When it comes to getting started with NFTs, the first step to getting you on the path of collecting, trading, and investing in NFT art is learning how to set up a crypto wallet.
For the purpose of this article, we’re looking at how to set up a MetaMask crypto wallet. A MetaMask wallet will allow you to store any digital assets that you purchase and connect to any Ethereum-based platform. It also enables you to buy, sell and swap your crypto with ease.
While there are a number of different crypto wallet services available, MetaMask is an industry leader with well over 21 million active users, operating as a free hot wallet service that can be used as an extension on your web browser or a smartphone app.
So let’s dive into getting started with NFTs and setting up a crypto wallet.
What Are NFTs?
If you’re wondering what exactly NFTs are, here’s a brief explanation:
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) can represent ownership in almost anything, from digital art to virtual real estate.
In contrast to traditional forms of trade and currency, each NFT is unique and has its own value. They make it safer and easier to demonstrate rights and ownership in the digital asset space.
NFTs hold unique data that is stored on a digital ledger that establishes a transparent proof of ownership on the blockchain network. This enables anyone at any time to trace ownership particular digital asset.
Where To Buy NFTs And NFT Art
For those looking to buy digital art NFTs for collection, trading, or investment purposes, NFT marketplaces are the place to go.
NFT marketplaces are online platforms that allow NFTs to be minted, sold and bought; operating in a similar manner to other online marketplaces.
We recently published a list of the top 10 marketplaces for NFT art.
Because NFTs are digital assets that are hosted on the blockchain, the vast majority of NFT marketplaces require their users to have an active crypto wallet to store NFTs after purchasing them.
How To Setup A MetaMask Crypto Wallet
To be able to fully interact with NFT Marketplaces, and get involved with cryptocurrency and crypto tokens, you’ll need to get your wallet installed and set up.
To get started with your crypto wallet installation, you’ll first need to visit the MetaMask website and download the correct software for the device you’ve chosen to use.
The device options presented are:
Compatible with web browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Brave.
Compatible with smartphones using the Android operating system.
Compatible with iPhone
Once you’ve chosen the option that meets your requirements, simply click the ‘Install MetaMask for…’ button and you’re on your way.
The next step is to navigate to the extension icon in the top right corner of your chosen web browser (in this example we’re using Google Chrome) and locate the MetaMask extension.
Once you’ve successfully downloaded the extension software and added it to your browser; click the ‘Get Started’ button and you’ll be taken to the next step.
At this point in the crypto wallet installation process, you’ll be given 2 options:
Import Wallet - For users who already have an existing MetaMask crypto wallet and would like to import it over to a new device.
Create A Wallet - For users who want to setup a brand new MetaMask crypto wallet.
For those importing, it’s as easy as entering your secret recovery phrase and you’re away!
For those looking to set up a crypto wallet, select the ‘Create a Wallet’ option.
Once you’ve agreed to a short and simple disclaimer, it’s time to create your password.
You’ll need to enter the password you create each time you access your MetaMask crypto wallet, so make sure your password is memorable and safe from prying eyes and hackers.
It's crucial to protect the confidentiality of this password by storing only by physical means, namely, hand written in a book or folder where it will not be lost or misplaced.
Bad practises such as emailing the password phrase, taking screenshots or photos, or saving it as a digital note should be avoided at all costs as any digital trace of this your password can open you up to the threat of your digital wallet being hacked, seriously compromising the security and integrity of your wallet.
The Secret Recovery Phrase
This stage begins with a short video explaining the importance of your Secret Recovery Phrase and how to keep your wallet safe. It answers a few frequently asked questions about the Secret Recovery Phrase and then prompts you to move on.
In addition to explaining what a Secret Recovery Phrase is, this section also recommends how you store it and why you should never share this phrase with anyone.
Your Secret Recovery Phrase is a combination of 12 random words in a particular order that are to be used as a backup if the device with your MetaMask wallet installed is lost or fails. You’ll enter these 12 words in the correct order to import your crypto wallet to a new device.
When copying this phrase it’s crucial to do so carefully, ensuring you copy each word in the correct order as shown on the screen. If the words or order is wrong, you’ll never be able to recover your MetaMask wallet.
Once you’ve clicked to reveal the secret words and they’re presented on screen, you’ll be prompted in the next stage to type in the 12-word phrase before moving on to the final steps.
How To Use Your MetaMask Crypto Wallet
Welcome to the blockchain!
With the aforementioned steps completed, you’re now able to access your new crypto wallet and begin using it.
There are 2 key components to become familiar with to get started with your new MetaMask wallet:
Identifying Your Public Address
This address is what you share with others, whether directly or through platforms and marketplaces as a means of receiving cryptocurrency or NFTs into your wallet.
Your unique public MetaMask address (circled in blue) can be found by clicking on the ‘Account 1’ area; doing so will automatically copy your address to your clipboard.
How To Buy, Send And Swap With MetaMask
To get the most out of your new crypto wallet and begin interacting with any Ethereum platform, you’ll need to add some funds with ETH (the native Ethereum cryptocurrency). Remember that all actions that are taken on the blockchain come with a cost, known as a ‘gas’ fee.
The amount you wish to add to your wallet it’s completely up to you and ultimately depends on your goals and how much you intend to use.
Buy - Clicking the buy button will open a window where you can purchase ETH using Wyre or CoinSwitch to do so. You can then choose to pay using either a debit or credit card or by exchanging for other applicable Crypto tokens you have.
Send - With your wallet funded, you are then able to send crypto from your MetaMask to other wallets simply using the recipient’s public address to do so. You just enter their public address in the box provided, select the amount you wish to send, including the ‘gas’ fee, and hit send.
Swap - This feature enables you to trade ETH in-app for a wide range of other Ethereum-based tokens; it also allows you to begin using external platforms and services such as NFT Marketplaces.
Most platforms will display a ‘Connect’ button in the top right corner which you’ll click in order to connect your wallet to the platform. Often, you’ll need to sign a transaction order to authorise and complete the connection but this doesn’t cost you anything; it’s used to prove your ownership and control of the crypto wallet.
Do You Need Help Getting Started With NFTs?
Zeno Fine Art is a pioneering art publishing house, connecting galleries to artists and providing a quality worth collecting.
Our fine art consultants are trained experts in non-fungible tokens and experienced in navigating blockchain technology.
If you’re an art gallery, business or collector looking to learn more about NFTs as well as discover Zeno Fine Art’s exclusive NFT collection:
Our trade clients benefit directly from access to all of our stock at a fixed, discounted wholesale price with exclusive notifications and a dedicated, bespoke service providing support and guidance in selecting and curating the perfect collection to fit your gallery’s style and needs.