I am currently using Bitcoin-Qt and have just surfed to Electrum's website.

It seems that Electrum only offers an online wallet, not offline. Is that correct?

2 Answers 2


No, electrum only offers offline wallets.

I think your confusion comes from electrum being a thin client. But this only means that electrum does not download the blockchain, instead it uses a server to query for the the information it needs out of the blockchain. From the elextrum bitcoin.it Wiki page:

Main features:

  • ...
  • 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.
  • ...
  • Thanks for the references. I don't have much IT knowledge. Does the statement You do not have to trust the server with your money mean that my Bitcoins are stored locally on my computer and does not get transferred to Electrum's server during the online synchronizing process?
    – user5556
    Jul 10, 2013 at 14:16
  • Technically Bitcoins are not stored on your machine, they are stored in the BC chain. The thin client just has the ability to use some of these coins.
    – Mark Lopez
    Feb 26, 2014 at 1:00

That is not correct.

You can run Electrum on an offline computer, make transactions and pass them to the online Electrum (MPK) to broadcast them to the blockchain.

See http://electrum.org/tutorials.html#offline-mpk

Electrum has lots of useful options, so you better read about them in the website.

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