According to Coin Market Cap, Ethereum has the second largest market cap amongst Crypto-Currencies, after Bitcoin. Bitcoin and crypto lovers all around have seen Ethereum as an interesting platform that promises scalability, reliability and growth potential.
If you still haven’t started using (or at least experimenting with) Ethereum, it’s high time you should try your hands on it. The speed with which Ethereum is evolving and grabbing the market share is astonishing.
‘That’s great. But hey, where do I start?’
If that’s what you’re thinking, you’ve landed in the right place. In this guide, we’ll cover everything to help you get started with Ethereum.
What is Ethereum?
By standard definition:
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.
To operate the distributed application platform Ethereum, you need a fuel: Ether. It is a form of payment made by the clients of the platform to the machines executing the requested operations. To put it another way, ether is the incentive ensuring that developers write quality applications (wasteful code costs more), and that the network remains healthy (people are compensated for their contributed resources).
A.Downloading the Ethereum Mist Wallet
To store, accept and send ether, you need a wallet. Download the latest release of mist wallet. Scroll down to Downloads and choose the release as per the system you’re using.
- Choose Ethereum-Wallet-YourSystem. For this guide, I’m working through the installation of the wallet for Mac OS i.e. I select Ethereum-Wallet-macosx-0–8–1.zip
- Once you click on the link, it’ll automatically start to download the zip file. After you unzip the folder, look for Ethereum-Wallet application and launch it.
B. Installing the Wallet
After you launch, you’ll see this:
Once the node is fully synced, you’ll be asked to choose the network. For testing purpose, choose ‘USE THE TEST NETWORK’ option.
Choose your password:
Protect your account with a strong password. Put in the strong password and remember it. Seriously! You cannot EVER change the password of this account once it’s created. So, remember the password.
C. Your Account
This is what the Wallet’s overview screen looks like.
At the top of your Wallet overview screen, you’ll see the info related to the sync status of your node. If the node has stopped syncing (e.g. zero peers or block number not changing), try restarting the Wallet app or wait for some time.
Under Accounts, you can see the number of accounts and Ether balance in every account.
Your Account Address
Go inside the ‘MAIN ACCOUNT’. The string below your account name is your account address. It starts with 0x.
Note: Ethereum Account addresses are in hexadecimal format. They are made up of 40 characters (hexadecimal digits). Read more about it here.
This is my testnet account address, if you want to send some ether. 😉
To receive the ether from other party, simply share the address. You can see the status of transaction at http://testnet.etherscan.io/. Simply put your account number or the transaction number sent by other party in search bar.
Note: If you can’t find anyone to send you ether, go here and share your address. 🙂 With this Ethereum Faucet, you can receive free ether simply by adding your wallet address and start claiming. Here are 2 ether I received from them:
- Go to SEND.
- Put in the address of the receiving party.
- Choose the amount of ether you want to send.
4. Try sending it without changing any fees.
5. And enter your password.
To see all of your transactions, go to Wallet overview → Latest Transactions
Click on the particular transaction to display the Transaction box.
The same can be checked on http://testnet.etherscan.io/. Search with transaction number or your account number.
That’s it! Need any help? Put it in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help.
Go mine some! 😀