I have exported a testnet transaction into a .txn file:

    "hex": "45505446ff0002000000000101c6be24d86ab1ae5b54e7e7905b...",
    "complete": false,
    "final": false

However, as explained in this article, a raw transaction string starts with version number and:

The version number is four bytes long and is expressed as a hexadecimal value in little endian format.

There are two version types. Version 01 indicates that there is no relative time lock. Version 02 indicates that there may be a relative time lock.

So this hex is not a qualified raw transaction encoding, due to the prefix


The version number comes after this prefix:


So I was wondering, what is the function of this prefix that Electrum adds to the raw transaction string? And is it always the same length? Because I need to automatically splice it off in order to get a valid raw transaction string.


It stands for:

45505446 - EPTF - Electrum Partial Transaction Format
ff - Separator
00 - EPTF Version - This is currently always 0.

You can verify this quickly by running a python interpreter.

Python 3.6.7 (default, Oct 22 2018, 11:32:17)
[GCC 8.2.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> b'EPTF\xff'.hex()

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