How to open a crypto wallet and buy your first NFT
This is a beginner-friendly guide that will show you how to create your first wallet, buy some crypto and finally get your NFT.
If you are reading this article means that you heard the noise about NFTs. Buying an NFT is quite straightforward, but getting to that point might need a little more effort. To purchase NFTs, you need a crypto wallet.
There are a few types of crypto wallets, with different features and levels of security. What all wallets have in common are the public and private keys.
The public key is used to communicate and identify your wallet, it is meant to be shared with others so your wallet can receive funds. The private key on the other hand is meant to be secret and never, ever ever ever be shared with anyone. Having accessed the private keys (secret phrase) means giving full access to the wallet. There are a lot of scams going on, so please watch out.
Before we start let's have a brief introduction to some of the different types of wallets.
🔥 Hot Wallet & ❄️ Cold Wallet
What you need to know is that a hot wallet is always connected to the internet, which means more vulnerable and prone to hacks. A cold wallet, on the other hand, is a wallet that is almost always disconnected from the internet, making it a lot harder to hack.
- Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets are hardware devices that individually handle public addresses and keys. It looks like a USB with an OLED screen and side buttons. It is a battery-less device and can be connected to a PC and accessed by native desktop apps. It cost up to 70-150 dollars, but it is worth it. They are more secure than hot wallets. The most popular hardware wallets are Ledger Nano S and Trezor.
- Desktop Wallets
These are installable software packs available for operating systems and are becoming serious with time. Anti-virus is required because a system connected to the Internet poses fundamental security issues. Instead of keeping cryptos on an exchange, desktop wallets store everything locally. It is the best cold wallet. They are easy to use, give privacy, anonymity, and involve no third party. Popular desktop wallets are Exodus, Bitcoin core, Electrum, etc.
- Mobile Wallets
Mobile wallets are just like desktop wallets made for smartphones. They are quite convenient as it uses QR codes for transactions. They are suitable for daily operations but are vulnerable to malware infection. They are practical and can be used on the go but open to viruses. Some mobile wallets are Freewallet, Coinomi, and Mycelium.
- Web Wallets
As the name suggests, these wallets are accessed by internet browsers. The private keys are held on the web and are prone to attacks. Usually, web wallets are custodial wallets, meaning the private keys are controlled by someone else.
Get a wallet
We will be using the MetaMask wallet, currently one of the most popular out there. MetaMask is a non-custodial wallet. A non-custodial crypto wallet enables you to control the keys yourself, rather than delegating the job of securing the keys to a third party, like an exchange. This is considered more secure but requires you to take more responsibility. If you were to lose your wallet or forget your password, you could lose your funds if you don’t have a recovery phrase. Please keep in mind that the recovery secret phrase is never meant to be shared with anyone, it is only used to restore your wallet or install it on a new device.
To install MetaMask is quite easy. If you are on a computer go to their website and install the browser extension. Or if you are with a phone install the app.
- Follow the installation wizard.
- Choose a password for the wallet.
- Get your Secret Recovery Phrase and save it securely.
- Confirm the Secret Recovery Phrase, and that's it, now you have your crypto wallet.
Convert traditional currencies to ETH
Now that we have a wallet we just need to make it rain 🤘, just kidding, we need to buy some crypto with real-life currency. To exchange your traditional currency for Ethereum, you can use Coinbase, Binance, or Bitpanda for 🇪🇺 European countries. When signing in with most marketplaces you will need to go through a process of verification:
- Identity documentation, a passport, or a driver’s license is required.
- An approved payment method.
Transfer ETH to your MetaMask wallet
After purchasing crypto through your chosen marketplace, copy your public address from MetaMask and transfer your funds there. Now the adventure begins. Connect your MetaMask wallet to OpenSea or any other Web 3.0 dapp. Now you are ready to buy your first NFT 🎉🎉🎉
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