Ethereum is not a currency but use ether (gas) to pay the fees, therefore someone will need an Ether account to pay and build the application. But how can someone get an account for each activity previously mentioned (to buy/sell ether and build the app)?

  • I think the title of the question is different from the actual question? A title for this question would be IMHO "How do I start interact with Ethereum without Ether?" Jan 20, 2016 at 19:26
  • There are several types accounts (I just mentioned two known examples) therefore I want to know how many types of account exists.
    – nelruk
    Jan 20, 2016 at 20:05
  • I don't think it's a duplicate, but ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions/212/… might help clarify the question. Jan 21, 2016 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


There are two types of accounts:

  • Externally-owned accounts (managed by a human/automation)
  • Contract accounts (managed by code that runs on the blockchain)

However they function identically when it comes for both sending value and paying for gas. It is not necessary to have separate accounts for these uses.

In either case, the amount of ether is deducted from the sending account's balance (value + gas consumed) with any gas overage being returned to the sender. In this way, it does not matter if the sender is an "externally-owned account" (i.e. by a user) or a "smart contract" (code on the blockchain).

  • Aren't the two types user and contract, as your last sentence mentions? Jan 20, 2016 at 20:20
  • Edited for clarity Jan 20, 2016 at 23:13

For those who are new to Ethereum, there's a detailed walk-through tutorial on the main homepage.

After installing the CLI, it describes in detail how to create accounts, and then suggests several ways that new users can source Ether.

In addition to this, there's the Ethereum Frontier Guide, which itself has a section on creating and managing accounts.


We only thing you can do with Ethereum without ethers is to read a blockchain from your node. Operations that require contract calls they're requiring gas.

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