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Introduction

This guide is intended to get you up and running with the official Peercoin wallet application, PPCoin-Qt, on your Apple OS X system. The screenshots included in each of the steps were taken during a test implementation of PPCoin-Qt (v0.3.0) on OS X “Mavericks” (10.9).

Where to Get the Peercoin Client

For most users, the easiest way to get the Peercoin client application installer is to use the link below (or the mirror). This installer file will take care of setting up the client and all associated files and databases for you.

If you are technically-inclined, you can compile the client application directly from source.

Jeff Larkin, a member of the PeercoinTalk.org community, originally compiled PPCoin-Qt for OS X. This .dmg file was uploaded to the MEGA file sharing site and is identical to installer used to take the screenshots used in this tutorial.

PPCoin-Qt.dmg — 10.9 MB, MD5: 295a2a0f6d1dc845bc9dbd029c48e0d0

Mirror of v0.3.0 OS X build

In the event that the link above no longer is accessible, or if you have issues connecting to the service, a mirror of the file has been set up on Dropbox (maintained by Ben Rossi ).

PPCoin-Qt.dmg — 10.9 MB, MD5: 295a2a0f6d1dc845bc9dbd029c48e0d0

Compiling from Source

Should you chose to compile the PPCoin-Qt client application directly from the source code (a fork of the original Bitcoin-Qt client application), it can be found on Github, under ppcoin/ppcoin . For OS X-specific compilation instructions, please refer to ppcoin/doc/build-osx.txt .

Installing the Peercoin Client

  1. After downloading the PPCoin-Qt.dmg file from one of the links above, navigate to the location where the file can be found. In most installations of OS X, this will be the ~/Downloads/ directory.
  2. Double click on the file to unzip the installer.
  3. In the Finder window that automatically opens, drag the Peercoin icon on top of the Applications folder alias.

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Please note: From time to time you will encounter incorrect label text in the installer or application that still incorrectly references the original Bitcoin client application that it was forked from. The community is working to resolve these issues in the upcoming version of the client, 0.4.0, and beyond.

Running the Peercoin Client for the First Time

Once the installer has finished processing, navigate to the ~/Applications to find the PPCoin-Qt wallet application.

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Depending on how you have your OS X security options configured, when you attempt to launch PPCoin-Qt for the first time, you will see one of two system dialogs:

dl.dropboxusercontent.com_u_4111133_peercoin_tutorial_4a_osx-cant-install-dialog.jpg or dl.dropboxusercontent.com_u_4111133_peercoin_tutorial_4b_osx-warning-dialog_internet.jpg

If you see the first dialog, follow these steps to modify your system options to allow non-App Store applications to be run. If you see the second dialog, you can click Open and continue on to the next step, “Synchronizing With the Peercoin Network”

Optional: Configuring Gatekeeper to Allow Unidentified Applications to Run

If you saw the first dialog, it means that your system is currently set up with very restrictive (i.e. “safe”) Gatekeeper settings. To modify what types of applications are allowed to run, follow these steps:

From the system file menu, click on the “apple” icon in the upper left-hand corner. Under this menu, select “System Preferences…”

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Next, select the “Security & Privacy” option from the top row. When the dialog updates, click on the “lock” icon in the lower left-hand corner and enter in your OS X password to unlock the section that lets you pick the types of files you are allowing the system to run.

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After entering your password, the lower section will become enabled. Select the third option, “Anywhere”. Selecting this will trigger a follow-up warning. Select “Allow from Anywhere” to continue.

dl.dropboxusercontent.com_u_4111133_peercoin_tutorial_4a3_osx-security-unlock-warning.jpg

You can now close out the “System Preferences” dialog and go back to the “Applications” directory to launch PPCoin-Qt. This time, if everything was done correctly in the preceding steps, you will see the second dialog, warning you that this is an application that you downloaded from the Internet. Click on Open to start the client and move on to the next step, “Synchronizing With the Peercoin Network”.

Synchronizing with the Peercoin Network

When you first start the Peercoin wallet application (or, if you have had it installed for a while, but have not accessed it in some time), you'll need to let the client synchronize with the Peercoin Network. During this process, the application will be sent any changes to the Peercoin block chain that have occurred since the database was last updated. In the case of a fresh installation of the application, you will need to wait for the block chain database to fully process from the genesis block to the most recent one validated on the network. This process can take some time, and its duration appears to be dependent upon a couple of factors:

  • Length of time since the Peercoin Network was established and the “genesis block was mined”
  • How fast your Internet connection is
  • How quickly your computer can process information (processor clock speed, RAM, hard disk access rates)

For this tutorial, on December 19, 2013, it took approximately 29 minutes to synchronize a completely fresh installation with the Peercoin Network.

