How to Create a Free Telos Account
The Telos Foundation has received an amount of TLOS to fund the creation of upto
1 million 2 million free accounts. The easiest way to take advantage of this facility is by using the official Telos Sqrl wallet. When you download and run the wallet for the first time it will offer you the chance to create one free account.
If you do not have a Telos or EOS account then start here
Below are instructions for creating a free Telos account manually using the official Telos Sqrl wallet which can be downloaded for free from the official website at https://sqrlwallet.io
The Sqrl wallet website has versions for all desktop operating systems and even has links to the official Telos Foundation open source code repository if you want to build it yourself. The Telos blockchain is supported by the executive board members of the Telos Foundation learn more about Telos and the TLOS native currency at the official Telos Foundation website https://telosfoundation.io
Please be aware of the potential for fake Telos Foundation scam sites trying to get you to give up your private key. There have been 3 or 4 variants of the official site linked above, (one with a hyphen (-) and one spelled ‘fundation’ they are stealing keys from unsuspecting users)
NEVER enter your Private Keys in to any website, only scam websites will tell you to enter a Private Key, if you do then you will almost certainly lose control of your account instantly!
The download page will look similar to this, click on the installation file for your operating system (i.e. Windows or Mac) as shown below. Download, install, and run the program, dealing with any anti-virus configuration required to allow the program to run.
Run the program and if you see the screen below then click Connect to Server and move to the next step
Click on the “Create New Account” button and start thinking of cool new account names
Choose a 12 character name or word you want to use for your account name. Bear in mind if you use your real name you may be disclosing your identity when it is linked to your transactions. So for your main account consider using an account name which does not include your real name.
An account name that can be easily spoken out loud and not easily confused with similar sounding words is best. Imagine if you were to say to someone “Please send it to me in TLOS, my account name is shapeshifter”. That is a lot simpler than having to say “my account name is xebidiiiiioo” although you can choose whatever you want for your new account name as long as it has not been taken already.
Standard account names on Telos can only contain the characters a-z and 1-5 no special characters or full stops, there are no zeros allowed either, only the letter o.
When you type a potential account name into the box it will tell you if it already exists, so keep going until you find one you like, and then write it down or copy it before moving to the next step.
The next part is what some consider the scary bit, generating cryptographic keys!
The quick facts on keys are
- Keys are created in pairs, there is one Public Key and one Private Key which together make up one pair of keys
- If you lose the Private Key of any pair, you will not be able to recover it
- There are two main types of key pairs, an Owner key pair, and an Active key pair, but more can be made for custom tasks
- An Owner Key pair are the master keys, you can use them to create or change Active Keys, or custom key type, pairs
- If someone knows your Owner Keys, Private Key, they will be able to have full control of your account
- Using your Active Keys or custom keys is safer because your Owner Keys could update them if discovered by a bad actor
To get a quick intro to account keys have a look at the recent Carshare44 post https://telosuk.io/carshare44/ where this is discussed.
Don’t worry if it sounds complicated though because in the Sqrl wallet, key generation is as simple as clicking the button to generate your keys.
There are other ways you can generate key pairs, some are safe and some are scams. Until you are able to tell the difference we recommend only using Sqrl to generate your Telos account keys. So for now just click the button next to the Owner Public Key and Active Public Key boxes to generate the key pairs as shown below (Note that only the Public Keys are displayed on the screen at this stage).
Notice how in our example screenshot above one Public Key starts EOS6 and the other EOS5, this can be useful in helping to differentiate between the two. So if both your Active Key and Owner Keys start with the same prefix, you can keep clicking the button to regenerate it until you get one that starts differently. At this stage, you can click both buttons as often as you like as these keys are not yet linked to your new account until the following steps.
If you get lucky you might even be able to generate a key with some or all of your name in it!
When you have generated the two key pairs click Next to move to the next stage where you can record the Private Keys.
Click the button ‘Copy Keys/Already Have Keys’ to copy them to your clipboard.
IMPORTANT STEP: Before moving on to the next step, make sure you paste the keys into either a password management program or your own system for recording passwords. After this screen has gone the program will never show your Private Keys again (it does not save them in the program)!
Remember that a Private Key is different from a password because it doesn’t require a username, so you can access your account with just the Private Key.
A method some people use to keep their Private Key safe is to split it into two parts, with half saved on a USB key or other removable drive, and half saved in their passwords program. So if either location was discovered or accessed by anyone unauthorised then at least the whole key is not revealed. Obviously, this has its own challenges like maybe accidentally losing a character, or losing half of your key.
A good solution to avoid losing your keys forever is to also print out a paper copy of the key and keep it in a fireproof safe. This is not very convenient when you need the key, however, so a combination of both methods is a good solution.
When you are 100% certain you have saved your Private Keys click the “Keys are in a Safe Place” button and review the account name and keys on the confirmation screen to verify they are what you have recorded.
When you have confirmed the details shown match what you have saved, click the “Create My Account” button
At this point, you will either see a confirmation message that the account has been created, or an error message saying the funding of free accounts is no longer available.
It has been reported that sometimes the wallet says you have already created an account or some other error. In this case please contact Sqrl wallet support channel on telegram at https://t.me/sqrlwallet and they will be able to confirm the best course of action to resolve it.
Please note: There is currently (Feb 2019) an issue being investigated where accounts which have been created and seen on the blockchain are then sometimes showing as not existing. Therefore BEFORE sending any TLOS to a new account, make sure it is still showing in a Block Explorer after a few hours, and if not then create it again.
Congratulations you have now created a free Telos account!
Note that to begin using your new account in the Sqrl wallet, you must also import (or add) the account to the wallet.
Find more guides on the Learn Telos page.