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Safe way of Generating and Storing an Ethereum Wallet6 min read

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With the recent advent of Ethereum and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO’s), folks unfamiliar with Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies like BitCoin are becoming involved in the technology. Unfortunately, getting started with Ethereum and participating in ICO’s is not easy.

The eminent component in Ethereum is the “wallet”.  Ethereum wallet as it well known is what holds your Ether and other Ethereum-based tokens.

Like every other cryptocurrencies, an Ethereum wallet can be hacked. You shouldn’t leave it “out”, or stored on a device that is often connected to the internet, or it risks being hacked. presently there is no recovery tool for a stolen wallet — No body can help you recover it, and you can’t reverse what happens.

Below guide has been explicitly explain on  how to safely generate and store an Ethereum wallet.

My Ether Wallet

MyEtherWallet is protocol, an open source project to make it simple to design an Ethereum wallet and interact with the Ethereum platform. It is hosted by myetherwallet.com, but it’s just a static web page. The safe, advised way of using MyEtherWallet is to download the website yourself,  this is to avoid entering the wrong website and minimizing the risk of been hacked. This also gives you the opportunity to use MyEtherWallet without being connected to the internet.

You can download the newest version of the MyEtherWallet website as a zip file at this link. Download the “etherwallet-v…”, not the chrome extension. When you unzip the file, you get a list of files containing a website.

Unzipped MyEtherWallet. Double click “index.html” to open it.

Open “index.html” to launch MyEtherWallet.

Generating an Ethereum Wallet

When generating Ethereum Wallet,You should always turn off your internet connection for the following steps. If you most secure your Ether, you can do the following steps on a computer that is rarely or never connected to the internet. This is considered an “air-gapped” computer. The major reason to do this is to minimize the risk that someone has hacked you and is secretly observing what you do. Even without a specialized air-gapped computer, it is good practice to turn the internet off while doing Ethereum wallet generation.

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The MyEtherWallet form to generate a new wallet.

Type a secure password you won’t forget into the box, and click “Create New Wallet”.

You can then click “Download Keystore File” to save your wallet. I advice you save it to a USB stick, preferably an encrypted USB stick, so that it isn’t hanging around on your computer where it could be easily seen. The file will be called something like “UTC — 2017–08–11T15–29–26.452Z — 45…”.

Press “I understand. Continue”.

On the next page, you can see your “private key” in normal text. This is a plain-text version of the keystore file you have just downloaded, which is not protected by a password. I do not advice you save this, you don’t need to if you have the keystore file.

You can also print a “paper wallet”, which is a paper version of the keystore file you saved, which actually protects you if you lose the keystore file or forget your password. Print this out if you are worried about misplacing your wallet, but make sure it’s stored securely . Anyone who finds the paper wallet will definitely have  access to your Ethereum!

Now, press “See my address”.

Unlocking Your Wallet & Checking Your Balance

View your Ethereum wallet info

Click the “View Wallet Info” tab. Click “Select Wallet File” and navigate to the “UTC — 2017–08–11…” keystore file you saved previously. Type in your keystore password, and click “Unlock”.

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An Unlocked Ethereum Wallet

Once its unlocked, you can see your public address displayed (“0x45cABda7D6A2051dc7e20Cfc6d0bd4878f7D3736” for this wallet), your Ether balance, links to transaction history, and optionally display your private key and print your paper wallet.

Your private key should not in any circumstance be given out . You only give out your Account Address in order to receive Ether.

See ERC20 tokens

On the side, you can also see your “Token Balances”. These are (generally) ERC20 tokens, like AIR and BAT, which you  hold in your Ethereum wallet in addition to Ether.

ERC20 Token Balances

Clicking “Show All Tokens” reveals your individual token balances.

Receiving Ether or Other Tokens

In other to receive Ether or other tokens, you don’t need to do anything special. simply provide your public Ethereum wallet address (the “0x45…” number) to the person who will send you currency, and it will be received. You can “View Wallet Info” to see your balance.

Sending Ether or Other Tokens

There are 2 ways to send Ether — online and offline transactions.

As discussed initially, using your wallet offline is safer, because it minimizes the potential for hackers to steal your wallet.

To send an online transaction, click the “Send Ether & Tokens” tab, and unlock your wallet.

As soon as it unlocked, you are presented with a page showing  To Address, an amount, and a Gas Limit. If you have other ERC20 tokens, you can click then ETH down arrow to change the type to another currency.

The “Gas Limit” is the maximum fees amount you pay to the network to execute your operation. The Ethereum network is powered by individual nodes, which are just people all over the world that choose to participate in the network’s processing work. You pay a fee for them to process your transaction. Just leave the default at 21000, the fee will be 5 to 30 cents USD.

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To send an offline transaction, you do all the same steps, except you don’t initiate the transaction until you are online. This allows you to safely remove your keystore from your computer (i.e., unplug your USB) and prevent your keystore from ever being attached to the internet.

Go to the “Send Offline” tab. Copy in your Ethereum wallet address in the “From Address” field, and click “Generate Information”.

In Step 2, enter in the Ethereum wallet address to send ETH or tokens to. Then fill in the value and type, and leave the Gas Limit and Gas Price to the default but often times, its important to double check the gas limit.

Then select your keystore file, type in your password, unlock it, and click “Generate Transaction”.

At this point,  copy the “Signed Transaction” text. take the transaction to a different computer connected to the internet, or just use the same computer and turn the internet on, but the point is to remove your keystore before executing the transaction. This dissociate your keystore (your actual wallet) from the internet, perfectly increasing your wallet’s safety.

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