If you’re going to buy and sell NFTs, transfer digital currency, or invest in cryptocurrency, you’re going to need a digital wallet. Please note, this is not the same as linking your debit/visa to your phone and scanning at point of sale. This is a literal digital wallet.
CHOOSING A DIGITAL WALLET
Because a digital wallet is decentralized, there’s theoretically no wrong choice as you’ll own it for your entire life (and potentially beyond). You don’t need to worry about choosing between leather or pleather, or 3D printed, made out of duct tape, or Velcro. But you do need to select a wallet that will cater to your specific interests.
If you’re interested in the NFT marketing in particular, OpenSea, SuperRare, and Solanart are solid choices. If you’re not as interested in NFT’s and just need a place to store, buy, and sell crypto, then Coinbase, Atomic, and Exodus are all excellent places to start.
SETTING UP YOUR NEW DIGITAL WALLET
Depending on the wallet you choose, there may be slightly different ways to go about setting it up. But in the majority of cases you’ll need to install whichever wallet you choose and then set up an account. Most wallets have associated apps that can be installed directly on your phone and can also be accessed via internet browser.
As we mentioned, when you set up a digital wallet, you own it forever. As such, once it’s set up, there’s a next-level of security that needs to be adhered to. Digital Wallets don’t use a simple ‘Forgot My Password’ function. Instead you’ll be asked to set up a ‘seed phrase’—a string of random words that you can use to recover your wallet if you ever forget your password. It’s critical that you keep a record of your seed phrase because, if you lose it, there’s absolutely no way to recover your digital wallet. The crypto world is full of lost souls who lost their seed phrase and also lost millions of dollars in cryptocurrency in the process.
Once your wallet is set up, you’ll need to add funds. If you’ve already managed to get your hands on some cryptocurrency through a trader account, you can transfer them to your wallet. But if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to add some actual cold hard currency first by pulling funds from a bank account or credit card. Those funds can then be transferred into crypto like Ethereum or Bitcoin (which you can do directly through your wallet or through an associated cryptocurrency site).
MOVING CRYPTO AROUND
Once you have funds in your wallet, you’re off to the races. Each crypto that you purchase will have its own unique blockchain address. By looking under the ‘receive’ option in your wallet, you’ll be able to see a 25-30-character string of characters for each of your cryptocurrencies. By copying that string, you can use it to let someone send your currency or transfer from another account.
Most websites will have a button that makes this process easier and allows you to connect your wallet to specific sites in order to bid on NFT’s or invest in particular tokens.
WATCH FOR THOSE HIDDEN FEES
Even in the digital world there are hidden fees. Ethereum in particular has become infamous for high ‘gas fees’—an additional charge that gets paid directly into the blockchain that allegedly offsets the energy costs of mining cryptocurrency (okay, admittedly there’s evidence to support that the additional power required to run all the servers for mining crypto could also be used to power a small country).
It’s fairly common for someone new to crypto to spend more on gas fees than the amount of crypto they’re intending to send or spend on an NFT. So, proceed with caution and read everything! There are off-hours times when gas fees are lower and most emerging blockchains try to keep these fees low in order to get more people to buy their crypto.
And voila! You have a digital wallet . . . forever! Use it wisely, and when you make millions, remember we helped you at these early stages 😉