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There are several Ethereum wallets, and each wallet is somewhat different from the other. However, the fundamental principle is that each wallet should be able to store several private keys.
There is one thing about Ethereum wallets that you should know about. Ethereum makes it really easy to implement smart contracts. As a result, most Ethereum wallets have an extra feature that Bitcoins wallets lack, and that is their ability to interact with dApps (decentralized applications) developed on the Ethereum network.
A majority of the dApps can be interacted and browsed much like a website page. The only difference is, while a website is hosted on a web server, dApps run on the Ethereum network.
One Ethereum wallet capable of browsing decentralized applications is Parity.
What is Parity?
Parity is a desktop Ethereum and ERC20 compatible wallet and a dApp browser that was specifically developed for high-performance, verifiability, low-footprint, and modularization. It was developed by Parity technologies, a UK-based company that builds applications and platforms based on the new P2P (peer-to-peer) technology.
The company uses cutting-edge cryptography, P2P technology, decentralized and cellular architectures to develop state-of-the-art applications. The company has also developed blockchain-based products for major organizations and corporations. Some of these products include:
- A blockchain based payment system for the United Nations, which is used by Syrian refugees for the purchase of food at the local stores.
- Innogy Share&Charge. It is a charging station for electric cars built on Ethereum’s blockchain technology.
- Energy Web Foundation (EWF). Parity technologies have partnered with EWF, a non-profit organization to help the organization realize its vision of hastening the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy industry. Parity technologies provide blockchain infrastructure to the organization and its associates.
Parity wallet features
- Supports Ethereum native ERC20 tokens.
- Supports hardware and software wallets.
- Takes snapshots of the blockchain for faster syncing.
- Enables users to control multiple wallets simultaneously.
- Includes a DApp browser and a browser plugin.
- Available for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.
- The code is open-source and therefore, viewable by the public.
- It has advanced features including data transactions, timed transactions and custom fees.
Parity does not charge any transaction fees. The only fees charged are related to the Ethereum Network, and they vary.
When you download and install your Parity wallet, you will need to create an account. Once you have created your account, you will need to verify the account. Parity enables users to verify their accounts via email or SMS. You will be sent a verification code via SMS or email depending on which option you chose. Using this verification code, you will be able to gain access to your account.
When you verify your account via SMS, you will receive a small badge next to your address. This is to determine that you are the owner of the address and the phone number you have provided is yours. The same goes for the email verified accounts. Parity checks to verify that your account is associated with a unique email address belonging to you.
Parity special features
Parity technologies developed an Ethereum wallet that was lightweight, multifunctional and user-friendly. Furthermore, the wallet also comes with inbuilt decentralized applications.
Decentralized applications (dApps) supported by Parity-
- Method registry
- Web 2.0 browser
- Token deployment
- Token registry
- Web3 console
- TX-Queue viewer
Developers are familiar with the above applications. This is why the wallet is ideal for developers and advanced users.
Is Parity safe?
It is quite normal for a potential user to inquire about the legitimacy, security, and safety of a service or product before they can use it. So when people ask questions like: is parity safe? Is the parity wallet legit? These are legitimate questions that are of concern to any potential user.
So let us review the security features and trustworthiness of the parity wallet.
After Parity suffered a security breach in 2017, not many users were very confident about it. However, Parity technologies took quick action to mitigate the damage. The company got a group of talented hackers who managed to recover some of the coins that had been stolen.
Of the numerous Parity multi-sig wallets, only three of them were hacked. However, each of the three hacked multi-sig wallets contained millions worth of Ether. After the hack, Parity technology took steps to ensure that the chances of such an incident happening again were very minimal. Since the hack, no reports have been made about a security breach or accounts being hacked.
Of course, this is not to say that users do not encounter issues here and there. Some users who have complained of having difficulty installing the Parity wallet among other small issues. But Parity is always able to resolve these issues and guide users on how to use the Parity wallet features.
On July 19th, 2017, Parity wallet announced their 1.5 version wallet had suffered a security breach owing to a vulnerability in its software code. Parity issued a security alert over a vulnerability in their 1.5 version wallet.
The problem was pertaining a bug that was discovered in a particular multi-signature wallet associated with the Parity wallet. Over $34million worth of Ether was stolen. Fortunately, only a fraction of the multi-sig wallets were compromised. Thanks to a group of hackers known as the White Hat Group, they were able to mitigate the damage by recovering over 370,000 Ethers. Were it not for this group, Parity would have lost over $145million worth of ETH.
