Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency, of course after Bitcoin ($BTC). $ETH is of course built on blockchain and features smart contracts functionality. Another interesting feature in ethereum is tokens. Ethereum tokens are local currencies in DAPPS (decentralized applications) running on the Network, while Ether remains the global currency. In order to transact tokens, we will need an Ethereum wallet.
Below I will show how to setup an Ethereum wallet and address for sending and receiving Ether and Ethereum tokens. Previously, I have written about how to setup a Monero ($XMR) wallet and address, read it here.
Before that I suggest using a safer browser, like Tor Browser (https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en).
Many recommended MyEtherWallet or MEW, so be it.
Landing on MyEtherWallet, you will be greeted with warm warnings. If you have experience in cryptocurrencies than you now that this is now a habit, due to numerous illicit activities in the digital money circle. Make sure to read it if this is your first time using cryptocurrencies. MyEtherWallet provides a brief-yet-solid introduction.
MyEtherWallet also provides several well-written explanations relating to cryptocurrency. The links will be shown at the end of the brief intro. Simply click on the outside of the box to start creating your Ethereum wallet.
Creating an Ethereum Wallet
Start the creation of your Ethereum wallet by entering a strong password. Here’s a great article by Troy Hunt on passwords. I’ve been following him for sometime on Twitter and he tweets a lot of cool security insights, recommended @troyhunt.
After entering your password, you will be presented with your Keystore file. This file is the key to your wallet, so keep it safe. Advisable to save it offline and have numerous copies, for instance on several USB thumbdrives that you don’t often plug to machines.
This is how the Keystore file will look like once you download it. Couldn’t stress this enough, keep it safe, also your password.
The next screen shows the final sensitive material for your Ethereum wallet, which is your Private Key. Keep it secure with your password and Keystore file. Btw, when I say “with”, it only refers to keeping it secure. It doesn’t mean put in in one place together. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.
At this point your Ethereum wallet setup is done. To access your address, we first need to unlock the wallet. Unlocking your wallet is also the way to see its content, to see way much Ether & other tokens you have.
In MyEtherWallet, you have a choice of how to open your wallet. If you followed this guide, then pick Keystore / JSON File. If you have other methods, simply pick appropriately.
Unlocking Ethereum Wallet and see the Ethereum Address
Browse to where you kept your Keystore file and pick it. Afterwards, input your password. Then hit “Unlock” button.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the inside of an Ether Wallet. Cool, huh?! At the top most part you can find your Ethereum address. This is the only information you can give out publicly. You will use this to accept $ETH. Several lines below you can all find a QR code representation of your address. It is safe you share this to other people, as a matter of fact it is highly recommended that is if you do want to make use of your wallet to earn and receive Ether.
In this view, you can also retrieve your Keystore file and your Private key. Again do not share this to anyone, keep it safe. You can get a QR code of your Private key, just beside your address. For your information, your address can also be called you Public key.
On the side bars, you can view your balances. The $ETH balance in on top, together with a link to access your Transaction History. And below are your Token Balances. You can view all the tokens, there are a lot. Or you can choose to show only those with balance (not empty).
That concludes my guide to setting up an Ether wallet and Ether address on MyEtherWallet. You can know happily receive tokens of different sorts. Happy cryptocurrency-ing! *that don’t sound good*