NFT Army Beginners Guide to NFT’s: Volume 2
Getting Started With Crypto Currencies and setting up MetaMask.
In this 2nd installment of my introductory series, I will give the basics on how to purchase crypto currency on an exchange, how to install MetaMask on your web browser, and how to transfer funds between the two. I am not going to go fully in-depth, but rather, show you where to go and in what basic order to complete these steps. Feel free to reach out to myself, Scintow, Girldad, or Ghostfacekilla if you have additional questions.
If you are already well versed in all these topics, feel free to skip, or glance over it for a quick refresher.
Don’t forget to check out Volume 1 HERE
Making you first crypto currency purchase
You are going to want to start by signing up and completing KYC (Know Your Customer) on a centralized exchange such as Coinbase.com, Crypto.com, Binance.us, or any other such exchange of your choice. KYC can take some time to complete and you will need to provide a photo ID and other personal information. This is U.S. law and is no different from opening bank account. I have tried all three of the above exchanges and personally use Coinbase the most frequently. Your exchange of choice will most likely depend on how efficient it is for you to transfer funds to it depending on your bank or method of transfer.
Binance runs on its own blockchain, called the Binance Smart Chain, and some tokens required for that network are best purchased there, such as the BNB token. Therefore, even if Binance does not become your main exchange, I would still recommend at least completing KYC there even if you don’t put funds into it right away. This way, in the event you ever need to buy BNB, you will already be set up and ready to go.
Once you deposit money into these exchanges you can typically buy the crypto of your choice right away, however you may need to wait for the funds to settle before you can transfer it out. Coinbase does allow a small percentage of funds to be immediately transferred out before your deposit settles, at which point your full deposit can be transferred out.
You can also purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum on PayPal, however as of this writing you cannot remove crypto from their platform. Purchasing on PayPal would be for investment purposes only.
Next, we need to install MetaMask, or any other digital wallet of your choice. We recommend MM simply because it seems to be the industry standard that MM is supported by all ETH based websites where they may not support other wallets. Another bonus is that MM can be installed on both iOS and Android. In addition, MM supports Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Brave.
Follow all the steps prompted during the install process. You will be given a Seed Phrase of 12 random words.
WRITE DOWN YOUR SEED PHRASE ON PAPER AND STORE IT SOMEWHERE SECURE, PREFERABLY A PHYSICAL SAFE. NEVER, EVER, GIVE OUT YOUR SEED PHRASE TO ANYONE FOR ANY REASON. DO NOT KEEP IT STORED ON YOUR PHONE OR PC.
Your seed phrase is your account recovery. If you lose your password and get locked out of your account, ONLY the seed phrase can unlock it. MetaMask cannot recover your password or reset it for you.
It is, however, perfectly fine to give out your wallet address if you feel comfortable. These addresses are public on the blockchain ledger, and can be treated it as an email address. Sending currency or NFT’s directly to someone’s wallet is a a common occurrence so long as you know and trust the other person involved.
Once you have MetaMask installed on your phone or web browser, you can now transfer funds into it. MetaMask does have an option to directly buy ETH into your wallet, however some banks may not allow it and the consensus is that for U.S. based users the fees are more then what the cost of using an exchange and then transferring to MetaMask.
This following walkthrough is for the web browser extension, I have personally not installed a digital wallet on my phone, but the steps should be the same. Start by opening your MetaMask extension and look at the top for your account wallet address. This is how your wallet is identified on the blockchain, all transactions in and out of this wallet will use this address.
You can hover over your wallet address and you will be prompted to click on it to copy to your clipboard. Next, Access your account on the exchange you originally bought your ETH on. The following example is from Coinbase.
Paste your wallet address into the “To” field. Next, select the currency you want to transfer. Click the arrow on the top right to switch to total ETH. Type in the amount you wish to transfer and click continue.
The following confirmation will show you the total you wish to transfer, the amount taken for the transaction fee, or Gas, and the total amount that will be transferred. Gas is always taken from the total transaction, and is not an additional fee charged on top. Therefore you will usually want to account for this fee and transfer more than what is actually needed.
Confirm and wait. The confirmation will estimate how long it will take for the transaction to process. Process times can take several minutes depending on how active the network is at the time and the amount of gas used for the transaction.
Buckle Up, you will hear the term Gas a lot. Every transaction on the ETH blockchain requires a fee to process. The total fees required will vary depending on several factors, including but not limited to; the amount of processing power required to complete the transaction, the total volume of transactions currently on the network, and how high other users are setting their gas fess at in order to process their own transactions. This entire topic requires its own article and I will go into a deeper explanation in Volume 3.
MetaMask on Polygon (Matic Mainnet)
MetaMask can integrate with several different blockchain networks, making it very versatile. If you intend to participate in Zed Run, or other gaming and NFT projects that live on Polygon, you will need to configure your wallet to access the Matic Mainnet.
You can refer to this guide HERE to walk you through the steps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have additional questions.
Use this link to to go to Open Sea. Click the login button at the top right and your MetaMask extension will open and prompt you to “sign”. Approve the interaction, and boom, you are now logged into Open Sea. It’s that easy. You can now edit your account name and avatar, and add an email address if you wish. Any NFT you own and hold in your wallet that is part of the ETH or Polygon networks will automatically become visible in your account. This will be the hub where you buy and sell a majority of your NFT’s, as well as the easiest way to view them.
Etherscan and Polygonscan
Etherscan will be your best friend for several functions related to the ETH blockchain. Polygonscan is an identical product for the Polygon network. These sites provide you full access to the blockchain ledger. With theses, you will be able to view all of your transaction history, and you can also monitor the status of pending transactions. In addition, viewing the Smart Contract of a collection through Etherscan will also allow you to see the total mint count, how many unique holders there are, what wallet created the collection, and the wallets of every holder of the collection.
When viewing your transaction history in Open Sea, you can click the arrow to the right of the transaction to get a direct link to it on Etherscan for a more detailed view.
Similarly, every transaction in your MetaMask wallet can be accessed by clicking the arrow icon at the top right of the transaction. You can use this to monitor pending transactions to see the estimated wait time.
This wraps up Volume 2, if you have made it this far, you now have all the basics on what you need to know to get started in this exciting new world!