How to Create an Ethereum Wallet

Ethereum Wallet

Right now, the Ethereum platform is wildly popular among developers and lovers of cryptocurrency. Coin Market Gap reports that it has the second-largest market cap after bitcoin. Though it is a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, litecoin and others, it functions differently. This means it also requires its own wallet.

Whether you’re new to the concept of cryptocurrency or simply new to the Ethereum platform, this guide will walk you through the steps necessary to create your own secure Ethereum wallet.

What is Ether?

Before you set up a wallet, you may want some additional information about ether. The Ethereum program is a decentralized platform that is used to run what are known as “smart contracts.” Smart contracts are applications that, once created and executed, are unable to be censored, modified, tampered with or hacked.

In essence, ether is the “fuel” that allows the Ethereum application platform to continue running. It functions as payment for those who use the platform in order to incentivize quality contributions and beneficial use of the Ethereum blockchain.

What Wallet Programs are Available?

There are several open-source wallet applications that can be downloaded. Most are compatible with with Windows, Linux or Mac operating systems, but be sure to research the protocols for your operating system before installation.

When selecting a program, you should make sure that it contains all of the following features:

Any program that contains all of these features will greatly increase the security of your currency. A few of the most popular options are listed below.

Mist

Mist Ethereum Wallet: Screenshot

Screenshot: Mist Ethereum Wallet

This is the official Ethereum wallet that runs on your desktop. Initial installation and setup may take awhile, but it is straightforward and easy to navigate. Keep in mind that there are no password retrieval options, so you must remember the password you create.

Download Mist

Exodus

Exodus Ethereum Wallet: Screenshot

Screenshot: Exodus Ethereum Wallet

This desktop wallet allows users to manage multiple cryptocurrency wallets simultaneously, so it’s a great option for those who have a diverse portfolio of coins.

Download Exodus

MetaMask

MetaMask Ethereum Wallet: Screenshot

Screenshot: MetaMask Ethereum Wallet

MetaMask is different in that it not only functions as a wallet but as an access point for the Ethereum network.

Download Metamask

MyEtherWallet

MyEtherWallet Ethereum Wallet: Screenshot

Screenshot: MyEtherWallet Ethereum Wallet

Finally, MyEtherWallet is a web-based wallet that allows you to write and access smart contracts straight from the application. It is also compatible with most hardware wallets.

Go to MyEtherWallet

How Do I Set Up a Secure Ethereum Wallet?

Step One: Select Your Program

You can choose whichever wallet program you prefer, whether it is one from the list above or another. Just be sure that it is easy for you to access from any of your preferred devices.

Step Two: Begin the Installation

For the purposes of this guide, the Ethereum Mist wallet is the application we will be using. The installation process may be slightly different for other programs, but the overall concept will be the same.

First, you will need to download the latest release of the Mist wallet. There will be a long list of zip files to choose from, but you will be looking for the “Ethereum-Wallet-YourSystem” file name. Click on the link, and once the file has downloaded, you will want to unzip it.

After this, launch the “Ethereum-Wallet” application.

Step Three: The Installation Process

Once the wallet application has been launched, there will be a window that pops up with the message “Ethereum node needs to sync,” and a progress bar will display. Once the node is fully synced with the Ethereum platform, you will have the option to select a network.

Once the wallet application has been launched, there will be a window that pops up with the message “Ethereum node needs to sync,” and a progress bar will display. Once the node is fully synced with the Ethereum platform, you will have the option to select a network.

Selecting the main network option will immediately take you to the actual Ethereum network, where contracts can be created and executed with real ether.

For your initial installation, choose the “test network” option first.

Step Four: Password Creation

Every website tells you to create a strong password, but it’s especially crucial here. You need a strong, secure password that you can remember to properly protect your wallet. Once you’ve created the password, you absolutely must remember it because it cannot ever be changed. If you forget it, your wallet will be lost.

Step Five: Transactions

Before you start completing real transactions, you can explore the controls via the test network.

Under the “Accounts” tab, you can find your main account’s address. It will be a long, 40-character string that begins with 0x. This is what you can use to receive ether from someone else. Simply share your account address, and watch for the ether to show on the balance screen.

To send ether, select the “Send” tab, and input the account address of the receiving party. After that, you can select the amount you wish to send, input your password and click the send button.

To see an overview of all of your transactions, go to the “Latest Transactions” tab.

Once you’re familiar with all of the controls, you will be ready to jump into exchanging and mining real ether.

Additional Safety and Security Tips

The tips in this section are optional, but they will provide an additional layer of security during the initial setup of your account.

1. Go Offline

Once you’ve downloaded the initial zip file for your wallet program, turn off your Internet connection during the wallet generation process. This minimizes the risk of hacking.

2. Use an Encrypted USB

Save your wallet information and password on an encrypted USB stick that isn’t kept near your computer. This prevents you from forgetting the password while also keeping it in a secure location.

Conclusion

Cryptocurrency is only gaining in popularity, which means that now is a great time to get into the market. The Ethereum platform offers amazing possibilities, so taking the time to set up a secure wallet is a great investment.