Today, NFTs of all shapes and sizes have popped up across industries that it can be tempting to buy some for yourself. However, you’ll first need to know what’s the best crypto wallet available.
But, what exactly is a crypto wallet? Put simply, it is a digital wallet where you can store NFT art and cryptocurrency. Without a doubt, choosing the best crypto wallet is one of the crucial steps to your NFT journey.
First, let’s break down the process of buying NFTs:
- Choose a crypto wallet and create an account
- Buy Cryptocurrency from an exchange
- Transfer the Cryptocurrency to your wallet
- Set up an NFT marketplace account and start buying an NFT
Choosing the best crypto wallet
Since there is a wide range of crypto wallets available, it is important to keep certain things in mind before you choose the right wallet for you. Here’s what to look for:
Friendly user interface
It is helpful to keep things simple- especially if you are a novice. So, choose a wallet that is easy to set up and provides a great user experience. An ideal wallet should have a good user interface for beginners as well as advanced users.
One of the most important factors to check for in your wallet is security. You might be storing an NFT that costs millions. Hence, make sure that the wallet you choose has strong and secure logins. Check if the wallet provides features such as two-factor authentication for bonus added security!
As most NFTs are built on the Ethereum network, most common crypto wallets support ERC-721 token standards. However, if you want to buy and sell NFTs on multiple blockchain networks, choose a wallet that offers cross-chain compatibility. Plus, remember to use a bridge when trying to send an NFT from one blockchain to another or prepare to lose it forever.
Support many devices
Another factor to look for while choosing your crypto wallet is if it supports multiple devices. Some wallets are available as mobile or desktop applications and web extensions too. If you want to manage your NFTs on multiple devices, these are the features you’ll need.
1. Choose a crypto wallet and create an account
Now that you have decided what features you need in your crypto wallet, it’s time to choose the most ideal wallet for you. Typically, crypto wallets are available in two types—software wallets and hardware wallets. Let’s take a look at these in detail and examine some of the most popular crypto wallets currently available as well as the steps to create an account there.
Essentially, software wallets are non-physical applications that you can easily install on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. In other words, these wallets are locally stored on your device. These are encrypted and users can easily access them using their private key or seed phrase. With a simple user interface, software wallets are easy to use as well as more accessible. Just input your password and you can make transactions in a jiffy.
However, as these wallets are connected to the internet, they are prone to malware or attacks by hackers. To explain, a hacker can access your recovery phrase or password through phishing attacks or other means. So, if at all you are using a software wallet, it’s important to take all safety precautions against possible malicious attacks.
Here are some of the most popular software wallets in the market:
MetaMask is one of the most popular digital wallets among NFT investors. While initially, it was available only as a browser extension, it currently offers a mobile app as well. The app has a simple interface for collecting and holding NFTs.
Additionally, MetaMask is easy to set up and offers security features such as secure login and a key vault. To manage your digital assets, it offers token exchange and token wallet. It also allows you to create an Ethereum wallet that you can connect with all Ethereum-based platforms.
MetaMask is completely free to use. It supports all Ether-based tokens, including side chains and Layer 2 like Polygon, and Binance Smart Chain (BSC). Since it supports only Ether and Ether-based tokens, MetaMask may not be suitable for you if you wish to buy NFTs on other blockchain networks.
To create an account, first, go to MetaMask’s website and install it for either your browser, iOS, or Android. Once installed, you will be redirected to a page where you will see a ‘Get Started’ option. Under this, you will have an option to create a wallet. Here, create a strong password, and then select and verify a secret backup phrase. Make sure to save both the password and secret backup phrase securely and do not share it with anyone. Now, you are all set to use your wallet.
2. Trust Wallet
Trust Wallet is another easy-to-use wallet that offers one-click access to NFT applications. This includes OpenSea, Axie Infinity, MyCrypto Heroes, and more. Moreover, it supports multiple blockchains such as Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum Classic, ThunderToken, Calisto, and TomoChain. It also has an in-built cryptocurrency exchange.
Unfortunately, it is only available as a mobile application. Additionally, you can only store and manage your NFTs – transferring isn’t possible with Trust Wallet.
To create an account, download the app from trusted sources. Once you launch the app, you will have an option to create a new wallet. Accept the terms of usage, select and verify a recovery phrase, and your wallet is good to go.
Enjin is another mobile-only wallet that supports Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, and Binance Coin. It also supports Dogecoin, Polkadot, Kusama, and all ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1155 blockchain assets. It offers great security features such as biometrics and auto-lock and has an excellent user interface.
Moreover, the wallet comes with a marketplace for trading NFTs using Enjin’s native token ENJ. Additionally, it offers a one-click access to many Ethereum-based decentralized applications (dApp). Another great advantage of Enjin wallet is that, unlike other wallets, it offers a customer support desk.
Just like with Trust Wallet, to create a wallet on Enjin, download the mobile app and launch it. Once launched, click on ‘Open Wallet’ and then choose ‘Create Wallet’. After accepting the terms and conditions, create and confirm your password, and then add relevant coins to add to your wallet to complete the set-up.
While the above are software or hot wallets, there are also hardware or cold wallets where you can store your NFTs. In a nutshell, these are physical devices that store your digital assets offline—a.k.a cold storage. Typically, these are similar to an external drive that is not connected to the internet. To access your assets, you will first have to connect the hardware wallet to your online device.
With hardware wallets, you no longer have to store your NFTs on online servers. For this reason, cold wallets are much more secure than software wallets—you don’t have to worry about someone hacking your online devices. Even if malicious actors steal your wallet, they will need your private key to transfer your assets. Besides, you have the option to restore your coins to a brand new wallet in the event of a theft.
