CRYPTANALYSIS - HOUSE VIEW ON KEY ALTCOINS

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Disclaimer: Cryptomover is not a licensed financial advisor. The information presented in this piece is an opinion, and is not purported to be fact. Cryptocurrency is a volatile virtual commodity and can move quickly in any direction. Cryptomover is not responsible for any loss incurred by following this advice.

 

35.ELECTRUM (Published: 31st Jul, 2017)
Features
Lightweight: It does not require users to download the whole blockchain, and retrieves blockchain data from one of the servers randomly

Cold Storage: It stores users’ private key in users’ computer, while users can recover the private key with a 12-word seed. It is also possible to keep the private key offline and set up an online watch-only wallet, meaning that users can create the transactions on the online wallet and sign it in the offline wallet. In addition, it is integratable with existing hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger.

Tor Support: Users can use Electrum in the Tails OS, enjoying an extra layer of anonymity

Multisig Support: Users can create a 2-to-2 multisig wallet to have a higher security level


Risks

SPV Privacy Issue:  Electrum is one of the SPV (Simplified Payment Verification) wallets, which allows the intermediate servers to obtain all of the address information from the wallets. This is the drawback for lightweight wallets and developers are still looking for solutions. More information in here.

Exporting private keys: It is dangerous to export any of your Electrum private keys to anywhere, because the others can retrieve all of your private keys if they happen to obtain one of your private key and your master public key. Hence, it is recommended to transfer the money to other online hot wallets and use that wallet’s private key if some services require them.

 

Recommendations
In terms of security, Electrum could be as safe as the hardware wallets, given that the following procedures are done:
- Store the private keys in an offline machine/USB drive with a linux OS (Tails preferred)
- (Optional) Disable the persistent feature on USB drive and write down the seed to create a “paper wallet”, meaning that nothing will be saved and whenever you reopen the OS, everything will reset and you have to enter the seed to recover the private keys.
-  Copy the the master public key generated in the offline machine, then paste it in an online machine to create an online watch-only wallet.
- Use the online wallet to create transactions and save the transaction file somewhere on your computer. Then, transfer the file to the offline machine (e.g. using an USB drive), and load it with the offline wallet to sign it. Finally, transfer the signed transaction file back to the online wallet and broadcast the transaction. More in here.
- For extra security, a 2-of-2 multisig feature can be used. Set up another wallet using the above steps, but choose “Multi-signature wallet” when creating the wallet in the offline machine. Transactions can be created with the online wallet, then transfer the transaction file to the offline machine of cosigner 1, sign, then transfer to the offline machine of cosigner 2, sign, then transfer it back to the online wallet to broadcast. More in here.

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