If your not used to using the command line to execute tasks on a computer it might be hard to envision where the Ethereum project really is headed right now. So far the project has only released alpha versions of user interface related software. Mist, Ethereum’s decentralized application browser falls in to that category.

To continue towards the vision, the Ethereum project finally got a developer preview of the Etherum wallet ready.

Fabian Vogelsteller posted on the Ethereum blog:

We are happy to announce our very first developer-preview of the Ethereum Wallet ÐApp. The point of this release is to gather feedback, squash bugs and, most importantly, get the code audited.

Please note that this is a developer-preview and not the final release. We advise you to be extremely careful putting large amount of Ether in the wallet contracts. Using the wallet on the mainnet should only be done with small amounts!

Ethereum Wallet Developer Preview

As Fabian points out, it’s important to remember that this is merely a developer preview, not a production version.

As Steve Ballmer once said Developers! Developers! Developers! And note that this is exactly our target audience, don’t blindly trust us and we ask (and advise!) you to take a thorough look through the code in the ethereum wallet repository!

So please do not use this as your local Etherum wallet on the live network. This is for your ether and your own sake!

How do you run it?

First download the binary for your operating system:

Keep in mind that this developer preview does not come bundle with a node. That is something you have to start yourself via the command line.

Make sure you have updated to the latest version, and start a node by simply running:


$ geth

If you want to unlock an account to be able to transfer add –unlock , or start a console with $ geth attach and unlock it using the JavaScript interface: personal.unlockAccount(‘‘).


$ eth

It is important to note that the wallet is expecting a fully synced up node. In future versions of geth and eth the wallet will make use of the new eth_syncing method in the JSON RPC, allowing you to see a sync screen when you start the wallet.

This feature is currently already supported by geth and eth on their develop branches.

Finally start the wallet by clicking the executable!

Ethereum Wallet Preview 2

Running the Ethereum wallet on a testnet

If you want to try the wallet on a testnet you need to start your node with a different network id and probably a different data directory. To make sure the wallet can still connect to your node you manually need to set the IPC path:


$ geth --networkdid "1234" --datadir "/some/other/path" --ipcpath "/Users//Library/Ethereum/geth.ipc"


$ geth --networkdid "1234" --datadir "/some/other/path" --ipcpath "/home//.ethereum/geth.ipc"

Single & Multisig Wallet

The new Ethereum wallet will ship with both single and multi signature features.

A single signature wallet – works like any normal cryptocurrency wallet account (the team is working on additionl features like adding owners, setting daily limits and more)

A multisig wallet – allows you to add any number of owner accounts and set a daily limit.
In a A multisig wallet every owner can send and receive money from that account as long as it is under the daily limit. If above you need the signatures of the required other owners. Thought this is not unique feature for Ethereum, as it can be seen in many other cryptocurrencies existing today. It will definitely be a great features for business accounts and other group savings accounts.

If you want to send and amount which is over the daily limit, your other owners need to sign. This should mostly be done from another computer, though you could as well add accounts you have in the same node.

If a pending request comes in it will look as follows:

Ethereum Wallet Developer Preview 3

After that just click approve and the transaction will go through.

By looking at the Ethereums GitHub repositories we can see that the project is moving forward with rapid pace. This developer preview of the Ethereum wallet is just another step in that process.

If you like to try out the new wallet we strongly urge you to do so. If you got a some basic developer skills that is. Good luck and enjoy the preview!

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