To receive bitcoin all you need to do is share one of the addresses in your wallet with the person who wants to pay you. With the receive tab Electrum tries to create a workflow for receiving bitcoin that incorporates adding a label to your address, an expected amount and saving all this in the wallet as a receive request. The fact of the matter is non of this is strictly necessary. As mentioned before, all you need to do is share any one of the addresses in your wallet with the sender. But it does help you organize things if you also label your address etc. and save the whole request in your wallet.
The label and amount you set in the receive tab are only for your own reference. They are not shared with anyone and they don’t restrict how much bitcoin someone can send you.
So here’s how to use the receive tab in electrum:
- Switch to the “Receive” tab
- Enter a description in the “Description” field. This is not shared with anyone and is only for your own reference. When you receive money this description will show up on the history tab.
- Enter an amount, if you like, in the “Requested Amount field”. Remember this does not change how much bitcoin someone can send you and is only for your own reference.
- You can safely ignore the request expires option. It doesn’t do anything meaningful.
- Click on the “Save” button
- Click on the little blue icon on the “Receiving Address” field to copy the address to the clipboard or scan the QR code.
- Once you save the receive request the “New” button becomes enabled and you can click on that to begin the process again with a new address.
- At the bottom of the screen under “Requests” you can see past saved requests. Clicking on one should populate the fields above with the request details including the address.
So that’s the Electrum Receive tab. As you can see it’s designed to hand out new addresses each time you need one. This is because address re-use is a bad idea. That is not to say you can’t do it. It’s just not recommended.