Let’s get started with the Ethereum cryptocurrency!
In this video we will set up a desktop wallet, passphrase, and learn our Ethereum blockchain address.
Let’s download the desktop wallet installer from the GitHub page.
I’m downloading the first file which is the wallet installer version 0.9.3 for Windows.
A desktop cryptocurrency wallet is a program which creates and stores private key information, similar to setting up a bank account. You can do the same thing online, but a desktop wallet means your private account key information never touches the Internet.
Let’s run the installer. Click Run in the Security Warning.
and then I Agree to accept the GPL.
Click Next to install in default location of the Program Files folder.
Then click Install to store the blockchain and key data in the default App Data directory.
Once the install is complete click Close. A folder will open with a shortcut to the Wallet program.
Let’s open the Wallet by double clicking the Ethereum Wallet shortcut. A splash screen will appear as the Wallet starts up.
Click USE THE MAIN NETWORK
and then SKIP to create a new wallet file. The wallet program will also ask for a passphrase – a password for your wallet. This means to spend or transfer Ether out of your wallet you need both the private key, which is stored as a file on your computer, and the passphrase for your wallet.
Come up with a secure yet memorable password and enter it twice.
Then click NEXT.
Your key information is used to generate a 40 hexa-decimal character address on the blockchain. This address is like an account number. Ether can be deposited into this account using only this address, without any passphrase or private key information.
The wallet application brings up a window reminding us to back up our key files and password. We’ll do that later on in the video.
You’ll see under Main Account there is the 40 character Ether address. In this video I will store it inside the Notepad application. You will need this later on if you are going to do any Ethereum mining.
So now a desktop wallet has been created, we set up a passphrase, and we have the address of the wallet. Check out the bottom of the window- there is a progress bar showing that the Ethereum wallet program is downloading a copy of the blockchain onto your PC. This is going to take a while, but don’t worry. The Wallet program needs to be fully synchronized with the blockchain to see accurate balances or send Ethereum, but as of now you can put Ethereum in your account.
The problem with our current set-up is that if we lose the key files stored on this computer, even though we have the passphrase memorized, all of the Ether stored in this wallet will be in-accessible. To solve this let’s make one or more secure backups of the key file.
To do this, go into Windows Explorer and in the address bar, type the percent sign, appdata (one word), followed by another percent sign.
Then press Enter to go to the App Data folder. Inside the App Data folder you will see an Ethereum folder and an Ethereum Wallet folder.
Click on the Ethereum folder.
Then click on the Keystore folder. There is one file in this folder with a long name which looks like a timestamp of when the wallet was created.
This is a really small file, so you can make a copy to another computer or a USB drive as a backup. Computers break all the time, so let’s make sure we don’t lose access to our Ether.
Back to the Wallet application. This is still downloading blockchain data, and could take several hours depending on your internet connection speed. It’s safe to close this, but just remember the desktop wallet needs to be fully in synch with the blockchain to display an accurate Ether balance. As a heads up, the Ethereum folder inside App Data will grow to several gigabytes as the Wallet program synchronizes.
Thank you for watching!