Electrum is arguably the most well known Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallet, fully implementing BIP0032. An HD wallet generates all Bitcoin addresses using a specific algorithm from a single seed. A seed is the starting point and can be anything.
Further, as Electrum is a ‘Type 2’ HD wallet, the seed from which all key pairs are generated is presented to the user as a 12 word phrase using common English words. What all this amounts to is a so-called ‘brain wallet’ that provides particularly convenient back-up capabilities.
A user can simply write down 12 plain English words. Then, if they wish to access their funds anywhere, at any time, for any reason, they simply have to know these 12 words to gain access. The seed will recover all private keys and funds from the wallet.
What is more, Electrum is unique in the desktop client space because it requests the blockchain from a server. This approach, for better or worse, means there are no delays in interacting with a rapidly growing blockchain.
The HD wallet approach that Electrum has pioneered is gaining momentum. Many are moving to these standards. Multibit, for example, is working to implement the same approach. Further, this will allow much needed interoperability with other wallets, as they move to the BIP0032 address generation method.
Twelve human readable words that can be presented in a variety of wallets will surely help adoption.
Given that Electrum is a such a useful tool, it is no surprise that there is a Litecoin port in Beta and nearing completion. There have been a few different ports of Electrum for Litecoin lately. However, these were later discovered to be unsatisfactory by the Litecoin core developers.
As a result, Warren Togami (Litecoin Lead Developer) asked ‘Pooler’ to work on the official port of Electrum for Litecoin: a tool that would be functional, clean and maintainable, adding great value to the Litecoin ecosystem.
The Litecoin developers are now requesting Beta testers for the software. All care should be taken, as the project is still in Beta testing. Testers are encouraged to be extremely careful, deal with small amounts and keep a backup of their wallets.
Nevertheless, the Litecoin developers maintain that the port is now good enough for public testing. It has been built with all the Electrum functionalities.
The Litecoin core developers currently have 3 Electrum servers for Litecoin, provided by Animazing, Xurious and Kyrio. However the developers would like to see more, to minimize centralization.
So in addition to calling out for Beta testers, they are requesting that others set up servers. Specifically, anyone with a server with at least 2 GB RAM and 8 GB free disk space would make the Litecoin Electrum ecosystem more reliable.
The server software is available here, with instructions on how to set up the server also available. If you’re interesting to either Beta test Electrum for Litecoin or setup a server, you are encouraged to go here and open a dialogue with the Litecoin core development team.