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Ether is a necessary element — a fuel — for operating the distributed application platform Ethereum. It is a form of payment made by the clients of the platform to the machines executing the requested operations. To put it another way, ether is the incentive ensuring that developers write quality applications wasteful code costs more , and that the network remains healthy people are compensated for their contributed resources.
If you just want to test the technology, you probably don't need real ether. Download the latest Wallet app and switch to the Test Network. The total supply of ether and its rate of issuance was decided by the donations gathered on the presale. The results were roughly:. Note that after the Byzantium update is implemented, the mining and uncle reward is reduced to 3 ethers and 0. This means that while the absolute issuance is fixed, the relative inflation is decreased every year. In theory, if this issuance was kept indefinitely then at some point the rate of new tokens created every year would reach the average amount lost yearly by misuse, accidental key lost, the death of holders etc and there would reach an equilibrium.
But the rate is not expected to be kept: The exact method of issuance and which function it will serve is an area of active research, but what can be guaranteed now is that 1 the current maximum is considered a ceiling and the new issuance under casper will not exceed it and is expected to be much less and 2 whatever method is ultimately picked to issue, it will be a decentralized smart contract that will not give preferential treatment to any particular group of people and whose purpose is to benefit the overall health and security of the network.
Developers who intend to build apps that will use the ethereum blockchain. Users who want to access and interact with smart contracts on the ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum Wallet includes an easy presale import. Download it and it will offer that option automatically.
This will prompt for your password and imports your ether presale account. It can be used non-interactively with the --password option taking a password file as argument containing the wallet password in cleartext. If this does not work, please do not hesitate in contacting us on our forums , reddit or at info at ethereum.
If you don't feel comfortable securing your ether right now but just want to check that your presale wallet is included in the blockchain, then use our online balance checker. The Ethereum network is kept running by computers all over the world. In order to reward the computational costs of both processing the contracts and securing the network, there is a reward that is given to the computer that was able to create the latest block on the chain.
Every 15 seconds, on average, a new block is added to the blockchain with the latest transactions processed by the network and the computer that generated this block will be awarded 3 ether. Due to the nature of the algorithm for block generation, this process generating a proof of work is guaranteed to be random and rewards are given in proportion to the computational power of each machine.
If you are on a private network and if you just want to test the technology for free, you should then any normal computer with a normal CPU will be able to run the network and earn test ether ether that is only redeemable on the test network where it was generated through mining.
This is the best choice for small-scale network or testing privately, as it's less resource intensive. On the real or live test network a normal desktop or laptop computer might take a very long time to successfully mine a block and receive ether. Before you do any mining, you need to set which address will receive your earnings called "etherbase".
You only need to do this once. Here's how to set your etherbase and then start mining:. Its goal is to protect miners like yourself so that you will only ever need your home computer to remain competitive.
The DAG should take about 10 minutes to generate and as soon as it finishes, Geth will start mining automatically. If you are serious about mining on the live ethereum network and getting real ether rewards, then you should use a dedicated computer with very powerful graphics cards in order to run the network. If you are using Eth then GPU mining comes out of the box. There are currently two options for GPU mining in Geth available.
You can read a more detailed description of how to install it on this mining post. This is a version for the pro miners. Go experimental GPU branch. It's experimental so you need to build go from source to get it. This version is focused on hobbyists and developers.
To install it, clone geth from source and then switch to the GPU Miner branch. You can read all about the theory behind this and its design in the Ethereum gitBook, mining chapter. Note that for Serenity a future release, a major milestone on the Ethereum development roadmap we are planning to switch to Proof of Stake PoS. Mining prowess roughly scales proportionally to memory bandwidth. Empirical evidence has already confirmed this, with R9 x regularly topping benchmarks.
Don't expect to see them on the market, and if you do, proceed with extreme caution. Ethereum would never be possible without bitcoin—both the technology and the currency—and we see ourselves not as a competing currency but as complementary within the digital ecosystem.
Ether is to be treated as "crypto-fuel", a token whose purpose is to pay for computation, and is not intended to be used as or considered a currency, asset, share or anything else. If so desired one could trade bitcoins for ether with the purpose of executing contracts and trade it back immediately in order to keep their value pegged and secured by the bitcoin network.
The latest version of the wallet includes an automatic conversion between ether and bitcoin. Use a pegged derivative: Ethereum is a great tool for creating complex trading between multiple parties. If you have a source for the price of Bitcoin that all parties trust, then it's possible to create an ethereum based currency whose value is pegged to the market value of Bitcoin.
This means that you could trade bitcoins to a token that is guaranteed to always trade back to the same amount of bitcoins while still being fully compatible with other ethereum contracts. Use a Bitcoin relay to convert a 2-way peg: This means that you can use Bitcoin's native limited scripting capability to lock a bitcoin into a contract that is directly connected to an ethereum contract, which can then issue an ethereum based token that is guaranteed to be backed by bitcoin.
The relay is under development and as implementations are tested and proved to be secure, we will list them here. Ethereum addresses don't have built-in checks on them yet. That means that if you mistype an address, your ether will be lost forever, without a secondary confirmation window.
If you are moving a significant amount, start with smaller quantities that you can afford to lose, until you feel comfortable enough. There are two types of accounts in Ethereum: In this section, we focus on the former. The remainder of this guide will be dedicated to the latter. Similarly, your transactions are also of two types: Before you execute your first ether transfer you need a friend to send your ether to.
Assuming you created a second account to send the ether to:. The first two lines set local variables with account numbers for easier access later. Change the sender and recipient addresses to whatever you like. The third line converts the chosen amount to the network's base unit wei. Although there are many names for ether denominations, we will use only two: Wei is the atomic unit of ether, and is the one used on the system level.
Most day-to-day transactions will be done with ether, which is equivalent to one quintillion wei, or a 1 followed by 18 zeros. Waiting a few seconds, the transaction should be complete. To check the balance of an account, simply type:. If you are using Geth then you can just use eth instead of web3. Anytime you create a transaction in Ethereum, the string that is returned is the Transaction Hash.
You can use those to keep track of a transaction in progress, or the amount of gas spent in a past transaction using eth. Here's how to use it:. We've built easy to use graphical tools , but if you are a developer you probably want to install the command line tools. Ether The crypto-fuel for the Ethereum network.
Did you buy ether during the presale? Check your ether presale balance safely here: FAQ How are ethers created? The results were roughly: Is the ether supply infinite? I bought ether during the presale. How do I access it? Then, if you are using Geth execute this: Read more about accounts. How do I mine ether? This process is usually called mining in the crypto-currency lingo.
CPU MINING Using the command line If you are on a private network and if you just want to test the technology for free, you should then any normal computer with a normal CPU will be able to run the network and earn test ether ether that is only redeemable on the test network where it was generated through mining.
Here's how to set your etherbase and then start mining: If you have successfully mined a block you will see a message like this among the logs: What's the relationship between bitcoin and ether? There are many ways in which you can use Bitcoins within the Ethereum ecosystem: How do I send ether using the command line?
Assuming you created a second account to send the ether to: After having set the variables above, send the transaction with: