In this article we will focus on Ethereum Clients and Accounts. We will read about what are they and their types. While Ethereum clients help you to connect to the Ethereum blockchain, accounts are the data objects that are created in the Ethereum blockchain to store your Ether and Smart Contracts.

Ethereum Clients

An Ethereum client is an entity which can connect to the Ethereum blockchain and initiate transactions. In Ethereum blockchain there are generally two categories of clients: wallets and nodes. Wallets are the type of clients which can perform basic functionalities like sending or receiving cryptocurrencies (Ether in this case). Whereas, nodes are command line interfaces which can perform the full gamut of operations allowed by the Ethereum blockchain. Nodes can create Smart Contracts to be deployed in the Ethereum blockchain.

An Ethereum wallet is a software application which connects you to the Ethereum blockchain. It holds your public and private keys (Read about Public and Private Keys here in section 2.1).

Ethereum Clients-Nodes and Wallets

Three of the most popular Ethereum clients are Geth, Besu and Parity.

Ethereum Accounts

When you will connect to the Ethereum blockchain via an Ethereum client like a full node or a wallet, it will prompt you to create an Ethereum account. Some important points about Ethereum accounts.

  • An Ethereum account is represented by a long hexadecimal address which looks like
    0xB38AA74527aD855054DC17f4324FE9b4004C720C
  • The Ethereum account does not store your name or any other personal information. It is pseudonymous.
  • You can create as many Ethereum accounts as you want to. Simply connect to the Ethereum blockchain via a client.
  • In case you have some understanding of object oriented programming concepts, an account is a data object created in the Ethereum blockchain ledger. This data object is indexed by the account address which is the hash of the public key. It contains data about the state of the account such as the Ether balance.

Ethereum Accounts: Types

As we have known, an Ethereum account is a data object in the Ethereum blockchain ledger. These are of two types

  • Externally owned accounts: These are controlled by private keys. These are the general accounts which hold your Ether (cryptocurrency) in the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Contract accounts: These accounts store the codes of the Smart Contracts. Please refer to this article to know more about Smart Contracts.

Both the types of accounts can:

  • Send, receive and hold Ether and tokens
  • Interact with Smart Contracts

The table in the figure below lists the differences between EOA and Contract Accounts.

Difference between EOA and Contract Accounts

Conclusion

By now we understood what are Ethereum Clients and Accounts. We read about what are they and their types. Next article we will further explore Ethereum and related concepts.

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