What is Tezos?
If you’ve reached this How-to, you’ve probably done some research on Tezos already, so I will just recapitulate the basics. Tezos is a Blockchain (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) but it has a few interesting characteristics that make it stand out:
- Energy-Efficient Algorithm based on Proof-of-Stake. It requires significantly less energy to operate than Bitcoin.
- Upgradeability: Tezos is built so that features and functionality can be added seamlessly, without the need to ever fork.
- Decentralized and incentivized governance that ensure a wide participation from the community.
- “Smarter” Smart Contracts. As stated on their official website: “Tezos smart contracts can use formal verification, allowing them to be mathematically verified, reliable, and secure”.
Tezos’ native token, Tez — ticker XTZ — is in the cryptocurrency Top 50 with a Market Cap above $4 Billion at the time of writing (September 2021).
What Tezos wallet to use?
There are many wallets available to interact with the Tezos blockchain. You can find a complete list on the Tezos website with many Desktop, Web and Hardware wallets.
I’ve chosen to go with Temple Wallet, as I am, like most crypto users, familiar with Metamask and I like using browser extensions for my day to day activities. Here is a step by step to install it in your web browser. I am using Chrome, but the extension is available for many more (Brave, Firefox, Opera…) and the process is the same with all of them.
How to install Temple Wallet for Tezos blockchain
- Install the extension from the official Temple Wallet website: go to https://templewallet.com/ and click on the “Install Now” button. A screen with a browser list will appear, select yours. In this tutorial, we choose Chrome.
2. You will be forwarded to the extension page on the chrome web store. Once there, click the “add to chrome” button. A pop-up window will appear asking you to confirm you wish to install the extension.
3. Once the installation is complete, after a few seconds, you will be automatically forwarded to the Temple extension page in your browser. There, click on “Create a new wallet”.
4. Choose a password, accept the terms and click on “Create”.
5. The next screen is the “Backup new Seed Phrase” one. You have to click on the protected field and a list of 12 words will appear. It is very important that you store them in a secure place. Here are some tips on how to protect your seed phrase.
Let me emphasise this again: your seed phrase gives access to your wallet. With it, anyone can take your funds away from it. Never share it with anyone you don’t trust with the entirety of your funds and prefer offline solutions for storage.
6. The next screen verifies you have indeed written down your seed phrase. Once you filled in the missing words, click on “Finish” and your wallet will be generated.
7. Et voila! Your wallet is ready. It is named “Account 1” by default but you can edit this name if you need to. You can also copy your public address by clicking on its display zone. You will need it right now as you need to send some XTZ to your wallet for it to be useable.
How to send XTZ to your wallet
If you just created your wallet, it is empty and you cannot use it yet as any interaction with the Tezos blockchain requires gas in the form of XTZ, the native blockchain token. This is the same situation you found yourself in when you created your first Metamask address and needed to send it some Ethereum before using the wallet.
You have two ways to get some XTZ:
- Buy some from an exchange and withdraw it to your wallet. Here is a list of exchanges to buy XTZ from: https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/tezos#markets
At the time of writing, withdrawing XTZ on the Tezos network from costs a fee of 0.1 XTZ (approximately $0.5) both on Binance and Ascendex.
- Have a friend send some to you. Maybe the author of this article can help ;)
The good news is that the Tezos blockchain is very fast and cheap to interact with. You will need the equivalent of a few cents in $US to transact on it, so putting a few dollars worth of XTZ will take you a long way. I personally sent only $5 in my wallet to make it fully functional.
How-to interact on Tezos with your Ledger
Browser wallets are great for a day to day usage, but they are not the most secure wallets by far. My policy is to keep only small amounts on web wallets and have most on my funds on cold wallets like Ledger and Trezor that allow access to the funds only if you have the physical device.
When you use a cold wallet, you can see your XTZ tokens, but not necessarily the other assets on the Tezos blockchain. In order to do this, you can use the Temple Wallet we just installed above as an interface to your Ledger.
- Connect your Ledger to Temple Wallet: first click on the profile avatar, then click on “Connect Ledger” from the drop down menu.
2. On the next screen, you can edit the account name if you wish. You don’t need to modify the other settings, just click on the “Add Ledger Account” button.
3. Confirm by clicking on your ledger key. Congratulations, you added your Ledger Tezos wallet to Temple!
This is a straightforward process, but if you encounter any issues, please refer to the official Ledger website.
How to pin Temple Wallet in the extension bar
New extensions are not pinned in the extension bar by default in Chrome. In order to do so, you have to:
- Click on the puzzle icon.
2. Click on the pin icon on the Temple Wallet extension line.
You can now see the Temple Wallet extension in the extension bar: it is a golden key icon.
How to open Temple Wallet in a browser tab
When you click on the Temple Wallet icon, a popup window appears, but I prefer to work with the wallet opened in a tab. To open a tab for Temple Wallet:
- Click on the golden key icon, then on the profile avatar and then on “Maximize view”.
2. You can now keep the Temple Wallet opened in its all window, which I find more convenient than having to go through the popup window all the time.
This should be all you need to have an operational wallet on the Tezos blockchain. Please leave a comment you have any questions. In the second part or this How-to, we will detail how to interact with Quipuswap, the main Decentralised Exchange on Tezos, similar to Uniswap on Ethereum.