Scatter is quickly becoming the goto dApp for interacting with frontend web sites that interact with EOS. This article will provide the information required to install Scatter, explain what’s going on behind the scenes to interact with the EOS blockchain, and get you started using Scatter to provide credentials to associate an EOS account with web services. EOSauthority will provide important information about your account and allow you to set up email alerts to pending transactions. EOStoolkit does a lot of different tasks, but the one we will explore is how to claim airdrops. Last we will use scatter as credentials to log on to DEXEOS decentralized exchange and see how to trade EOS for tokens built with the EOS blockchain. I am beginning this article with the most important piece of information to work in the EOS environment, the Account. I want to explain what an Account is and how do you get one if you don’t already have one. This is the key to getting your EOS off exchanges and begin working within the EOS environment directly. We will have to begin with some back ground information on what makes EOS work.
The hardest part of joining the EOS ecosystem was a series of new concepts that the token uses to make transactions function. The EOS team made it clear, they wanted us to figure it out for ourselves. They wanted to develop a community of informed users that would eventually make the EOS platform take off and grow organically. The cost of not holding anyone’s hand during the ICO and it’s continued development was a ton of interested parties searching, experimenting, and sharing information, and not all of the information was credible or even safe to use. Nothing is worse than the sick feeling you get in your gut when your about to click submit or apply, but your not sure. Do you gamble your investment on the idea or not? Did you just give your private keys to a hacker? When you’ve got money on the line these are real questions. It is my goal to provide accurate information to make getting involved in the EOS ecosystem as simple as possible and put the investor’s mind at ease. I’m not going to sell myself as an expert, but I did gather this information from reputable sources that I have included, and did work through all the examples in the piece. I recommend visiting the sites directly. The first principle of crypto is it’s a trustless society. Take the information, research it, and make it your own if it’s helpful. If you do come across any errors, omissions, or “pro tips” you think should be included please comment and I will do my best to address these issues in the comments or in future pieces.
The first challenge is the utter lack of information readily available for the non-developer crowd. There are tons of Steemit pieces, Github tech pieces, posts on reddit, but go to the official EOS site and there is nothing available. What’s more often the problem is that we have to sift through pre ICO articles to find information that is relevant to the current EOS ecosystem. As investors, we have money on the line and limited time to allocate those resources. Do we have the time to devote to understanding a new system or do we go to a comfortable idea that works more like what we know already? The whole idea of sharing my private keys with Scatter was disconcerting to say the least. None of these applications had even gained a trusted reputation when the ICO happened, and yet they needed us to stake it all and vote. It went against everything I’ve experienced with the cryptoverse. Was it worth it? Yeah. I have found kinks and oddities in the software that I imagine will be worked out in future versions of the packages, the framework is maturing nicely . Some of kinks came from features I didn’t fully understand. In writing this article I was able to spend a few days really diving in to Scatter and learning to operate the features of the software. I have also found an amazing platform with a versatility I have not worked with before in crypto. I took a lot of time digging into the fundamentals using trial and error to put together the following information to ease the learning curve for the EOS society.
Keys and Accounts
Just because you own some EOS on an exchange does not mean you have an account. So lets begin with the first essential piece of the EOS world, Accounts and Keys. If you did not participate in the EOS ICO and exchange ETH-EOS tokens for EOS tokens or are moving EOS off an exchange than you probably don’t have an account. You can check to see if you have an account at https://eosauthority.com/ with your public key. If you do not have a key pair or an account we will set one after we look at the pieces of the puzzel.
Here is what is going on with the EOS keys…
EOS actually has several types of keys. The Public Key and the Private Key that can be separated in to the Owner Keys and the Active Keys. These key pairs are associated to an account. This is the foundation of EOS. The default configuration sets the Owner keypair the same as the Active key pair. I do not separate the two pairs in this piece, but it is a good security measure, and I will go into setting up an Owner and Active pair in my next piece dealing with Cleos and Keosd. An Owner key is a master private key that establishes ownership to public and private key pairs and establish permissions for the Active Key. The Owner key should be closely guarded because it may used to generate new public and private key pairs. The Owner Key can also establish ownership for arbitration of the account if the Active Key is lost and potentially actions could be reversed.
