Skip main navigation

Setting up an ethereum wallet

Setting up an Ethereum wallet
(pleasant music) <v ->Today I’m gonna show you</v> how to install a web wallet that you can use in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. There are a number of wallets that you can use, but the most popular and accessible is called MetaMask, which is installed and operates in any chromium browser like Chrome or Brave, or also on Firefox. Today I’m gonna use a chromium browser called Vivaldi. The first thing I’ll do is visit For security reasons, it’s very important to make sure you’re visiting the official MetaMask website. Searching from Google or DuckDuckGo and choosing the first main link would also work. Never download cryptocurrency software from links you haven’t confirmed are the official website.
So I’ll click “Download” now, and then I’ll install MetaMask for Chrome, which will take me to the Google Chrome Web Store. I’ll click “Add to Chrome,” then “Add Extension.” So now I’ve installed MetaMask and I’ll get started. I’m starting a new cryptocurrency wallet, so I’ll click “Create a Wallet,” rather than setting up a previous wallet from a secret recovery phrase. Now, I’m going to accept the privacy terms, which of course I’ve already familiarized myself with, and I’ll create a new password. I’m just gonna go paste a nice and lengthy password in there. This is a password that gives me access and control over this installation of MetaMask in this browser.
And of course, I’ve already familiarized myself with the terms of use, so I’m going to click “Create.” There’s a video here that I recommend you watch, but for now, I want to clarify what’s going on. The password that I set up just a moment ago controls access to my browser’s MetaMask installation. But what if I uninstalled MetaMask from this browser, or if I wanted to also access my cryptocurrency on another device? This is where something called a secret recovery phrase comes in. This is a critical piece of wallet security. I can use this secret recovery phrase to set up my wallet anywhere else and gain full control of my funds or other tokens.
It is absolutely essential that you do not share your secret recovery phrase with anyone. Any person who has your secret recovery phrase has complete access to your private keys and can do what they like with your cryptocurrency or other tokens. As the MetaMask installation procedure says right here, if someone asks for that phrase, they are most likely trying to scam you. So looking after the secret recovery phrase is very, very important. When we move to the next page, we’re gonna be shown the secret recovery phrase itself, which in case is a string of 12 common English words. Best practice security here is to write this down on a piece of paper and store it securely away from your computer.
Private key management is though a big topic by itself, and it becomes more important the more funds you control. We have provided some really good resources with the course that will allow you to investigate this further. In the next few screens, MetaMask will ask you to verify your phrase to make sure you’ve recorded it correctly. But for obvious reasons, I’m gonna skip that part of the video.
But once we’re done that, we get a reminder about how to best protect our secret recovery phrase again, that’s how important it is, and then we can click on “All Done.” So here we are. We’ve installed MetaMask. I want to draw attention to a few small things though, before we wrap up. We now have an Ethereum account, which is identified not by this human readable name, Account 1 at the top here, which we can change to anything in our wallet, but by a public key listed in gray below. If we click on that, it will copy the full public key to our clipboard.
But I’d also like to show this to you on the blockchain itself, or at least through a blockchain explorer. So if we click on these three dots here, we can view it on Etherscan, which is an Ethereum blockchain explorer. This is our Ethereum account. Once we start making transactions through MetaMask, we’ll be able to see them publicly all here. Our address is listed at the top. The amount of Ether tokens we have is listed in the middle and our transaction history, of course there are no transactions yet, is listed down here at the bottom.
Then finally, if we want to return to MetaMask, we can see our little MetaMask fox icon up at the top here, at the top right of our browser. We click to open. So in this video, we’ve successfully installed the web cryptocurrency wallet MetaMask, we have introduced the secure management of our secret recovery phrase, and we’ve looked at our new Ethereum account on a blockchain explorer. (pleasant music)

Associate Professor Chris Berg demonstrates how to set up a Metamask wallet.

Follow along to set up your own Metamask wallet, which you will use going forward in the course. We will fill it with free Testnet tokens in the next step so you can DeFi for free.

Please note: setting up a Metamask wallet is completely optional for this course. It will, however, allow you to follow along with upcoming steps and, as long as you only interact exclusively on a testnet, will not cost you anything.
This article is from the free online

Decentralised Finance: Blockchain, Ethereum, and The Future of Banking

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now