Set Up a MetaMask Wallet Like an NFT-Boss (7 Simple Steps)
The most popular Web3 wallet on the market, MetaMask is one of the simplest, and safest, ways to buy, store, and sell NFTs.
But while setting your wallet up might seem easy-peasy, the truth is that crypto wallets are new territory for most people. The process isn’t necessarily confusing, but it is certainly different.
But don’t worry, we got your back.
This detailed, step-by-step guide was written just for you. Look at these words as a beautiful, soft, guiding light that will gently hold your hand and direct you throughout the entire wallet-setup process.
And we guarantee – once you are finished setting up your MetaMask – you’ll be able to journey into the exhilarating world of Web3 like an absolute boss.
(Also we highly recommend sticking around until the end of the article where we cover some CRUCIAL tips for keeping your crypto and NFTs safe from hackers).
Table of contents
- Wait… What is MetaMask?
- How to set up your MetaMask wallet (takes ~5 min)
- Step #1 – Download MetaMask
- Step #2 – Create your wallet
- Step #3 – Create a password
- Step #4 – Get your secret recovery phrase (aka, seed phrase)
- Step #5 – Confirm your secret recovery phrase
- Step #6 – Accessing MetaMask + Understanding your address
- Step #7 – Sending crypto to your MetaMask
- Final safety measures
- Final thoughts on setting up MetaMask
Wait… What is MetaMask?
Simply put, MetaMask is a Web3 hot wallet where you can store Ethereum and Ethereum-based tokens.
This means not only can you send Ethereum back and forth, but you can buy meme coins from platforms like Pancake and Uniswap, and (most importantly) you can mint and sell NFTs from platforms like OpenSea.
MetaMask also supports tokens on other blockchains such as Polygon, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, and more. MetaMask allows users to connect to more than 3,700 different decentralized applications and Web 3 services.
What is a hot wallet?
MetaMask is a hot wallet (otherwise known as a ‘soft wallet’).
A hot wallet is a Web3 wallet that lives online – typically in the form of a browser extension or an app on your mobile phone.
Here’s some things to know about hot wallets…
- Hot wallets live on the internet
- Hot wallets are typically used to buy and sell NFTs
- Hot wallets are extremely convenient
- But because of this convenience, they are also considered to be the least secure wallet-option (but they are still secure if you use them correctly)
What is a cold wallet?
Cold wallets (otherwise known as ‘hard wallets’) live OFFline, and are the preferred wallet for hardcore crypto enthusiasts.
In essence, they are basically a fancy USB stick, but they are SUPER secure.
You may have heard of Ledger, but there are other companies like Trezor, Ellipal, and D’CENT that also offer cold wallets.
Here’s the important bits to know about cold wallets.
- Cold wallets live offline
- Cold wallets are typically used by crypto holders who want to safely store large amounts of coinage
- Cold wallets are significantly less convenient (think of them like a vault)
- But they are far and away the most secure option for storing tokens
What is a custodial wallet?
The final type of Web3 wallet is a custodial wallet (often referred to as ‘Bitcoin Banks’).
Here’s some custodial wallet knowledge for you…
- Custodial wallets are usually popular crypto websites and exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and Gemini
- Custodial wallets don’t give you access to your seed phrase – instead, the platform owns and has control over it – this makes it easier to reactivate your account if you lose your login information
- But because of this, hardcore crypto-enthusiasts absolutely despise custodial wallets as they believe it contradicts the entire principle of crypto
How to set up your MetaMask wallet (takes ~5 min)
Step #1 – Download MetaMask
While MetaMask is available on your phone, we recommend downloading it on your browser as it delivers a more seamless, and secure, experience.
MetaMask is compatible with multiple browsers, including Chrome, Brave, Firefox and Edge.
We recommend using Chrome (the best) or Brave (a close second but a bit buggy sometimes).
BE SURE to use this link https://metamask.io/download/.
And anytime you are on MetaMask, make sure the URL is https://metamask.io.
Step #2 – Create your wallet
You will now be prompted to create your wallet. You will have 2 options…
Import wallet – This is if you already have an existing MetaMask wallet and want to transfer it over to a new one. If you are reading this article, then this probably isn’t what you are looking for.
Create a wallet- If you have never created a MetaMask account before, then this is the option you will choose
Step #3 – Create a password
Now it’s time to create a password
Please, I beg of you…
Do not make your password your pet’s name in all lowercase. Do not use the same password you use for your email, bank, and Facebook. Crypto is the Wild West – there are a lot of bandits out there trying to steal your digital-gold. Don’t let them win.
Make a secure password – the longer, weirder, and more impossible to remember, the better.
Step #4 – Get your secret recovery phrase (aka, seed phrase)
Next, you will be prompted to set a secret recovery phrase (otherwise referred to as a seed phrase).