“An account is a human-readable name that is stored on the blockchain. An account is required to transfer or otherwise push a transaction to the blockchain.”
The account essentially identifies the EOS private key to EOS applications or dApps. Now we are to the main focus of getting started with Scatter. Scatter sets up an Identity that functions like a “user name” to connect accounts and allow the execution of a smart contract. The identity is a container to identify transactions taking place on the blockchain providing a method to organize transactions an account. Think of EOS as a database with increasingly smaller containers acting as tags to identify transactions on the blockchain.
In order to build and use these keys we will look at and (if you need it) install Scatter. With Scatter we have the dApp that many EOSIO Frontend use to connect to the EOS blockchain. The next step will be to use scatter to connect to EOStoolkit and the DEXEOS exchange using scatter for your credentials. Some of this information will overlap because Scatter, EOS Authority, EOSToolkit, and DEXEOS offer some similar applications.
Dapp – What are they?
The next part of our exploration in to EOS is the dApp. We will spend a significant amount of time understanding how the dApp Scatter functions and how it interacts with Frontend sites that execute smart contracts to interact with the Account. DApp is abreviated for Decentralized Application. The code is running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. What we have done by installing Scatter is provided the backbone to support web sites interaction with the EOS contract platform and blockchain. The sites I would like to look at are EOS Authority, EOStoolkit, and DEXEOS. On EOS Authority we will access our account to see our assets and associate the Scatter Identity with the EOS Account. The next two sites will use scatter to log in and associate the account with the site and interact with the EOS blockchain.
dApp = frontend + contracts
First Get an EOS Account
I built an EOS account for $7 and change from some Bitcoin Cash I had lying around on an exchange at EOS Account Creator. I don’t recommend the method because I ended up with roughly $1.00 worth of EOS but it was convenient for this project and it was inexpensive. If you don’t have a friend with some EOS to set up an account for you or you want an account to tinker with that is separate to any investment you might have in EOS it is not a bad way to get one. You have to have an account to transfer EOS, but you have to get some EOS to get an account. Essentially, you need someone with EOS to make you an account. Mine is staked so EOS-account-creator was a simple solution. You will now have an Account with required network resources allocated to it to make transactions from your wallet. I am using the term wallet incorrectly, it is really tools to interact with the EOS ledger database and provide proof that you have the privileges required to interact with some account through the Private Key. I know wallet isn’t quite correct, but it easier to type than account related database query tool.
Here is the Account I made…
Accounts can also be generated with about .35 EOS on EOStoolkit, DEXEOS or they can be generated with the EOS tokens stored in your Greymass voter / wallet. The account retains the tokens used to establish the account so your not spending EOS, your actually buying control of RAM, CPU, and network resources necessary to interact directly on the EOS blockchain. Accounts names consist of letters a-z and numbers 1-5 that represents your name, your business, whatever you want that is not all ready in use. The EOS white paper describes an account as a container or index in a database held on the blockchain that can request or transmit actions that affect other accounts. The action items are the basis for the actions or smart contracts between accounts. This essentially means your account is your wallet identification and is a means to conduct transactions between dApps without reveiling your public or private keys. At this point you have an Account and Key Pair to setup scatter.
