In researching the various Bitcoin clients available and deciding on which one to include on NinjaStik, the main concerns were;
- Security – must be highly secure, of course.
- Speed – as the blockchain gets larger keeping up to date takes more time/ space / resources.
- Ease of Use – the interface must be simple but useful.
- Anonymous – it must be able to work through TOR.
There are a number of clients that fit most of these criteria, but the one that fit them all was Electrum.
You can check out the Electrum website at http://electrum.org/
Electrum is free, open source and works with Windows, Linux and Mac.
Here are the features as listed on the Electrum website
- Instant on: Your client does not download the blockchain, it uses a remote server.
- Forgiving: Your wallet can be recovered from a secret seed.
- Safe: Private keys are never sent to the server. Information sent by the server is verified using SPV
- No downtime: Several public servers are available, you can switch instantly.
- Ubiquitous: You can use the same wallet on different computers, it will auto-synchronize.
- Open: You can export your private keys into other Bitcoin clients.
- Tested and audited: Electrum is open source and was first released in November 2011.
Electrum is an easy to use Bitcoin client. It protects you from losing coins in a backup mistake or computer failure, because your wallet can be recovered from a secret phrase that you can write on paper or learn by heart. There is no waiting time when you start the client, because it does not download the Bitcoin blockchain.
As with any new system / technology there have been some mis-conceptions. First being that Electrum stores your private info on their server. This is incorrect. The Bitcoin blockchain is stored on their server, but your seed phrase and private keys are stored on your hard drive and ONLY on your hard drive. In this case the NinjaStik.
The benefit of this is that if you lose your NinjaStik – if it gets destroyed, lost or stolen, you can recover your Bitcoins! You can simply download a new copy of Electrum, enter your private seed phrase and recover your Bitcoins.
This feature alone makes Electrum very very re-assuring to use.
Here are the features as listed from Wikipedia;
- Encrypted wallet: the file that contains your bitcoins is protected with a password. You are protected from thieves.
- Deterministic key generation: If you lose your wallet, you can recover it from its seed. You are protected from your own mistakes.
- Instant on: the client does not download the blockchain, it requests that information from a server. No delays, always up-to-date.
- Transactions are signed locally: Your private keys are not shared with the server. You do not have to trust the server with your money.
- Freedom and Privacy: The server does not store user accounts. You are not tied to a particular server, and the server does not need to know you.
- No scripts: Electrum does not download any script. A compromised server cannot send you arbitrary code and steal your bitcoins.
- No single point of failure: The server code is open source, anyone can run a server.
- Firewall friendly: The client does not need to open a port, it simply polls the server for updates.
Now the NinjaStik makes it easy to be online anonymously and to make or receive payments anonymously!
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