Getting Ether (ETH)

Begin by going to https://www.myetherwallet.com/ which is an open source, javascript, client-side tool for generating Ether Wallets.

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Enter a secure password, this is used to encrypt your wallet so that when you download it from the site it will be secure, even if someone were to get a copy of it.

As this XKCD comic points out, long, easy to remember passwords are often superior to short, hard to remember passwords;

XKCD – Password Strength

After putting in a strong password click the generate wallet button.

This will generate the wallet client side, meaning no information is sent to the website owners.

You will then be presented with the following screen:

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3 main points:

  • Ensure you have multiple paper copies of your password.
  • Save the encrypted JSON file and back it up in multiple places.
  • Save the QR code of your address (but not the QR code of the private key) and the simple string of your address (the long list of numbers and letters in step 1).

(Extended Information at bottom of the page)


Extended Information for myetherwallet:

There are 3 main sections to the myetherwallet page;

  1. Your address
  2. Your wallet (JSON Format)
  3. Your ‘Paper’ wallet (QR Code Format)

The important thing here is that you need to save a copy of your wallet, you haven’t generated this wallet from your password, instead you have encrypted the randomly generated wallet with your password. This is a very important distinction.

If you do not save your wallet and only record your password, you will lose any ether sent to your address.

You must, therefore, download your wallet.

You have the options to download the JSON file either unencrypted or encrypted.

If you download it encrypted you will need to enter your password to gain access to it, and failure to remember your password will leave you unable to access your funds. If you download it unencrypted you are more likely to lose your funds if your computer is compromised with malware.

I suggest you download the encrypted JSON file and save the QR code of your address but not your private key. This way anything on your computer is useless without the password which you can store offline on paper only.

Finally the little icon to the right of your address in step 1 helps you identify your wallet. It is derived from your wallet address, and each wallet has a unique icon. Ensure you are familiar with it so that in the future you can recognise that you are sending Ether to the correct account.