Thus, while hardware wallets are less accessible compared to software wallets, these are more secure and appeal to those who wish to keep their assets off the internet. One such example is Ledger, which offers a number of products such as Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X.
Ledger hardware wallet
Ledger is one of the most trusted hardware wallet providers and is in fact, the pioneer of cold wallets. A Ledger hardware wallet keeps your private key in a certified secure chip, accessible only to you. Reportedly, Ledger is the only hardware wallet certified for security by the French cyber security agency, ANSSI.
What’s more, these wallets come with the Ledger Live app, using which you can securely access and manage over 1,800 coins and tokens from your devices. Using the app, you can check your portfolio, exchange tokens, send or receive tokens, and much more. As of now, Ledger offers Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano S Plus, and Ledger Nano X.
Of these, Nano S is the cheapest, and allows you to install up to three applications on your device. The newly launched Ledger Nano S Plus comes with a larger screen, more memory, NFT integration, and supports over 100 apps. It costs $79. Finally, Nano X is ideal for those who have a lot to store. It costs $119 and supports over 100 apps.
2. Buy crypto from an exchange
Now that you have selected the right crypto wallet for you, the next step is to buy cryptocurrencies from a crypto exchange. Currently, a number of exchanges are available where you can use your fiat currency (or traditional currency) to buy crypto.
According to CoinMarketCap, the top cryptocurrency spot exchanges based on factors such as traffic, liquidity, and trading volumes is Binance (at the time of writing). Binance supports 372 coins and 46 fiat currencies. Second on the list is Huobi Global, which supports 50 fiat currencies and 331 coins. At the time of writing, while Binance had a 24-hour trading volume of over US$16 billion, Huobi had over $4 billion.
Meanwhile, third on the list is Coinbase Exchange with a 24-hour trading volume of over $2 billion. It supports 73 coins and only three fiat currencies — the U.S. dollar, the Euro, and the Great Britain Pound. Next on the list is Kraken, followed by Bitfinex. At the time of writing, Bitfinex marked a 24-hour trading volume of over $878 million and Kraken marked over $779 million.
Once you choose your local cryptocurrency exchange, you can buy the desired cryptocurrency for the listed price. You can use your preferred payment method, to purchase whichever coin you need. Many exchanges accept PayPal, wire transfers, credit and debit card. However, make sure to check the transaction fees for various funding options before you pay.
If you already know which NFT you want to buy, make sure you know which cryptocurrencies the corresponding NFT marketplace accepts.
Additionally, you can also directly buy cryptocurrency from your wallet. For example, in MetaMask, you can buy ETH through Wyre by paying with a credit card or Apple Pay. For this, you’ll see a ‘buy’ option on Metamask, which will take you to Wyre, where you can buy ETH for the desired amount.
3. Transfer the crypto to your wallet
Once you buy the cryptocurrency from the exchange, the next step is to transfer it to your wallet. Most exchanges would have an integrated wallet or a partner which holds your cryptocurrency. To transfer your coins to your crypto wallet, click on the withdrawal, send, or transfer option on the exchange.
On the page that opens up, you will have an option to enter the amount you want to transfer and another option to enter your wallet address. You can find this address in your wallet. In the case of MetaMask, this can be found under account details on the browser extension or the app.
Once transferred, it may take some time for the funds to show up in your wallet, depending on the cryptocurrency you sent. It is also important to note that you will be charged transaction fees, or gas fees, for this transaction. The gas would depend on the network load, which is constantly changing, and will go to the miners.
Additionally, you should also be aware of the policies of various exchanges. In Gemini, for instance, you can only send a cryptocurrency to a particular address seven days after you link the address.
4. Set up an NFT marketplace account and start buying NFTs
With your wallet all set up and funds transferred to it, you are all set to begin your NFT journey. For this, you will first have to choose a suitable NFT marketplace and create an account there.
Depending on your interests and the kind of NFT you are looking for, there are plenty of marketplaces to choose from. Some of the most popular NFT marketplaces on Etheruem are OpenSea, Rarible, SuperRare.co, and Foundation.
The first peer-to-peer NFT marketplace, OpenSea offers a range of virtual goods such as collectibles, trading cards, music, game items, and more. It also supports Polygon —you just have to bridge your Eth to Polygon on the OpenSea website.
Although relatively new, Atomic Market is another marketplace you can browse for NFTs. It is built on the Wax blockchain. Hic Et Nunc, meanwhile, is a Tezos-based NFT marketplace that is quickly becoming popular for its curated collection.
You can easily browse for NFTs on any of these marketplaces. The key is to carefully assess the quality of the artwork and the credibility of the artist before you spend big on any asset. You can also check its bidding history and the price while making your decision.
When it comes to choosing an NFT, you’ll be spoiled for choice! Whether its art, music or sport – There is an NFT for everyone! NBA Top Shot, a collectible highlighting famous basketball “moments”, is still one of the most sought after NFT collections. Aavegotchi and Axie Infinity also top the charts as pioneers of cute blockchain games!
Some of these NFT projects have even fetched millions. For example, auction house Sotheby’s recently sold a rare CryptoPunk collectible for US$11.75 million.
Once you have settled on an NFT, only a few clicks are left to make it yours. To complete this, click on the buy/purchase button on the marketplace and follow the prompts. Once the transaction is finalised, the digital asset will be transferred to your wallet. However, it should be noted that it can take some time for the NFT to become visible.
NFTs have transformed the way we buy and sell things in the digital world. They have not only become a fresh means of wealth creation, but also a fundraising tool. Whether you want to dip your toes into this space for the love of art, to earn big, or to support a charity, the choices are aplenty!