Contributing to Electrum ABC

Main repository

The Electrum ABC source repository has been merged into the Bitcoin ABC repository, and the development is now taking place at

Please read the main document to familiarize yourself with the development philosophy and find out how to set up the Bitcoin ABC repository.

The original Electrum ABC github repository is maintained as a mirror of the electrum/ directory in the main repository.

The rest of this document provides instructions that are specific to Electrum ABC.

Contacting developers

Join the Electrum ABC telegram group to get in contact with developers or to get help from the community.

Installing dependencies

All commands in this document assume that your current working directory is the electrum/ directory that resides at the root of the Bitcoin ABC repository.


Python 3.7 or above is required to run Electrum ABC.

If your system lacks Python 3.7+, you can use pyenv to install newer versions, or install an alternative python distribution in addition to your system’s version.

Python packages

The simplest way to install all needed packages is to run the following command:

pip install .[all]

This will install Electrum ABC and all its dependencies as a python package and application.

This is equivalent to:

pip install .
pip install .[gui]
pip install .[hardware]

If you do not want to install Electrum ABC as a package, you can install only the dependencies using the following commands:

pip3 install -r contrib/requirements/requirements.txt
pip3 install -r contrib/requirements/requirements-binaries.txt
pip3 install -r contrib/requirements/requirements-hw.txt

Running Electrum ABC from source

If you installed the application as a python package, you can run it from anywhere using electrum-abc (assuming that your system has the python script directory in its PATH).

If you installed all dependencies, you can also start the application by invoking the ./electrum-abc script. See the following sections for additional instructions and optional dependencies.

Running from source on old Linux

If your Linux distribution has a version of python 3 lower than the minimum required version, it is recommended to do a user dir install with pyenv. This allows Electrum ABC to run completely independently of your system configuration.

  1. Install pyenv in your user account. Follow the printed instructions about updating your environment variables and .bashrc, and restart your shell to ensure that they are loaded.
  2. Run pyenv install 3.9.7. This will download and compile that version of python, storing it under .pyenv in your home directory.
  3. cd into the Electrum ABC directory. Run pyenv local 3.9.7 which inserts a file .python-version into the current directory.
  4. Install Electrum ABC requirements
  5. Compile libsecp256k1

Running from source on macOS

You need to install either MacPorts or HomeBrew. Follow the instructions on either site for installing (Xcode from Apple’s developer site is required for either).

  1. After installing either HomeBrew or MacPorts, clone this repository and switch to the directory: git clone && cd ElectrumABC
  2. Install python 3.7+. For brew: brew install python3 or if using MacPorts: sudo port install python37
  3. Install PyQt5: python3 -m pip install --user pyqt5
  4. Install Electrum ABC requirements
  5. Compile libsecp256k1

Running tests

Running unit tests:


This can also be run as a ninja target in the context of a Bitcoin ABC build:

ninja check-electrum

Functional tests can be run with the following command:

pytest electrumabc/tests/regtest

This requires docker and additional python dependencies:

pip3 install -r contrib/requirements/requirements-regtest.txt

Compiling libsecp256k1

Compiling libsecp256k1 is highly-recommended when running from source, to use fast cryptographic algorithms instead of using fallback pure-python algos.

It is required when using CashFusion, as slow participants can cause a fusion round to fail.

On Debian or Ubuntu linux:

sudo apt-get install libtool automake

On MacOS:

brew install coreutils automake

or if using MacPorts: sudo port install coreutils automake

Compiling the icons file for Qt

If you change or add any icons to the icons subdirectory, you need to run the following script before you can use them in the application:


This requires the pyrcc5 command which can be installed using your package manager. For instance for Ubuntu or Debian, run:

sudo apt-get install pyqt5-dev-tools

Creating translations

sudo apt-get install python-requests gettext

Plugin development

For plugin development, see the plugin documentation.

Creating Binaries

See the Building the release files section in contrib/


Electrum or Electron Cash features, refactoring commits or bug fixes can be backported into Electrum ABC.

To do this, first add the remote repositories:

git remote add electrum
git remote add electroncash

Then fetch the remote git history:

git fetch electrum
git fetch electroncash

This step must be repeated every time you want to backport a commit that is more recent than the last time you fetched the history.

Then you can cherry-pick the relevant commits:

git cherry-pick -Xsubtree=electrum <commit hash>