A blockchain is a distributed database managed by a peer-to-peer network. The distributed database is also called a ledger which is a continuously growing chain of blocks. Each block contains a number of records and each block is linked to a previous block.

It is extremely difficult to change a record in any given block without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network.

The first implementation of a blockchain was Bitcoin in 2009 invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

After the Bitcoin success many blockchain implementations followed such as Litecoin and Peercoin.

Other blockchain implementations introduces new kind of functionalities such as Ethereum and Dash.

How to connect Mist with testrpc or local running geth instances on macOS

Mist is a desktop application with a web interface. Ethereum Wallet is just a Mist implementation enabled to access a single dapp, the wallet dapp. Ethereum Wallet is Mist, in wallet mode.

The Mist browser includes the Ethereum Wallet.
The Ethereum Wallet is the Mist browser with the browser function disabled.

Please note that Mist is still in beta and problems can be expected.

Mist releases, see:
Mist source code, see:

For this tutorial you need to have a running ethereum node, for example testrpc or local running geth instance, for example a rinkeby testnet node

Operating system used
macOS 10.12 Sierra

Software prerequisites

  1. Ethereum Mist communicate with testrpc
    • Make sure testrpc is running.
    • Open a terminal and type:
      /Applications/ --rpc http://localhost:8545

  2. Ethereum Mist communicate with local running geth instance
    • Make sure the local geth instance is running.
    • Ethereum Mist can communicate with any running geth instance on your computer as long as the geth.ipc file is found. Geth creates this file when it is running.

      By default, tools such as Ethereum Mist EXPECT that geth.ipc is located at:
      ~/Library/Ethereum/geth.ipc (for macOS)
      If your geth.ipc is located at a different location, create a symbolic link to fix this problem, for example:
      ln -s /other_path_to/geth.ipc ~/Library/Ethereum
    • Start Mist by double clicking the