NFT 101

Setting up a Wallet to Buy Your First NFT

The first thing all crypto-newbies must do in order to invest in NFTs is get funds into a crypto wallet. You’ll need this wallet in order to transfer your cryptocurrency and buy an NFT.

The term wallet is actually a bit of a misnomer, as these wallets don’t actually hold any cryptocurrency (all your cryptocurrency lives directly on the blockchain). Your crypto wallet instead stores your private keys, which act as passwords that give you access to send and receive cryptocurrency.

While setting up a wallet is not that difficult per se, there are a number of steps involved and these steps can vary based on which blockchain your chosen NFT resides on.

Setting up wallets can also take time, so it’s key to start the process of getting everything wired up a few days in advance of when you’d like to make your purchase.

In this post, we’ll tackle one way to get funds in a wallet so you can invest in projects on the Ethereum blockchain - still by far the most prevalent blockchain for NFTs out there.

Set up a Coinbase account - While there are other options for getting cash converted to ETH, we recommend starting with Coinbase. It’s super easy to use, and they specialize in helping folks get started in crypto.

  • To set up an account, they’ll need to verify your identity with your passport or driver’s license and you’ll need a bank account to wire it up to.
  • Once your Coinbase account is approved - and fair warning, this could take days - you can buy ETH using funds from your traditional bank account.

Set up a MetaMask wallet - MetaMask is among the most trusted wallet providers in the crypto-space so we recommend using them.  

  • There are a few ways you can set-up MetaMask, through their mobile app or Chrome extension. The Chrome extension is the way to go because it makes syncing with OpenSea, the leading NFT marketplace, easier in the following steps.
  • Once you’ve got the Chrome Extension, you’ll be guided through a set-up wizard to complete the process of setting up a new wallet. During this process you’ll be given a secret phrase and it’s very important that you keep this phrase secure (many recommend writing it down on paper vs. storing electronically).
  • Once wallet set-up is complete, you’ll see a wallet address populate in your account.

Transfer ETH from Coinbase to MetaMask - once you have MetaMask set-up, you’ll want to copy your MetaMask wallet address to Coinbase and transfer ETH.  

  • In Coinbase, you’ll select the option to Pay, select ETH as the currency, choose your amount and transfer.
  • The ETH you just transferred should be available in your MetaMask wallet immediately.

Go to OpenSea and connect your MetaMask Wallet.

  • Assuming you are purchasing an NFT off OpenSea, the leading secondary marketplace for NFTs, your final step is to go to OpenSea, select the Wallet icon in the top right hand corner, and connect to MetaMask. OpenSea should recognize your wallet based on the info in the Chrome extension you downloaded earlier.

If you’re looking to purchase an NFT during the primary sale (or mint as it’s called) and not on OpenSea, the process will likely look very similar. Most projects on Ethereum will have a “Connect” modal on their project’s website, or whatever site they are minting the project on. This Connect feature should give you the option to sync your MetaMask wallet and complete the transfer of cryptocurrency.

Investing in your first NFT can be an intimidating (and exciting!) endeavor. Arguably, the hardest part is getting your crypto wallet set-up and funded, so if you’ve made it that far, it’s only to the moon from here!