Let me start off by making this very clear; we are in the Wild West of cryptocurrency times. Coins are skyrocketing and then taking a bloodbath the next day, ICO's raise million in funding then explode from within (looking at you Tezos!), and new ERC-20 tokens seem to pop up every single day. All this while governments and banks struggle to catch up with cryptocurrency. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in the cryptosphere at all times. I know the first ICO I participated in was NOT very clear on how to go about claiming my new tokens. This is why I decided to put together this tutorial to show you how to find your ERC-Tokens and keep them secure.
Where My Tokens At?
The first time I bought into an ICO was a bit unnerving to say the least! A website says "Send ETH to this address and we promise to send you these other tokens". It can feel like a bit of a crap shoot to be sure, but if you have done your homework and truly believe in the project it should mostly work out for you. Once I DID send my ETH I realized, where do my tokens actually go?? Maybe they don't even ask for a deposit wallet that supports your new token, so how do I access my new ERC-20 tokens? Stay calm! Your tokens are out there on the Ethereum blockchain and still safe.
How To Find Your Tokens
You most likely already set yourself up for a win on this one and you don't even know it. To even participate in an ICO or to buy tokens you need an Ether wallet that supports ERC20 tokens to make your purchase. If you send ETH for a token purchase your new token will now be tied to the private key of the wallet you sent the ETH from. You will need a few pieces of information to accomplish and this is where Etherscan.io comes in.
You can use this great website Etherscan.io to find the information about your token, including the contract address which will be necessary to find your tokens! This is a great free resource for finding token information and when I bout my first ICO tokens I went here to find my token's contract address. Just toss in the name of the token in the search box and you should get a suggestion for your token. It will show you that all important "contract address" for your token. In my case it was for NDC and the contract address is 0xa54ddc7b3cce7fc8b1e3fa0256d0db80d2c10970. Copy this info and lets save it for the next step.
Importing Your Tokens To A Supported Wallet
Now that we have the contract address for the token we can import our tokens into our wallet. Of course you need an Ethereum wallet that supports ERC20 tokens, and not every wallet does. After looking at the popular options like MyEtherWallet, Parity, & MetaMask I decided to go with the popular Chrome/Firefox extension MetaMask as my Ether wallet of choice.
This is where I initially sent my ETH to and then made my token purchase also from this same wallet. Which ever ERC20 supported wallet you decided to go with, all of them will need that "contract address" to import your tokens. In MetaMask I went to my "Tokens" section and added a new token by entering in the contact address for my token. VICTORY!
The Early Bird Gets The Token
Success! We were able to add our tokens to our wallet! Buying ERC-20 tokens can be a bit stressful if you think that your coins are lost to the Nothing. My advice is to always purchase your tokens from a token enabled wallet like MetaMask in the first place and it makes finding your tokens a lot easier. No matter what, your tokens are out there, they just need to be added to your wallet using the contract address of that specific token. Now that you know how to successfully find your tokens, go forth and snap up those great ICO deals before that early bird beats you to the punch. ICO's can be tricky to navigate and carry a lot of risk, but as long as you do your own research and believe in the project the possible returns can certainly be worth it!