In most occasions, when people hear about ethereum they often think about something very intimidating and difficult to work with. However, using ethereum could really be rewarding as you only need to know how to go about it.
Well, if the computing world develops according to the plans laid out, maybe this could provide other alternatives to things like Google and Facebook which are often used by many people around the world.
It is true that the use of ethereum is not that popular and might not be that much intuitive compared to the web today but anybody with a smartphone or a computer can as well try his or her luck on this platform provided that they have or own ether.
Ether are usually some pieces of code that allows updates to the ledger of the blockchain.
Just like any other business, before you venture into it of course there are some things that you need to know first about the business before you proceed, right? Yes, the same applies to when you want to try out your hands on ethereum.
You need to first make sure that you have a place where you can safely store the ether you own and this is where ethereum wallets come in. one important thing you should really take into consideration is the fact that when dealing with ether, you need to be very much careful because losing a private key is just the same as saying goodbye to your ether for good. This is clearly worse compared to when you forget a password.
Well, removal of the trusted parties is like a double edged sword since there really isn’t no help desk that you can contact to help you recover your secret key. This also implies that there are no intermediaries required to verify the transactions you make.
Having noted that, there are a lot of options when it comes to the wallets which you can use to store your cryptocurrency. The one you want to use will now depend on what you prefer in terms of security and convenience.
However, these two usually are conflicting with each other i.e. the greater the security, the less it is convenient and the reverse is true. With that being said, let us look at these wallets.
With desktop wallets, you will need to have a laptop or a PC. One way to go about it is simply to download one of the available ethereum clients. An ethereum client is simply a copy of the whole ethereum blockchain.
There are not many of them but the available few are usually written using different programming languages with some difference in performance tradeoffs. This is what is called ethereum code.
The procedure might take a few days and your ether will only increase with an increase on ethereum. You will then have to make sure that your wallet is always in sync with every latest transactions done on the blockchain.
When it comes to the mobile clients or the “light” clients as other people like calling it, you will only need a small amount of data to download it and connect it to the network so that you can be able to make transactions. They can easily be downloaded on a smartphone.
Remember when we said that the safety and convenience of these wallets are usually in conflict with each other? Well, mobile wallets are usually considered to be much convenient but not that much safe.
If you have dealt with full ethereum clients before, you will notice that they do offer a much safer way for you to receive your transactions as they don’t always trust the nodes or the miners to give them appropriate information. This is why they usually do the validation of transactions for themselves.
Using a device not connected to the internet to store your private keys is sometimes considered much safe as this makes it harder to be hacked thus making mobile wallets suitable for storage of huge ether holdings. This method is always known as cold storage.
However, using mobile wallets is not that easy compared to using either your smartphone or a PC connected to the internet to store ether.
Often small in size, hardware wallets are always considered to be great as it offers good security and convenience. They are also much safer since you don’t have to be online to make any transactions.
This can be done even when the device is disconnected from the internet. The only problem with hardware wallets is that it becomes a little bit of inconvenience whenever you wish to use the ether more often or when moving.
This is another form of cold storage. As the name suggests, all you have to do is find a piece of paper and using your own handwriting, you can write your private key on it. You can even print on the paper and then keep it safely somewhere where you can easily access it.
Online tools are capable of generating key pairs straight on your device. This is not done on the website’s severs as this could expose your keys in case the website is hacked.
You can also use command line to generate the keys, you only need to have all the cryptographic packages that are necessary installed for any language that you prefer.
You should always keep in mind that once you lose a private key, it is gone forever. This is why it is recommended that you take some time and create several copies of your private key and keep them safe in different places so that you can still have access to your private key in case one gets destroyed or is lost.
Buying ether depends on the country you are from or the currency. You will need to look for a person online or an in-person who owns ether and wishes to trade. The option of finding an in-person to sell to or buy ether from is always easy, especially if you are living in a town or city which often holds ethereum meet-ups e.g. Toronto or New York.
It is however difficult to go for this option in areas with less population. With exchanges, you will always be able to directly buy ether using bitcoin or dollars and of course you have to go through some sign-up process.
Using another currency to buy ether might take you through some extra steps hence a lot of people usually prefer using the bitcoin. This is the mostly used cryptocurrency as you will find a lot of people around the world who are willing to use their currency to trade for it.
For instance, if you have rubles and you want to use that to get yourself some ether, the best and most likely the easiest way to do this is to buy a bitcoin available at an exchange and later trade it for ether.
Once you get it, you can go ahead and directly transfer it to another person at a small transaction fee usually paid to the miners and this is how you get ether. If you want to know how ethereum works, see this link https://www.coindesk.com/information/how-ethereum-works/.
If you ever wished to start using ethereum, this article is enough to get you started. At least you now know how you can get ether and how you can store them. For more information on ethereum please see here.