To get exposure to the NFT market I decided to buy an NFT. It didn’t matter what it was, I just wanted to experience the process. More importantly, I wanted to see what it was like from a consumer perspective.
NFTs have recently piqued my curiosity. If you don’t know what an NFT is, it’s a Non-Fungible Token.
Clear as mud right?
There are many articles on the subject these days, so I’ll defer you to them if you want more background. Without further adeu ...
The Metamask Wallet
In order to buy, sell or trade in the digital ecosystem, you have to have a place to put your “money”. Much akin to fiat currency like the US Dollar, you have to have a place for your cash/currency/money to live when it’s a rest. The same thing applies in the cryptocurrency world. The only difference is that your crypto-wallet, much like your cryptocurrency exists as excited electrons running a gauntlet.
Knowing I needed an up to date crypto wallet, I decided to use the MetaMask Ethereum Wallet for this adventure. It’s a browser add-on that creates an Ethereum Wallet for you to receive or send funds with. After playing with it a little bit, it appears fairly straightforward. It creates a wallet, prompts you for a password, and gives you a secret keyphrase (that you have to keep safe somewhere). This secret keyphrase is a series of words that can be used to unlock your wallet - regardless of where it lives. They can be used to generate your private keys for accessing your wallet if you lose your computer or browser. Treat it like cash. Print it out or write it down and put it in a safe or a vault. Or don’t. You do you.
Now that I had secured the wallet (pun intended) I went to Coinbase - a well known cryptocurrency brokerage / clearinghouse. I linked my bank account as I have with many other brokerages and payment sites. Within a few days my account was validated and I was able to casually buy / sell / trade cryptocurrency.Disclaimer: If you use the coinbase link above, you and I both get $10 cash USD that can be spent on cryptocurrency. I am not affiliated with Coinbase in any official capacity. I’m just a happy customer.
I bought my first Bitcoin back in 2013. The entire process was a non-trival combination of hoops through which I had to jump. I used a then little known website called localbitcoins.com. I had to drive to my bank and deposit money into some random persons account. I had to provide a photo of my driver’s license. I had to build a reputation and find a seller that would consider my lowly cash offering. The Bitcoin ecosystem was still very much new and there was a lot of blind faith involved back then. It was both alluring and scary at the same time.