The application window clearly shows if the block database is out of synch, as a warning message is prominently displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the window, “WARNING: Checkpoint is too old. Wait for block chain to download, or notify developers of the issue.”

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As soon as the application opens, the client will attempt to ask Peercoin network nodes to provide the latest block chain information.

  • If you hover over the “signal” icon (it looks like the bars on a cell phone), you'll be presented with information about how many active connections you have to the Peercoin network, [X] active connection(s) to the PPCoin network.
  • If you hover over the spinning “circle arrows” icon, you can find out how far along you are in synchronizing your client with the Peercoin Network's block chain. You should see text that reads, Catching up… Downloaded [X] of [X] blocks of transaction history ([X.XX]% done). Last received block was generated [X] days ago. Hovering over this icon and then waiting a few minutes to do it again can be used to get a rough idea of how quickly you are synchronizing, as, in my experience, it processes at a fairly consistent rate.

The application is synchronized when you see a green “check mark” icon replace the spinning “synch” icon in the lower right-hand corner of the window. Once this appears, you'll be ready to use your Peercoin wallet to send and receive PPC!

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Securing Your Peercoin Wallet

Now that you have a Peercoin Wallet, it's strongly recommended that you secure (encrypt) it. Encryption will ensure that if your wallet.dat file, that contains all of the relevant information needed to recreate your balance and send/receive coins is ever compromised, that it would be extremely difficult for the attacker to access those functions.

The counter-point to this is, if YOU misplace the key you used to encrypt your wallet, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible (without your lifetime) to gain access to your own funds. Please use extreme caution to be absolutely positive that you'll remember what you set your passphrase to in the next step.

Encrypting Your Wallet

From the system file menu, select Settings and then Encrypt Wallet

A dialog will appear that asks you to pick a passphrase that you'll use as the key to unlock your wallet when you need to send coins out to someone.

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Once you've entered your passphrase and then once again to confirm it (after you've triple checked that you could recall this at any time in the future), click Yes.

The application will now warn you that you need to know what your passphrase is. This is the point of no return.

dl.dropboxusercontent.com_u_4111133_peercoin_tutorial_15b_ppcoin-qt-encrypt-wallet-warning.jpg

If you're sure, click Yes to start the encryption process. Once it finishes up, the application will need to be restarted to have the changes take effect.

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When this tutorial was created, the test installation that I ran did not automatically restart the application after this step. You'll need to most likely go back to your ~/Applications directory and manually restart the PPCoin-Qt application, just like you will any time you restart your computer, or after you've manually closed it.

Once it has been started again, you'll notice that there is a new warning message in the lower left-hand corner. This message lets you know that your wallet has been encrypted and you're ready to safely start to use your Peercoin wallet.

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Your Peercoin Wallet and First Address

When it is first installed, PPCoin-Qt automatically generates a Peercoin address. Peercoin addresses (referred to simply as an “address” going forward) are a unique string of 27-34 characters that begins with a “P”. Each address represents a potential destination for a transaction. New addresses can be created whenever you so chose, and in fact, many cryptocurrency security advocates recommend that to preserve anonymity (citation needed), that you use different addresses for every transaction.

The list of addresses connected to your wallet can be found under the Receive coins tab.

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The Label field is used to assist YOU in identifying what the paired address is/was used for, and it is not shared outside of your computer. Click into the field where it reads ”(no label)” to add a description to the paired address.

dl.dropboxusercontent.com_u_4111133_peercoin_tutorial_8_ppcoin-qt-changing-address-label.jpg

When you would like to create a new address, simply click on the New Address… button. A dialog will appear and provide you with a quick entry point for a new label, but, like the first automatically created address, subsequent addresses don't require a label as it is just a convenience for you to include if you would like to.

What Can the Peercoin Client Do?

The Peercoin wallet application is separated into five major sections (six if you count the last item, Export, that really should be a nested function of the fifth tab):

  1. Overview
  2. Send coins
  3. Receive coins
  4. Transactions
  5. Address Book

The application also includes a number of functions that are accessible through the system menu bar, located at the top of your screen:

  1. PPCoin-Qt
    • Preferences
      • Main
      • Display
  2. File
    • Backup Wallet
    • Export…
    • Sign message
  3. Settings
    • Encrypt Wallet
    • Change Passphrase

Proof-of-Stake Minting

A visual guide to Proof-of-stake minting on OS X will be written in the near future, but until then, please refer to this PeercoinTalk.org thread, (Tutorial) Configuring Peercoin Proof-of-Stake Minting on OS X for a walk-through of the setup process.

Crytocurrency


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