After the breach, Parity asked their users to transfer their funds immediately from the multi-signature wallets to secure wallets or addresses. Surprisingly, given that over 34 million worth of Ether had gone missing, these amount came from only 3 multi-sig wallets. Apparently, each of these wallets was holding an enormous number of Ethers.
After all the drama, the original multi-sig code was modified and audited by Parity, the Ethereum Development team and the Ethereum community. It underwent a broad and comprehensive peer review and since then, Parity has not had any security issues.
While there is no fool-proof system, code or means of ensuring that their software code does not contain any bugs, the company is committed to reducing the risk of bugs in their software. Parity technologies has taken the following measures to accomplish this:
- Any changes made to the code-base must undergo an extensive review by highly professional experts.
- The company also simplified the design of the multi-sig wallet, which was extremely complex.
- They also made the multi-sig wallet code open-source. If this had been done at the beginning, there is a high chance someone in the community would have caught the bug before the attackers exploited it.
When you go to the official website of Parity wallet and you click on, “Support,” it will take you to a section of the homepage titled “Documentation and Community.” Here you will find new releases, Parity wiki and Gitter chat. Parity wiki contains Parity tutorials and documentation. So you can find any information related to Parity and its features on this website. More information can also be found on Github/paritytech/parity.com.
- Gitter chat is a chat and messaging system. Parity system has set up this system on their website where developers and Parity users can interact, share information and help each other solve Parity wallet related issues.
- Other avenues, you can seek assistance from the Parity community and development team is via social media (Twitter and LinkedIn).
- The Parity community exceeds 800,000 users. So whenever anyone has a question or an issue, the community is very helpful and members respond within minutes.
Parity promises fast transaction processing and so far, there have been minimal complaints regarding the wallet’s transaction speed. This goes to show that Parity does indeed deliver on its promise to its users to have their transactions processed quickly. If there are any delays with deposits or withdrawals, this is due to network congestion.
How to use PARITY?
- The first thing you ought to do to use Parity is to download it and install it in your Windows, Linux or Mac OS device. To do this, go to the Parity download page, choose your operating system and download. This should take a few minutes.
- Once the file has been downloaded. Click on the setup, agree to the terms by clicking the “I Agree” button. Then click install and wait for the setup to install. This should also take just a few minutes.
When you download and install your Parity wallet, you need to create an account. Parity wallet has two types of accounts:
- Basic account – uses standard private or public keys
- Parity wallet – stores user funds in a smart contract.
Here we are going to discuss how to open a basic account.
When you create a basic account. You will need to verify your account before it can become fully active. To do this:
- Go to the “Accounts” tab. Click on the “+” symbol.
- Click on “New Account” and then click on, Next.
- Enter an account name, password, and hint then select an image of your choice and click on Create.
- An overview of your account information will be displayed on the screen.
- This information will contain your public key. This key enables other people to send you Ether. But for them to do that, you will need share the key with them. Keep in mind that if you do not share your public key with other people, they will not be able to send you Ether.
- Below the public key, you will see a recovery phrase. This is the backup code/key, which you will need to be able to gain access your account. So make sure to store it in a safe place.
- Once that is done, click on “Done.”
- You will be returned to the main window.
So once this is done, you can start making transactions. However, before you can begin sending and receiving Ether, you need to ensure your Parity wallet is completely synced with the Ethereum blockchain. Initially, Ethereum users were required to download the entire Ethereum blockchain before they could use Ethereum wallets. This could take days because the size of the blockchain was relatively large. While some Ethereum wallets still require users to download the whole Ethereum blockchain, this is not the case with the Parity wallet. Parity uses something called snapshotting, which speeds up the sync between the wallet and the blockchain. With Parity, a user is only required to download the recent Ethereum blocks before they are able to use the wallet.
Parity Review Summary
The technology behind Parity wallet is quite outstanding. Despite having been hacked, Parity technologies acted fast to mitigate the damage that had already been caused. Since the hack attack, no other similar attempt has been made. This goes to show that the security and safety measures that were put in place have been indeed effective.
However, the Parity development team continues to improve its security to ensure that such an incident does not occur again.
- Fast transaction processing
- High-level privacy features
- Simple user-friendly interface
- Supports multiple wallets
- Provides deployment solutions
- Utilizes Proof-of-Authority engines
- Supports inbuilt decentralized apps and browser
- Modular codebase
- Supports cold wallets
- Supports name registry
- It looks like there is no direct way of contacting their support team
- Supports only ERC20 tokens
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