Scatter – Why do I have to provide my Private Key
EOS Technical Whitepaper V.2
In setting up Scatter you will be asked to provide your Private Key, this is where many owners of EOS including me had real problems. The cryptocurrency community has been told since it’s inception to guard the private keys at all cost. The owner of the keys owns the wallet. This was a real hurdle for me, but the fact is the EOS blockchain needs some way to associate your account with the ledger and build the account’s database. At this point EOS is essentially associating developer tools to your account, but like any other wallet the information shared with the application is not transferred to any outside source. How do we know that? Through our community resources like Trybe and Github. Peer reviewed resources and open source code allow us to act as an informed community. Research is key to our collective success as a community. For those of us that can’t audit code we have to be able to count on the fact that there are enough coders invested on the blockchain to share information with the rest of the community. This was the leap of faith that was a big hurdle for me to get past. It really comes down to this…
Every time you set up a wallet and make a transfer into a wallet with public keys your are in fact moving a transaction from one private key generated by a wallet to another private key generated by a wallet. It is all entries on a database called the ledger, and the keys decrypt your assets for some transaction. We are, in fact, trusting the code, the community that audited the code, and every transaction that has taken place on the ledger of that blockchain. We trust it because it has a track record of success and community consensus that the code is sound. The only difference here is you have to provide the seed to build the rest of the database associated with the Account.
Install Scatter and build an Identity
The next step is to downloaded Scatter as a Chrome extension or as a Desktop application. As I began writing this piece I liked the desktop application and rewrote it to discuss the Chrome Extension because it’s easy to use and functions great. If you have Chrome installed which is quickly becoming the goto source for crypto extensions I would recommend the Scatter Chrome Extension over the desktop application. The installation process is very similar and all the same information is required to install the desktop version, the Chrome Extension, or even the Android app. Scatter at Git-hub also has a notification that it is migrating to an extension rather than a desktop application so the development direction is definitely heading towards a browser extension.
Scatter Chrome Extension can be found at Chrome Web Store / Scatter . The Chrome extension does not have the full functionality of the desktop version but it does connect to web sites that utilize the dApp Scatter to interact with the blockchain extremely easily. The front end sites discussed will provide all the functionality to manage your EOS right from your browser.
NOTE: One side note before you get started. Some dApps may not work in a VPN. If you have trouble connecting you may need to deactivate your VPN.
1. The Scatter home screen has appeared and is requiring a password to continue. Set your password to something solid and record it somewhere.
2. A password recovery mnemonic of 12 words will then be displayed. This recovery is not a Key recovery it is only for the password to recover access to that application of Scatter.
3. Start Basic Setup
4. Copy your Private Key and Select Import your key pair.
5. Select Account – Typically an account will use the @active accounts
6. That’s it, your in…
7. Create your Identity for Scatter – A random name will be supplied e.g. RandomRacoon6229646 or if NEW is selected another name can be provided by you. Your identity is entierly up to the owner of the Account.
8. In settings a Network for a Block Producer may be chosen, but the default network typically functions. Auto Lock should be set or the console should be locked when you’ve complete interacting with a dApp to secure the console. The password may be changed. A backup location may also be set on a manual or automatic basis.
Scatter also provides a feature to backup your information to a file for restoring a lost account. Restoration of wallets in most cases is fairly simple. Now here is the new piece of information. It really doesn’t matter. You can have the same identity or a dozen on every device you own, delete scatter, build an unrelated new one and as long as it is associated to your account it makes no difference. This concept went against everything I was familiar with in crypto and took even longer for me to prove to myself. It is, in fact, why I am writing this piece now. Scatter provides an Identity to dApps, and allows them to associate requests to execute transactions on your account database. It is the framework that passes smart contracts to your account, but once the contract has executed you no longer need the identity. A perfect example of this is DEXEOS, discussed in detail latter. DEXEOS is a website/dApp that runs a decentralized EOS exchange. I logged in to DEXEOS with scatter from 3 separate devices with unrelated instances of the Scatter Chrome Extension and the Android app set up with different identities but were all associated to the same account and it worked with no issues. An identity is only critical if permissions are set to interact repetitively with a smart contract. In that sense, you will need the identity until the smart contract has completed.
dApp = frontend + contracts
This is what is really amazing, EOStoolkit and DEXEOS will use Scatter to associate your account under any provided identity and Scatter will act as a credential required to connect your account to the dApp. Each transaction is a separate smart contract so at their creation the contract is associated with the account, accepted, and then it is no longer needed for anything other that organizational purposes. This does not mean that identity does not perform additional functions, but don’t worry about losing access to an identity when your setting up your software. More complicated instances of scatter with other details applied may well be worth saving, but if you lose access to scatter it won’t affect access to your account or prevent you from using the same identity again when you set it back up. Test it, I did.
