Warning: Be wary of online/web wallets, as well as mobile wallets! No official online or mobile Siacoin wallet exists, and many are simply scams that will steal any Siacoins you send to them. The only completely secure way to be sure you actually own your own Siacoins is to download the official Sia-UI Client and be the only person with access to your private wallet seed. Creating a wallet anywhere else means that someone else could have access to your seed and steal your Siacoins.
This guide will help you get started with running the Sia-UI client, which contains Sia's official wallet. The Sia-UI client is available for all major operating systems. The guide covers basic wallet setup and use only, and is intended for users new to Sia.
This guide is written using Sia v1.3.2 with examples on Windows. Substitute any necessary steps specific to your particular operating system, such as unzipping files, with the relevant equivalent on your OS.
Step 1: Download the Sia-UI Client
Visit the Sia downloads page and download the Sia-UI Client for your operating system.
Step 2: Extract the Sia files into a folder
The download will be packaged as a compressed file. Extract the files to a folder where you can find them later. Sia doesn't require installation, so this is where Sia will live. You can always move the folder later. Sia will ultimately consume about 10 GB of storage space, so make sure the hard drive you select has enough free space.
Step 3: Open the Sia-UI program
Open the Sia-UI program and Sia will start. You may also want to right-click on the Sia-UI application and select Send To > Desktop (Create Shortcut) in order to make it easier to open Sia in the future from a shortcut on your Desktop.
After you open Sia, you may receive a notice about allowing Sia to communicate on the internet. This is necessary for Sia to synchronize with the network, so allow this if prompted.
Sia will start synchronizing, and you'll see progress in the upper right corner of the window. Synchronization can take a long time, sometimes over 24 hours, and depends upon several factors such as your hard drive and internet speeds and the number of blocks Sia has to synchronize. Until synchronization completes to 100%, any information displayed in the Sia-UI client isn't up to date yet. Keep this in mind in the future when you're looking for payments that you're trying to receive in your wallet - unless you keep Sia open all the time, it will have to synchronize when you first open it, and you may not see payments show up until then.
Step 4: Create a new wallet
Click on the Wallet tab on the left. You'll see two options - "Create a new wallet" or "Load a wallet from a seed". If this is your first time creating a wallet, you'll select Create a new wallet. It is also recommended to check the box to Use custom passphrase first, and create a password for your wallet. If you don't, your wallet password will be the same as your wallet seed, which is not ideal, especially if you plan on hosting.
Step 5: Write down your wallet seed!
After you type in your password, Sia will tell you to write down your unique wallet seed. This long phrase is the private key to your wallet and your files on Sia, so make sure you copy it exactly because if you ever need to restore your wallet, you'll need your seed.
Also keep your seed in a safe place, because anyone who has your wallet seed can take control of your wallet, and therefore any Siacoin you have in your wallet! Don't store it online, or in an easy-to-see place where someone who might know what it is would be able to steal it.
Step 6: Unlock your wallet
After you've written down your seed, Sia will ask you to enter your wallet seed and your password (if you decided to create a password). Once you enter them correctly, you'll be taken to the default Wallet page, which asks you to enter your wallet password again to unlock your wallet. Go ahead and enter your password.
The wallet will say it's scanning the blockchain, which may take several minutes. Wait for it to complete, or go grab a snack.
Step 7: Wallet Familiarization
You'll finally be given access to your brand-new wallet! It won't show anything exciting, as you'll have no recent transactions. Remember, even if you did have transactions, until your Sia-UI is fully synchronized, you may not see them. The wallet displays a notice about this as well.
The wallet controls at the top of the wallet are pretty straightforward. Notice the Recover Seed option - this is where somebody else with your wallet seed could acquire all of your wallet funds! This is why it's very important to keep your wallet seed safe. Have we mentioned that you should keep your wallet seed secret and safe? 😁
Step 8: Create a Wallet Address
Since you don't currently have any Siacoin with a brand new wallet, the best thing to do would be to create an address so that you can receive Siacoin. Click on the Receive Siacoin button at the top. A dialog will show up - note that you may need to resize or maximize the Sia-UI window to see the entire dialog.
A receiving address will be automatically generated for you in the top box, and you can give it a name in the bottom box if you want. Click Save to add it to the list of "Prior Addresses". You can create as many addresses as you want, and they'll all point to your wallet. Sia makes a new wallet address by default every time you click "Receive Siacoin" in order to help protect your privacy, but you can use any of your previous addresses at any time and they'll still work.
You can give your new Siacoin address(es) to anyone you plan to receive Siacoin from. You can also use it on cryptocurrency exchanges when you want to transfer Siacoin from the exchange to your wallet for safekeeping instead of leaving it on the exchange. Siacoin addresses are long and complicated, so make sure to double check that you've got your address correct, even when you copy and paste it! You can sometimes miss a single character, and then your transaction won't go through - or worse, it will go through to who knows where, and you'll have no way of getting your Siacoins back.
Congratulations! Your wallet is now set up, and you can start receiving Siacoins right away by using any of your receiving addresses. Don't forget that Siacoins won't show up in your wallet until the Sia-UI is fully synchronized, which can take a while.
Ready to check out our Guide to Buying Siacoins? Your wallet isn't much use without them!
Transactions aren't instantaneous - they take a few minutes to show up and confirm.
Transactions are grouped into blocks (hence the blockchain), and those blocks are finalized every 10 minutes or so by miners. Until those transactions are grouped together and confirmed, you haven't actually completely sent or received your Siacoins. Until a transaction shows as "Confirmed", it's not complete. Keep this in mind if you're receiving payment from somebody, and wait until the transaction shows as "Confirmed" if it's related to something important.
Once transactions are sent, they're as good as gone.
There's no way to "undo" a transaction you send, even if you sent it to the wrong wallet address. That's why it's important to triple-check everything before you send any amount of Siacoin anywhere. If you're considering sending a large amount of Siacoin somewhere, there's no reason not to send a very small test transaction first (like 10 SC) to make sure everything goes through correctly.
There's a small fee to send Siacoins on the network.
When you send Siacoins, the wallet will give you an estimated fee to send them. This amount also comes out of your wallet, so if you're trying to send your exact wallet balance somewhere and it's not working, it's because you didn't leave an allowance for the transaction fee.
Your password doesn't protect your wallet from being recovered (stolen).
Your wallet password only keeps your wallet locked on your specific computer. Anyone with your wallet seed can recover your wallet on any computer, without the password.
For more tips, visit our Sia-UI and Wallet FAQs page.