I bought some Ethereum (ETH) about 2 weeks ago from Bittylicious. It wasn’t a lot (0.5 ETH) because I’m trying to keep the losses down in case I send it to the wrong place. I also want to dollar cost average my overall entry into my buy and hold Ethereum position.
I had 0.5 ETH in my Ethereum node wallet. This was the official wallet from the Ethereum site. It runs as a node on your machine and has to download and then sync with the entire Ethereum blockchain before you can see incoming transactions.
And that’s the problem.
The blockchain is too big to download at normal internet speeds.
I’ve been running this for hours and days.
There’s 160,000 plus blocks (which get added to all the time, and maybe faster than you can keep up with), and sometimes, that’s being downloaded to your machine at a block per second.
There’s tales on the internet where people have reported that their ETH has vanished into the ether, because they can’t see incoming transactions.
So I can see 0.5 ETH in my wallet from before but I can’t see the 0.5 ETH that I just bought.
This is the worst wallet I could have picked from a user friendliness point of view.
Imagine running a wallet that can’t catchup with the blockchain, and so you can’t actually see all your coins. Nightmare.
Luckily, it isn’t huge amounts of cash. Yet.
0.5 ETH is about GBP 126 as at today’s price for ETH. So it doesn’t hurt too much now. At the moment, it’s a slightly painful lesson and I’m glad that I didn’t buy 5 ETH and send it all to this address/wallet.
The main lesson for everyone just starting out like me is to buy very small amounts first, and get used to (1) buying and sending to your wallet and (2) opening your wallet regularly and use it to send coins from. The second point makes sure that your wallet is truly usable.
Worst case scenario (besides losing your coins to theft) is that ETH or whatever coin you bought, rises over the medium to long term to serious multiples of your entry price, and you can’t access them because your wallet won’t let you.
- I’m going to continue running my node to see if I can catchup to get my 0.5 ETH, that has been sent to my address, but that my address/wallet/node hasn’t synced up to yet.
- Next, I’m going to see if I can manage to follow this advice from these two Github threads where other people have had the same problems with their ETH node wallets.
- I’ve just bought and received a Trezor hardware wallet. My first one. I will unbox, install and write up the experience.
- I will then transfer whatever ETH I have from my node wallet to this Trezor wallet.
- I will also then look at using a range of wallets like Ledger Nano S (a hardware wallet) and other software wallets.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve had any problems with the Ethereum node wallet and if so, which wallet you recommend!