At this point you should have Scatter installed and an identity created. Open Scatter from the Chrome dashboard or on the desktop app. Log in with your password, and in your browser navigate to https://eosauthority.com/account/. In the text box with ETH Wallet Address enter your Account and click Check my EOS. There are also articles providing information about the EOS project, voting, and staking statistics.
Identities can be linked to your EOS account at https://eosauthority.com/account/ when you use Scatter as your credential. Enter your Account and the page will display your balance, allow you to link your account to Scatter, set up email alerts for transactions on your Account and view Airdrops associated to your Account. After you sign the smart contract to link your Scatter Identity to your Account you will receive confirmation of the contract with a contract number beginning with eos:aca###…
It is also possible to transfer funds, buy/sell RAM, stake/unstake tokens, and set permissions with EOS Authority acting as a wallet for your Account.
Unlock Scatter with the password and open EOS Tool Kit and explore one of its many features, Airgrab Tokens. This is where an account establishes a smart contract to stake a claim for offers made on the EOS blockchain to claim tokens. Many the features of EOSToolkit are beyond the scope of this article, but there are a huge number of tools and features located here that are well worth exploring.
1. Attach Scatter to EOSToolkit.io
2. Select Your Identity and Accept the Connection
3. Your Account is now Associated or Attached with EOSToolkit.io. The account will be able to interact with the many features available in the toolkit.
4. Select Airgrab Tokens – This menu has many functions that are fundamental to the EOS community. The site will manage the Account, Stake Assets, manage voting, and explore projects built on the EOS platform using Scatter to securely log on to the site.
5. Initiate a Smart Contract to Airgrab Trybe
6. Accept the Transaction on the Blockchain
DEXEOS – The Decentralized EOS Exchange
While the account is logged in through the Chrome extension Scatter let’s use it to provide credentials for DEXEOS to look at an EOS decentralized exchange. This exchange trades in EOS tokens. Each trading pair allows EOS to be exchanged for a Token built off the EOS platform. This is where you can buy Trybe.
2. Select and Accept the Identity Request
3. Explore the Exchange. Trybe is currently trading for .00291 EOS approximately USD$0.0168. The volume for 24 hours is 16,600 over 24 hours with a high of .0037EOS and a low of .0029EOS. Down 3%..
We have now explored how to get an Account for EOS. Once you have an account and a Key Pair set up in Scatter you have a tool to interact with the EOS blockchain and establish smart contracts to interact with your Accounts database. From there you were able to use Scatter to interact with three frontend web sites that provide all the functions of any cryptocurrency wallet available including trading on an EOS exchange. Your Account provides the index for a database that records transactions on the blockchain and a method to provide credentials through Scatter to those web services. The identity produced by scatter provides a means to securely interact with other accounts. The interaction of these tools in the EOS blockchain is the next huge step in big data, decentralized computing. Your data attached to anything or everything you own, but only to things YOU own. The only limit to the data that can be stored on this framework is the ideas the users come up with. EOS takes this well beyond cryptocurrency recording trades on a ledger to making a platform that allocates resources for true decentralized computing. That is what your buying when EOS is purchased, decentralized computing resources that can execute applications .
The EOS framework is the foundation of a principle that will move cryptocurrency from a simple trading ledger to Money. The intellectual properties that support the EOS blockchain are a real life example of what I described in “Does Crypto fit the definition of Money or does Crypto Expand it?”. Real world application of cryptocurrency drive the value of blockchain tokens just like the properties of any other business interest. We are not trading securities, crypto tokens are products that have utility, function, real value. They have an intrinsic value because of the work they perform for the community that supports them.