Blockchain technology is powered by tokens. Tokens, or coins are the economic fuel, or gas, that powers blockchain transactions. Initially, blockchain transactions were basically just money being sent from point to point. This is the precise purpose of Bitcoin. New, programmable Blockchains like Ethereum, allow you to do a whole lot more than just transfer funds.
So, we have finally reached a point where it actually makes good sense for everyone to have a ‘crypto wallet.’ They are free and relatively easy to setup. You are not required to add any funds or enter a credit card just to create a wallet. To do things with that wallet will require you to ‘onramp funds’ – but we will get to that. For now, we just want to make sure you understand what a wallet is, and how to create and secure one.
A crypto currency wallet is just software that represents a unique ‘address’ not unlike an IP address in some ways. This 44 character string is derived from your private key, and uniquely represents your wallet. It can be publicly shared as a destination to send any digital goods that can exist in the ethereum ecosystem.
You can create a wallet for free using the browser extension MetaMask, or with the fan favorite Coinbase, or an increasing variety of other entrants to the field including GameStop just last week. Gamestop offers inherent access to both Layer 1 (L1 are early blockchain tools) and Layer 2, or L2 new tools which are much more cost efficient (less gas to do things).
For ease of use I recommend creating your first wallet using Metamask. Since I use Chrome as my web browser, I simply google MetaMask extension and click to install the official extension. You can also go to the Chrome Web Store directly, or via prefernnces->extensions.
Whatever your browser, install the extension – and pin it to the browser so is always visible.
Click Install Metamask
It is perfectly safe to add Metamask
Click ‘Get Started’
Choose ‘create a wallet’ option
No money added so we will skip this step
Congrats! You have a wallet.
If you follow the steps as shown, until you have successfully set a password and agreed to the terms, you will reach the secret recovery phrase portion. While this step, recording your secret recovery phrase, is very important, we can do that later. We have not added any money or assets – e.g. we didn’t fund the wallet. We entered no financial info at all. At this moment, the wallet is simply an empty container with a label starting with 0x. The one I just created for our purposes here i 0x05DE57b220C5d016e830F3cD2F14682F75F50CD3 – have you memorized yours yet? No? Ok, me neither. We will come back to that in a second. The point is, the wallet is empty, but is still has power. We can create another wallet just as quickly and easily – but for now, let’s jut play.
We are going to go back to this concept – Sign In With Ethereum (SIWE). They should have named it Ethereum Login Framework!
Regardless, let’s go ‘Sign In With Ethereum’. Using the same browser you have your new MetaMask wallet installed on, open a tab and go to https://login.xyz/ and scroll down until you get to here:
And click the ‘SIGN-IN WITH ETHEREUM’ button. You should get the following. Click Metamask.
login.xyz wants you to sign in with your Ethereum account: 0x05DE57b220C5d016e830F3cD2F14682F75F50CD3 Sign-In With Ethereum Example Statement URI: https://login.xyz Version: 1 Chain ID: 1 Nonce: jahevgemi Issued At: 2022-05-31T22:46:28.532Z Expiration Time: 2022-06-02T22:46:28.528Z