Using an Ethereum Wallet

In the previous lesson, we learned what Ethereum wallets are and went through the steps to install the MetaMask web wallet. We also created an Ethereum account. In this lesson, we'll see how we can get some Ether, send transfers between accounts, and use Ethereum dapps.

Getting Ether

Ether costs money. This isn't surprising since there's a limited amount of Ether, and we need it to pay gas fees to perform computations. So, to get some real Ether, we need to buy it from someone, e.g., go to an exchange and buy Ether there.

Don't worry, you won't need to spend your money to buy Ether to continue with this course! There's another option that allows us to develop and test our test applications for free.

It turns out that there are multiple Ethereum networks. There's one particular network that everyone is using for real applications and real financial transactions that's called the Mainnet. But, in addition to the Mainnet, there are several test networks. These test networks behave just like the real network, but the Ether on these networks doesn't cost anything, and we can get it for free.

For the duration of this course, we'll use a test network, and we won’t touch the Mainnet, but everything will work in the same way if we use the Mainnet.

Currently, the main Ethereum test network is called Goerli. This network is very close in its implementation to the Mainnet and is created especially for developers.

There are also other Ethereum test networks mentioned elsewhere, such as Rinkeby, Ropsten, etc. These networks are still available, but they've been deprecated and don’t receive new updates.

Enable test networks in MetaMask

To use test networks in MetaMask, we first need to enable them in the settings, since they're hidden by default. To do this, click the “Ethereum Mainnet” button and click the “Show/hide test networks” link.

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