Sia Wallet Setup Guide

Learn how to download Sia and get set up with a Siacoin wallet.


Introduction

Some things to know about creating a Sia wallet.

Last Updated May 30, 2020

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, 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 v1.4.8 with examples on Windows. As Sia-UI is updated, it may look slightly different than the screenshots shown, but the general idea should be the same. 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

Visit the Sia downloads page and download the Sia-UI for your operating system. Do not download the Sia Daemon; it is for command line use only (unless that's what you're looking for, but then this guide won't help you much!).

Download Sia on the Sia.tech website and choose your operating system.


Step 2: Open the Sia-UI program

When you open the Sia-UI installer you downloaded, Sia will install and then start. On Windows, it will also create a shortcut on the Desktop and in the Start Menu for easier access in the future. Use one of these icons to open the Sia-UI.

After you open Sia, you may see a notice about Windows protecting your PC from opening files downloaded on the Internet. Click on More Info, then Run Anyway. You may also receive a notice about allowing Sia to communicate on the Internet. This is necessary for Sia to synchronize with the network, so allow it if prompted.

Sia will open and start Synchronizing, and you'll see "Syncing" in the upper right corner of the window. You can hold your mouse over it to see the progress. 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.

Sia-UI after opening for the first time.


Step 3: Create a New Wallet

After opening Sia for the first time, you'll see two options - "Create new wallet" or "Restore from seed", as shown above. If this is your first time creating a wallet, you'll select Create new wallet. Sia will give you a new wallet seed.

Here's your new wallet seed! Keep it secret. Keep it safe.
Also, do not use the seed shown here! Because it is posted publicly, anyone can use it and steal funds from it.


Step 4: Write down your Wallet Seed!

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. You can also copy it to your clipboard and print it or save it in a text file. Whatever you do with your seed, make sure to keep your seed in a safe place - because anyone who has your wallet seed can take control of your wallet, and therefore any Siacoins 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.

Once you've got your wallet seed saved, click Next and Sia will ask you to replace some words in your seed to make sure you got it right. Sia autocompletes seed words as you type them in - technically only the first three characters of a word are used, so you should only see one suggestion after entering three characters.

Confirm the missing seed words. Again, don't use this seed!


Step 5: Sync or Go to Dashboard

After you've confirmed your seed, Sia will let you know it's still synchronizing. Like we said, this could take a very long time, so you can either let Sia sit, or you can skip ahead and go to the Dashboard to start looking around. You can also bootstrab your consensus database, which will make Sia sync a bit faster, but we'll cover that at the end of this guide.

If you see a prompt to enter your password, it will probably disappear after a second. If it doesn't, enter your full wallet seed as your password. You can copy and paste your seed into the password field if you saved it to a text file earlier.

Who wants to stare at a progress bar? Let's go to the Dashboard.


Step 6: Sia-UI Familiarization

You'll finally be given access to Sia-UI - click on the Wallet tab on the left to see 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.

Our main Sia wallet page, with Send and Receive tabs.

Notice that just above the Transactions section, there are Send and Receive tabs. You can click on these to send or receive Siacoins accordingly. There are also other tabs for Renting and Hosting, which are covered in other guides on this site. The icons along the top lock your wallet, show information about your Sia-UI, open the Terminal to enter commands, and open settings for Sia-UI. Don't forget you can hold your mouse over the Syncing indicator in the upper right corner to see sync progress and what block Sia-UI is up to.


Step 7: Create a Wallet Address

Since you don't currently have any Siacoins with a brand new wallet, the best thing to do would be to create an address so that you can receive Siacoins. Click on the Receive tab in the middle of the Wallet page, then click Generate New Address. A receiving address will be generated for you under Latest Address - it is recommended that you use the "copy" button to the far right of the address to copy and paste it when dealing with addresses to ensure you don't accidentally mistype an address.

You can generate as many addresses to receive Siacoins as you want.
Don't use the address above for anything - since the associated seed is shown above, the funds will likely be stolen immediately.

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 Siacoins 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! You can also jump into our Guide to Renting on Sia, Guide to Hosting on Sia, or Guide to Using Sia Skynet, but without Siacoins you're not going to be able to do much with Sia.


Other Good Things to Know

Now that you're set up with a wallet, here are a few tips.

Your default wallet password is your full seed.

If you close Sia-UI after creating your wallet, it will be locked the next time you open it and ask for a password. The default wallet password is your full 29-word wallet seed, lowercase with words separated by spaces. If you copied your seed to a text file when you created it, you can simply copy and paste it into the password field - though make sure you don't have any spaces or trailing newlines on the end. If you want to change your wallet password, on the Wallet tab click More > Change Password after your wallet is unlocked.

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 like a real-life good or service exchange.

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. This fee is usually very small, around 0.02 SC (yes, a fraction of a SC) - but if you have 1000 SC and you try to send all 1000 SC, it won't work. Try sending 999.97, as the fee is not included in the amount you're sending.

Your password doesn't protect your wallet from being recovered (stolen).

Your wallet password only keeps your wallet "locked" on your local computer - it doesn't protect your seed everywhere. Anyone with your wallet seed can recover your wallet on any computer, without the password. The seed is a big deal, as it is the raw key to your Sia wallet and your funds - that's why it's so important to keep it safe. The best thing to do is print it or write it down, and keep it somewhere physically secure.

For more tips, visit our Sia-UI and Wallet FAQs page.


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