Pocket Guide | Table O Contents

A simple Ethereum pocket guide for new comers, novice users, and traders …

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The Ethereum Platform

Hint. Place the intro paragraph ie.) the ‘hypothesis’ here …

This simple beginner’s guide is to help those just coming to Ethereum for the first time.

  1. The Ethereum platform is a major advancement for humankind.

  2. The Ethereum platform empowers humans to form safe and secure digital agreements with each other.

  3. The Ethereum platform allows people to truly own and control their own money.

  4. The Ethereum platform allows people to protect their internet money from corruption.

  5. The Ethereum platform allows people to better harness the elegant and incredible nature of cryptography.

  6. The Ethereum platform will change everything.

  7. The Ethereum platform will change the way we build things.

  8. The Ethereum platform will change the way we create, communicate, and control our own futures.

Therefore, do NOT be afraid of Ethereum.

But, rather embrace Ethereum and the Ethereum platform.

Transact Me

To start, the Ethereum platform is a transaction system.

Anyone can use the Ethereum platform to send and receive internet money.

Ether is the crypto currency of choice that drives the block chain at the Ethereum platform.

To use the Ethereum platform, a transactor must convert their existing currency to Ether in a sufficient amount necessary to complete their transaction.


An account at the Ethereum platform is composed of a “key-value” pair.

The “key” is the address and the “value” is called a hash.

Note. An account at the Ethereum platform may send and receive Ether.

Ether, you may recall, is the crypto currency of choice that drives the block chain at the Ethereum platform.

Smart Contracts

A smart contract is a block of computer code that executes at least once in order to be added to the block-chain.

Note. A smart contract at the Ethereum platform may send and receive Ether, too.

Ether, you may recall, is the crypto currency of choice that drives the block chain at the Ethereum platform.

Sending Transactions

To send a transaction over the Ethereum platform, the transactor and transactee are required to negotiate a small amount of Ether.

Commonly known as “Contract Gas”, the Ether agreed upon will be credited to the Miner who successfully forges the block that completes your transaction.

Generally, the more Contract Gas you include in your transaction, the faster your transaction will be processed.

Does that sound fair?

Digital Wallets

An Ether wallet comes in many flavors.

Only use Ethereum on safe/fresh/clean and up-to-date secured computers.

Preferably use iOS/Linux, preferably use an iPhone over Android.

Preferably don’t browse on your safe devices you use for Ethereum related things.

HTTPS or nothing.

Use an Ad Blocker.

Public Wifi is unsafe.

Use a popular VPN.

Read everything, read it slowly and read it carefully.

Try to learn and understand as much as you can.

e) Join the community, ask questions, stay very skeptical of everything, and don’t rush any purchases or transactions ever.

f) There are thousands of spam, spoofing, hacking and unsafe services and contracts trying to steal your precious Ether.

Ask community leaders and experts for opinions, and trusted options or about services/websites you’re unsure about.

Don’t ever be shy, in most cases try to use what everyone else is using and what the community is comfortable with.

g) Once you send Ether or Tokens, think of it as a final sale transaction.

You will never get it back if a thief or poorly constructed contract has it.

This also goes for poorly backed up accounts.

h) Follow the law.

Remember to consult with tax professionals (i.e. CPAs) and consult with proper legal counsel before acquiring or transferring any Ethereum tokens or assets.

Also know that things are bound to change and change often in the space.

Don’t get comfortable, keep probing the space for new ideas, practices and ways to keep your Ether and digital assets safe.

To get you familiar with some basic concepts fast, here are some basics.

Blockchain and Miners

When transactions are sent, they get bunched up into blocks one after the other, we call this bunching of transactions into blocks the “Blockchain”.

Each block contains a set of processed and valid transactions.

Blocks are created one after the other by transaction verifiers called Miners (like Gold Miners).

Miners can get rewards for processing transactions.

Note. Both the Ethereum platform and the Bitcoin platform have their own type of block chains.

Different technically, but conceptually alike somewhat in many ways, though every day the divergence between the Ethereum platform and the Bitcoin platform grows exponentially.

Accounts and Keys

If you want to send or receive either Ether or real Tokens on the Ethereum platform …

You will need an account.

Public Addresses

All Ethereum platform accounts ( and, contracts ) have a public address.

Public addresses at the Ethereum platform are assembled in “Hex” format and look like a scrambled string of characters comprised of the letters (A) through (F), and the numbers zero (0) through nine (9), as follows:


Private Key

All Ethereum platform accounts also possess a Private Key.

The private key allows the owner of the account to send Ether ( or, Tokens ) to and from his or her public address.

An example of a hexadecimal private key looks like the following string of characters …


Note. The Private Key is a little bit longer than the Public Address, heh?

Key To The Castle

Think of your Private Key as the key to your crypto castle.

Any person who has the Private Key can access all or part of the stored Ether, the Tokens, if any, and any other digital asset stored at the account’s public address.

Therefore, keep-a your Private Key safe!

Seed Phrases

Seeds are special phrases that can be used in combination with a passphrase to call a Private Key from deep storage.

Seed Phrases are easier to write down and record than the long hexadecimals used in your Private Key and Public Address.

The construction of a Seed Phrase uses a range of words from three (3) to twenty-four (24).

If any software asks you to write one down, then write it down like it was your last will and testament.

If you lose the Seed or passphrase, or if you record either incorrectly, you can lose all your funds forever.

