Before you begin
- You will need to download and install electrum first. You can download it from here. If you are on Windows you should use the installer version and not the portable one.
- You will need a pen and a notebook (recommended) or piece of paper to write down the seed mnemonic. The notebook will have to be kept somewhere safe once you are done with the installation process so it can’t be a notebook that you use on a day to day basis.
Creating the wallet
- Start new electrum wallet file by following this short guide. Then come back here and proceed to step 2.
- Click on next to see the wallet type selection window:
As you can see Electrum supports different types of wallets. If you are just starting out you should just select “Standard wallet”.
- In the next step electrum asks you choose where the wallet secret will come from
The seed is a secret that unlocks all your bitcoins. When creating a new wallet you want to let electrum generate a seed for you.
- Next electrum asks you to choose the seed type. Choose segwit here:
Most wallets and sites support native segwit addresses (p2wpkh) now but if you are using one that doesn’t you may choose legacy instead for maximum compatibility at the cost of higher transaction fees when spending bitcoin.
- Electrum displays the seed to you as a 12 word mnemonic. It’s important at this stage to write down the seed in a notebook. You must put it down on paper. Don’t keep it on your computer!
Also write down “Software: Electrum” in your notebook below the seed mnemonic. You wouldn’t believe the number of users who forget what software they used!
- Electrum will next ask you to verify that you wrote down the seed correctly by typing it back in:
- You can also set a password to protect your wallet file from other people who might have access to your computer. This is entirely optional:
- Electrum will then generate your addresses and display your wallet window:
- Your wallet has now been created. You should put that notebook in which you wrote the seed down somewhere safe. In case you forget your wallet password or your computer crashes and you lose your wallet file you can still recover access to your wallet using your seed. It also means that anyone else can get access to your bitcoins with just your seed. So put it somewhere safe.