blockchain” equals the height indicated for the servers you’re connecting to, Electrum will be fully synchronized and all confirmed transactions should be displayed properly under the History tab.


Security

To change the wallet’s password, select the Password option from the Wallet menu, or click the lock icon in the lower right of the main window. Enter and confirm a new secure password.

Should you forget your wallet’s password, all is not lost. Your funds can be restored in their entirety using the recovery procedure described in the previous section.

Wrapup

Electrum offers a good balance between ease of use and rich feature set. This guide has covered the essential tasks every user should be comfortable with: receiving funds; sending funds; importing a paper wallet; backing up; and restoring a backup.

Electrum and SmartCash offer many more capabilities than those described here. Future posts will introduce them.