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How to "register" an Ethereum account
Anyone can create an Ethereum account for free with a specific type of app commonly known as a wallet. Wallets hold the keys that let you hold, send and receive crypto. You can also connect to projects on Ethereum that will let you trade NFTs, exchange coins, access games, unlock Defi and much more.
Unlike traditional account registrations you may be used to, creating an Ethereum account is done privately and without asking permission. Accounts are controlled by keys that your wallet software helps you create, and are not issued by a third party, nor stored in a central registry.
Step 1: Browse our list of wallets
A wallet is like an online bank account for Ethereum. There are dozens of different wallets to choose from—mobile, desktop, or even browser extensions. Our curated list of trusted wallets is a good place to start.Find a wallet
Step 2: Choose a wallet that suits your needs
If you are new, you can activate the “New to crypto” filter to view only those wallets that include all necessary features we think would be particularly suitable for beginners. There are also other profile filters to cater to your needs.
Step 3: Download and install your wallet app
Once you have decided on a specific wallet, visit their official website or app store, download and install it. All of them should be free.
Step 4: Open the app and generate or import your Ethereum account
The first time you open your new wallet you might be asked to choose between creating a new account or importing an existing one. Click on the new account creation.
Step 5: Store your recovery phrase
Some apps will request you to save a secret recovery phrase. Keeping this secret recovery phrase safe is extremely important! Any person who knows this secret recovery phrase can take control of all your accounts generated by these words. Never share this with anyone. This phrase should contain 12 to 24 randomly generated words (the order of the words matters).
Once you have saved your recovery phrase you should see your wallet dashboard with your balance. Check out our guide: how to use a wallet.
Frequently asked questions
Are my wallet and my Ethereum account the same?
No, wallets have the ability to create a new Ethereum account, but the account lives on Ethereum and wallets connect to it. So if you lose your wallet you can still recover your account with the recovery phrase.
Can I send bitcoin to an Ethereum address, or ether to a Bitcoin address?
No you cannot as bitcoin and ether exists on two separate networks (i.e. different blockchains), each with their own bookkeeping models and address formats. There are many EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible tokens & blockchains that you can use with your Ethereum address.
If I own an ETH address, do I own the same address on other blockchains?
You can use the same address on all EVM compatible blockchains (if you have the type of wallet with a recovery phrase). This list will show you which blockchains you can use with the same address. Some blockchains, like Bitcoin, implement a completely separate set of network rules and you will need a different address with a different format. If you have a smart contract wallet you should check its product website for more info on which blockchains are supported.
Is having my own wallet safer than keeping my funds on an exchange?
Yes, this is a much safer option because nobody else will have access to your funds. There are unfortunately many examples of failed exchanges that filed for bankruptcy resulting in users' losing their savings which were being held in custody. Hacks, frozen accounts or blocked withdrawals are some other common risks. Owning a wallet (with a recovery phrase) is the best way to safeguard your assets. Nonetheless, a poorly backed up recovery phrase potentially exposes you to more risks as compared to having your keys managed by an exchange. Make sure to store your recovery phrase well.
If I lose my phone/hardware wallet, do I need to use the same wallet app again to recover the lost funds?
No, you can use almost any wallet as the recovery process is largely standardized whereby only knowledge of the recovery phrase is required. You will have to enter the recovery phrase into any new wallet app, it can be a different app from the one you used before. It is almost impossible to recover lost funds without the recovery phrase.