Getting Started

Algorand is a permissionless, pure proof-of-stake blockchain that delivers decentralization, scalability, and security. Algorand can be used in many ways and this guide is intended to help you get set up and working with the blockchain as quickly as possible.

TestNet Onboarding 

Currently, this site covers the configuration and installation of nodes that are part of the TestNet network. This network is our primary testing location for the Algorand blockchain. In the near future we will be releasing the Algorand MainNet and the documentation included here will reflect this change. 

TestNet rollout is currently in phase two where we are opening the network to individuals who have applied and are interested in helping us to test our current worldwide release. To download the TestNet software you will need access to our GitHub repository for TestNet. You can apply for access by clicking the TestNet button on the main Algorand site.

Installation

Once you have been invited to the Algorand TestNet you will have access to the binaries for installing an Algorand node. You can then look at the install instructions provided here to get up and running.

Key Terms

Term

Description

Key

Public keys in Algorand are Ed25519 public keys. Private keys in Algorand are Ed25519 private keys. Algorand distinguishes between spending keys and participation keys.

Every address on the Algorand network will have a private key (the spending key) and a public key to manage user interactions and sign transactions. However, these keys are not used for network consensus (agreement on contents of a block and when it should be written to the blockchain) and instead a specialized participation key is generated. Once this participation key is associated with the account and the account is placed online, the account has the ability to participate in consensus. Once the range of rounds expires, the participation key is removed and another has to be generated. This method of participation ensures that a user’s money is secure even if their participating node is compromised.

Address

Addresses are unique identifiers for either a single public key (the common case) or a collection of public keys (like in the case of multisig address).

Wallet

Wallets store a collection of keys. kmd, the Key Management Daemon, stores collections of wallets, and allows users to perform operations using the keys stored within these wallets.