If someone steals or copies your Seed Phrases, they will potentially also capture all of your Ether.


To avoid sending your Ether, or Tokens to the wrong Public Address

Always, always scan and double check the first (1st) and the last five (5) to seven (7) “hex” digits of the Public Address ( at a minimum ) that you are sending your Ether to.

Also, scan and double check the transaction amount to make sure the number of Ether being sent is correct.

Always, always, always …

Compare and check all details at least twice, or maybe even three times to avoid error.


The base unit of an Ether crypto coin is called a Wei aka Wei Dai.

There are eighteen (18) decimal places of Wei in a single Ether coin.

Therefore, one (1) Ether coin equals 1000000000000000000 Wei.


More to come …


More to come …


More to come …

Real Tokens can be denominated in all different kinds of units.

Some real Tokens have no decimal places ie.) One (1) real Token is always One (1) real Token

While other real Tokens can have denominations and decimal places similar to Ether ie.) One (1) real Token = Eighteen (18) decimal places of Token …

When sending real Tokens, you will generally not need to send any “value” of Ether.

However, you will be required to pay a small amount of Ether for gas in order to send the transaction and to pay the Miner.


Solidity is a computer language all Ethereum platform account owners may use to code their Smart Contract transactions, as follows:

pragma solidity 0.4.13;
contract HelloWorld { 
 function saySomething() returns (string message) { return “Hello World!”; }

The Ethereum platform takes the contract code and executes its functions by converting the Solidity code to Ethereum Virtual Machine aka EVA code, as follows:


Note. Other Ethereum platform Smart Contracts as well as the owners of other Ethereum platform accounts may call the methods of your creation to calculate and render a different result by passing in different variables.

Test Nets

The Ethereum platform has many, multiple sub-networks.

We call these sub-networks “test networks”, or Test Nets for short.

Developers use these networks to test and build live contracts and services on the internet before going to the main network.

The main Ethereum platform network is called the Main Net.

While the most common test networks are called:


“Rinkeby”, and


Faucet Coins

The fake Ether and fake Tokens used on test networks are generally worthless.

They are to be used for testing purposes only.

Many test networks do have something called a “faucet”.

This is where developers and users can get free test Ether to be used for that test network only.

When using Ethereum platform wallets like “Meta Mask” …

Remember to be on a test network when testing your programs.

Note. When executing Smart Contracts LIVE, you will be on the Main Net of the Ethereum platform.

Blockchain Explorer

A great way to view all block, transaction, and account information for each network is to visit https://etherscan.io/

decentralized Apps

A decentralized App aka dApp is an application that is made in part from one or more Ethereum platform Smart Contracts.

Many dApps are very lightweight.

They are browser based apps traditionally made with familiar Html5 and Css and Javascript.

These “fancy webpages for contracts” interact with specific other Smart Contracts on one or many of the Ethereum platform networks.

You can think of decentralized Apps as being the pretty faces to Smart Contracts.

Ether aka Contract Gas

You can acquire Ether via:

a) using an online exchange,

b) a person or service sending it to you,

c) mining it with very expensive and powerful computers.

Getting Started

To start tooling around the Ethereum platform, try MyEtherWallet to create, backup and use your first Ethereum platform wallet (huzza!):

C=> MyEtherWallet

Then install MetaMask in your Chrome browser in order to enable your browser with the Ethereum platform and the new Web 3.0 Internet.

MetaMask is also an Ethereum wallet that can be used on the Ethereum platform.

C=> MetaMask

And, can also be used with the above MyEtherWallet, among other options.

Author Caveats

Please always remember, articles can be hacked, too!

So, please watch where the links you click ultimately go.

And, only trust your real Ether or real Tokens to your “hard” wallet, or “paper” wallet.

Your “soft” wallet should only be used to transact business over the Ethereum platform …

NOT as a permanent place of storage for oodles of Ether.

Always double check the links that you click on with other sources.

( as I have done here ;-)

Token Silence

Also use a hardware wallet like Ledger S Nano or Trezor

Note, Ledger S Nano and Trezor all have their own softwares for managing Ether and their other assets.


None of what is stated, mentioned or described in this article is in any way investment advice and should not be treated as such.

The information provided in this article is provided as is and without any warranty.

Author Profile

My journey with Ethereum has been filled with amazing people, talent, ideas and projects.

I hope that in writing this guide you will learn more about the technology of the Ethereum platform.

And, have great success as a user of this new form of technology.

Beginner Guide

This beginners guide is the start of a larger wallet handling git book that will be coming out sometime after this article.

The book will outline detailed wallet setup instructions, options, tips and tricks to handling Ether and digital assets.

It will get complex, which is why beginners guides and primers like this are so important.

A special thanks to all those who provided feedback and helped out with this and other articles.

Nick Dodson, Crypto developer and musician


Last Subtitle

More to come …

Note. The above synopsis was derived from an article written by Nick Dodson [1].

  1. Nick Dodson, Author.

  2. Ethereum Forum.

  3. Ethereum Creator: Vitalik Buterin.

  4. Ethereum Foundation.

  5. Ethereum News.

  6. Mr. Technical #1.

  7. Mr. Technical #2.

  8. More News #1.

  9. More News #2.

  10. MetaMask.

  11. Mr. Token.

  12. MyEtherWallet.

  13. Troll Zone.

  14. Troll Zone for Traders.

  15. Troll Zone for Developers.


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