Your secret recovery phrase comprises 12 random words. Think of it as a backup plan – in the situation that you lose your password, or your laptop or phone gets stolen, you are good to go because of your seed phrase.
The order of the words is extremely important – when you store the phrase, make sure that it’s in the correct order.
But here’s the deal…
I cannot emphasize enough how important this part of the process is.
Well, remember when we broke down what a custodial wallet is? In a custodial wallet, your secret recovery phrase is kept by the platform (Coinbase, Binance, etc). This means that if you lose your password or seed phrase, you can hit up their customer support to get your account unlocked.
But that’s not the way it works with MetaMask.
You see, MetaMask is a hot wallet, and it’s NON-custodial. This means they have no access to your password, and they have no access to your secret recovery phrase.
This means that if you lose both, you are going to be permanently locked out of your own MetaMask account.
Here’s how to make sure that doesn’t happen…
How to keep your secret recovery phrase safe
There’s only one way to keep your MetaMask password and seed phrase safe and sound.
You’ll have to write it down on a physical piece of paper and store it somewhere safe.
I know, it’s hilariously ironic. We are moving ferociously into the digital future where digital assets are now stored on the digital blockchain, yet the safest way to store your secret recovery phrase is to write it down with a Bic pen and file it in a dusty old binder at the bottom of your computer desk.
But this is the way that is recommended across the web, and if you are getting into crypto and NFTs, you are going to have multiple secret recovery phrases for multiple accounts, so it’s good to designate an area in your house where you will write, and keep, the physical backups of these crucial secret recovery phrases.
Another option is to pay for a password protector like LastPass or 1Password – but technically online vaults like this still store their information via the cloud, so if these companies were to ever get hacked you could be compromised.
Step #5 – Confirm your secret recovery phrase
Once you have your secret recovery phrase carefully written down on a few pieces of paper and stored in multiple locations in your home, you can now confirm your phrase.
Remember, the order of the words is just as important as the actual words themselves.
Step #6 – Accessing MetaMask + Understanding your address
To access MetaMask at any point in time, simply click on the extension in the top right-hand corner of your browser.
Now that your wallet is all set up, you can take a look at your Ethereum address.
Think of your Ethereum address as your home address. In the way that your home address is where your mail is sent, your Ethereum address is where your tokens get sent. Anytime you want to have crypto sent to you, or want to buy an NFT, this is the address you’ll need.
To see your complete Ethereum address, click the three dots in the top right-hand corner and click ‘View Account on Etherscan’. You will find your 42-character Ethereum address at the top.
To copy your Ethereum address so you can share it, simply hover over ‘Account 1’ and click – the address will automatically copy.
Step #7 – Sending crypto to your MetaMask
To buy NFTs with your MetaMask account, you’ll need to make sure there’s funds in there to cover the costs.
The best way to do this is by buying Ethereum in MetaMask or sending it from another wallet.
To buy Ethereum in MetaMask, click the ‘Buy’ button, and you can purchase Ethereum with a debit or credit card using Wyre or Transak.
To send Ethereum to your MetaMask from another account, simply copy your MetaMask address and send the Ether from the other wallet.
Final safety measures
Remember – crypto is filled with hackers, scammers, and straight-up bad people who are on the hunt for your tokens.
Always remember to…
✅ Store your seed phrase and password OFFLINE – preferably in multiple locations, and somewhere that is safe and that you will remember
✅ If you connect your MetaMask to a platform, whenever you are finished, ALWAYS disconnect after. You can do this by clicking the green ‘Connected’ button in the top left of the MetaMask extension, then clicking the three dots, then clicking ‘Disconnect this account’
✅ Be extremely careful of the links that you click – especially on Twitter, Discord, and Telegram. Always quadruple check the domain of the link, and if you aren’t sure, it’s always better to just not click on it
✅ Connect your MetaMask to a hard wallet like Ledger and store all of the tokens there that you can
✅ Be aware of MetaMask support links – many of them are fake. Always double-check the URLs and email addresses before giving out any information
✅ MetaMask will NEVER ask you for your seed phrase – in fact, no one will. Never share it.
Final thoughts on setting up MetaMask
While setting up your MetaMask wallet might seem intimidating at first, like all things crypto, you just gotta dive right into it.
Once you do, you’ll learn very quickly.
And if you make a few missteps along the way – just embrace it! It’s part of the process of being an early Web-adopter. But by getting ahead of the game now, you’ll be miles ahead of everyone else when Web3 becomes more popular in the mainstream.
If you have any questions about pivoting into Web3 for your business or are you are interested in setting up your first NFT campaign, be sure to reach out to one of our Web3 Digital Strategists. They’ll help you through any questions you have and will create a bespoke blueprint for how to take you to the top of your niche.
Disclaimer – this article is meant to educate and entertain, but it is not financial advice. Please always be sure to do your own research.