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  Creating your first blockchain account


All the Ethereum accounts and their keys are stored in a directory called "keystore". The directory is empty by default as we didn't create our own account yet!

Creating your first Ethereum blockchain account

To create a new account, execute the following, already familiar, geth cmd.

geth --datadir=~/.gophersland_ethereum_r1 account new

You will be prompted to enter a passphrase, this is your SUPER SECRET PASSWORD, required for decrypting your newly generated private key associated with your new Ethereum address in order to use it later on for signing transactions on the blockchain. Write it somewhere down, we will need it later but don't worry if you forget it, this is just a test network anyway.

Wuhu, my new Ethereum address is alive: ceee57f2b700c2f37d1476a7974965e149fce2d4.

You will normally encounter this address prefixed with "0x" to indicate the address encoding, HEX.

The newest format of the keyfiles is: UTC--<created_at UTC ISO8601>-<your address in hex encoding>. The order of accounts when listing, is lexicographic, but as a consequence of the timespamp format, it is actually order of creation.

If you are curious what is inside of the file, feel free to open it! You will see:


  • Address: your new hex address
  • Crypto: bunch of mathematical variables responsible for representing your Private Key in encrypted form, don't worry about that magic for now


Interesting note: the account generation happens in offline mode and doesn't require a synced blockchain node. Curious how is it possible to generate a unique address in an offline mode from the technical perspective? We will check the go-ethereum source code itself in the next section "Reverse engineering "go-ethereum" repository, Ethereum's GoLang implementation".

Spoiler: because the address is based on the public key which is based on your unique, private key.

Okay I have a new shinny Ethereum account, what's my balance and how do I deposit some testing Ether?

Speaking of Ether... what is it actually?


Ether is the cryptocurrency powering Ethereum network used as a unit of value and for paying miners for validating, appending and persisting the transactions to the collective DB. Well, but mainly its a technique for preventing SPAM because miners are rewarded 5 (since last month "just" 3) ETH for each successfully mined block. Yes, that's 600$ dollars at the current price on 24th of September, every 15s. Not a bad business.

How to receive free Ether?

Continue in the next lecture...