Ethereum Wallets

Learn how to interact with Ethereum wallets, interact with the network, install a MetaMask wallet, and create an Ethereum account.

So far, we were mostly focused on the theory of how Ethereum works, its core concepts, and how they're related to each other. In this lesson, we'll take a first look at Ethereum from the user’s perspective. We'll learn how we can interact with the Ethereum network and the role of Ethereum wallets.

Web3 API

There are two options to interact with Ethereum, depending on what we want to do. To interact with Ethereum programmatically, we can use the Ethereum API, which is sometimes called the Web3 API. This API allows a user to perform all operations with an Ethereum network such as transferring Ether, deploying a smart contract, interacting with an existing smart contract, etc.

The Ethereum API is a JSON RPC API that's available via HTTP, IPC, or WebSocket protocols. In practice, we'd usually use one of the many third-party client libraries that make working with this API easier. In this course, we'll use the web3.js library that allows using the Ethereum API in JavaScript applications, but there are other Web3 libraries for all major programming languages.

To use Web3 API, we'd need to connect to an Ethereum node (this is a computer running Ethereum software connected to the Ethereum network). We can run an Ethereum node ourselves, which requires more effort, or we can connect to a third-party node and use it as a gateway to the Ethereum network. Several companies provide Ethereum nodes as a service, and we'll use one of these services later in the course.

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