Setting up your first cryptocurrency wallet is an important step to take, but it can be an intimidating experience. There are many decisions to make, jargon, things to backup secretly, passphrases and, - best of all - if you make a mistake, you could lose your crypto, forever. 🙃
But don't fret, this article will take you through the full process of setting up your wallet and sending your first transaction (s). You'll likely do this many times, so it's worth understanding the basic steps of the process. It gets easier each time.
We'll go over installing, setting up, backing up, restoring, receiving, and sending cryptocurrency, on both desktop and mobile wallets. For this introduction, we'll use the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain, the Electron Cash desktop wallet, and the bitcoin.com mobile wallet.
Other wallets also work. Use whichever one you like, the features covered below are in almost every wallet.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a good blockchain to start with due to its long legacy, active development, lots of varied applications, expanding use-cases in retail, similarities to Bitcoin (BTC), and it's very low transactions fees. The low transaction fees are especially valuable when starting as they allow experimentation by sending themselves, friends, or services small amounts before committing to larger value transactions. This way you are able to begin receiving, sending, and using crypto with confidence immediately; without worrying about high transaction fees or congested block-chains. That can come later.
Almost all cryptocurrency wallets allow the same basic features - create wallets, backup wallets, send assets, receive assets, restore wallets. The learnings from this guide can be applied and followed along with most other crypto networks and wallets of your choice.
Electron Cash and the BitcoinCom Mobile wallet are full-featured Bitcoin Cash (BCH) wallets. These two wallets allow all of the basic operations while providing privacy features, point of sale support and other advanced features to explore. Electron Cash is perfect as a computer/desktop wallet with its strong privacy, advanced coin control, flexible usage, and other advanced features for to experiment with. The Bitcoin.com wallet is a great mobile wallet with account management, BCH, BTC an ETH support and optimize for daily usage.
Note that both of these wallets are focused on specific blockchains. Electron Cash is focused on only Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and the Bitcoin.com Wallet is focused on Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Ethereum (ETH). Chain-focused wallets are valuable for learning as they usually have chain-specific features. Some of which to look out for:
ERC token support,
portfolio tracking, and more. Wallets that support many blockchains often only implement the basic features (send, receive) and rarely support the unique aspects of each blockchain.
It's common to store multiple coins in a multi-currency wallet -, and hold a smaller amount of specific currencies in single coin wallets for daily use or advanced features.
Hurray, Electron Cash is installed, and you're ready to start your BCH adventure. Let's get the wallet ready to use and secured.
tragic convince era road before... etc etc
wallet > view seed > copy derivation path
m/44'/145'/0', and for the Electron Cash SLP edition
Once those steps are done, Electron Cash is ready for use, click around and explore the UI. Next, let's get a mobile wallet installed and some free BCH from a faucet for practice.
Seed phrases should always be kept secret. This phrase is all someone needs to gain access to your crypto wallet assets. All addresses derived from a compromised seed phrase/wallet should be considered public and not used for anything or store any assets.
Similar to the setup steps, but instead of generating a new seed phrase, you use an existing phrase to restore the account it was from.
If the seed phrase was created from the same wallet you're restoring with, then this should just work. If not, you may need to enter the derivation path the wallet was created with. Typically, this value is standardized across all wallets for a cryptocurrency, but nothing prevents wallets from being created on non-standard paths. If you didn't back up the derivation path with the seed phrase, and the restoring wallet cannot determine the path, then it can probably be found with some research.
Now for the fun part. Receiving, sending, and using Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Let's get some BCH by heading to the bitcoin.com BCH faucet, and installing wallet.bitcoin.com on your phone to qualify for free Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Alternatively, you can buy some crypto, but a faucet is easy for starting with no investment.
Faucets give away small amounts of a cryptocurrency, just enough to pay for 1-3 transactions worth of fees. Enough to try using p2p crash and see how easy and fast it can be.
sendtab and scan the QR code in Electron Cash
That's it. You now have two wallets ready to use, one for Mobile, and one for Desktop. Successfully sent micro amounts of funds between them. With this same process you can send any amount to anyone. With desktop and mobile wallets setup, and practice sending funds between them, you have a pretty good wallet setup in the works.
Here are a few things to notice.
addressestab one of the addresses now has funds, and in the
receivingtab the QR code shows a new address
unconfirmed, when it gets confirmed in a block, the confirmations increase by
1and so on.
unconfirmedup to 50 times.
Receiving Addressbegins with
simpleledger:address formats in the BCH ecosystem.
Now you're the proud owner of a micro amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), know how to keep it secure, and can spend it with confidence, but what can you do with this micro-amount? Turns out, a few things. Here are a few ideas.
Wallets are capable of a lot more; we've only touched the surface. Explore the menus and see if you can enable CashShuffle or CashFusion, spend individual UTXO (coin control), change the fiat currency conversion, turn on quick-send, claim a CashAccount, etc etc.
Each wallet has a different set of features, so explore each one to find new features.
Each wallet typically shows its current balance and transaction history. If you want more details on individual addresses or transactions, you can use a block explorer. There are many to choose from, but here are three good ones to try. Just enter the address or transaction ID to get started
You can also try spotting your transaction as-it-happens on the blockchain with our TX-Watch tool.
Thanks for reading this article. We hope you have a better understanding of bitcoin wallets and the basics of digital cash. Follow us on Twitter at @BuyHodlSell for updates. If you'd like to suggest an improvement, correction, or anything else, get in contact with us.