(bright jingle) – Today we'll be learning about Ethereum accounts, and the math behind creating one To interact with Ethereum in any meaningful way, you need to have a user account
– [Narrator] The simplest way to create an account on Ethereum is by using the Mist Ethereum Wallet, which is an application that allows you to manage and interact with multiple Ethereum accounts Launching the application will sync to the blockchain, meaning it will download the entire blockchain data to your computer, which can take upwards of 100 gigabytes So be warned When you first launch the application, it will walk you through creating an account and setting a password for it It's very important that you never forget this password to maintain access to the account
There is no Forgot Your Password option Your new account then shows up in the Wallet section of the app and it has a balance of $0 Clicking on the account will give us more details about it, and provides some options for putting some real ether into it The main thing to note is the public address, which you will share with other people Another way to create an account is via the command line
If you download the Go Ethereum Client or geth can simply invoke geth account new to create an account This will prompt you to enter a password, which again you should never forget, and at the end, it prints out the public address of your new account You can create as many accounts as you like, and you can view them all by typing geth account list Note that this also shows the account we created in Ethereum Wallet Another interesting thing to note is that we don't even have to be connected to the blockchain or even the internet to create an account
It can happen entirely offline How is this possible? We know that we need to generate a cryptographic key pair, which consists of a public and private key But don't we have to register this key pair somewhere? What if someone else is already using this key pair? Even though it's technically possible, it is highly, highly improbable Let's talk about why There are three steps involved in generating an Ethereum public address
The first step is to generate a private key, which is just a random number, represented by 256 bits The second step is to use Elliptic-curve cryptography to generate a 512-bit public key Each private key maps to exactly one public key The third and final step is to calculate the Keccak256 hash of the public key, and then keep the right-most 160 bits of the Keccak256 hash to get the public address This is essentially a mapping of 256-bit private keys to 160-bit public addresses, meaning each account has more than one private key
Security is achieved in the randomness of selecting the private key As long as you guess something sufficiently random and not like, one or two, it's highly unlikely that someone else would also generate the same private key To give you a sense of how many possible private keys there are, let's take a look at some numbers There are 10,000 possible 4-digit iPhone passcodes So if someone were to try to break into your phone by guessing each passcode, it would be pretty hard, because they would have a one in 10,000 chance of getting it right
But it would be fairly easy for a computer to try 10,000 passcodes pretty quickly Apple also claims a one in 50,000 chance of a fingerprint ID matching a stranger's, and a one in million chance of a face ID matching, making your phone more secure At a few orders of magnitude larger, we have 75 billion humans on the planet And we estimate that the Big Bang took place some 14 billion years ago
Larger still, we estimate around 400 billion different stars just in our own galaxy Many, many orders of magnitude larger still, we estimate that there are around seven times ten to the power of 27 atoms in the average adult male weighing 150 pounds Many orders larger still, we estimate there are 13 times ten to the power of 50 atoms in the earth And even larger still, we come to the total number of possible private keys using 256 bits
One times ten to the power of 77 This number is so big that if we took all the numbers we just talked about before, and added them all up, they still wouldn't even be half of this number It's unbelievably big So the chances of someone randomly generating the same private key is sufficiently low that it's practically impossible Staging a brute force attack by trying each possible private key would also require an unachievable amount of computational power, like a planet-sized computer working since the beginning of time
– To learn more about Ethereum accounts and using Wallets, check out our online guides and courses at blockgeekscom Thanks for watching and see you next time!
Hey hey hey. It’s Ville and welcome to my blog. I am a tech enthusiast and always looking for ways to generate new income streams. At the moment Bitcoin cloud mining is one of the most promising ones and that’s why I created this website. Hope you like your stay. If you want a quick start guide about making passive income with cloud mining check out this guide.
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