What is Ethereum?
Ether is the native currency of the Ethereum blockchain and the second largest cryptocurrency in the world after Bitcoin. Also known by its sticker symbol ETH, Ether is highly valued by well known crypto investors like Mark Cuban and Gary Vee. Since the Ethereum blockchain is the foundation of the ever growing NFT market, you’ll need to have ETH if you’re looking to invest in NFTs.
Because of geographical restrictions, it’s recommended that you purchase ETH through an exchange like Coinbase and then transfer to your MetaMask wallet rather than buying directly. Get Ether in your wallet in just 4 easy steps and be on your way to making your first NFT purchase.
Step 1: Create a Coinbase Account
Coinbase is one of the largest and most renowned centralized exchanges and has played a huge part in making cryptocurrency more mainstream. Its user-friendly platform is great for beginners and is accessible online or via an app on your smartphone. Coinbase allows you to buy and sell crypto, convert or exchange tokens, and then store or send and receive that crypto with others. It also keeps users informed on pricing developments and the latest crypto news.
Keep in mind that because it is a centralized exchange, there are a few things required by Coinbase in compliance with government regulations in order to make an account. You must be 18 years of age or older, provide official identification, and the last 4 digits of your social security number.
Coinbase does allow for the purchase of crypto with USD (credit/debit card, bank account), but card purchases come with lower purchase limits and higher fees which is typical with many crypto services. Please be aware that Coinbase uses an ACH bank transfer system for payments made with your bank account which means it may take a minimum of 5 days for your crypto to be available to send to from your Coinbase account to your MetaMask wallet. You can avoid delays by wiring money from your bank into your Coinbase wallet.
Step 2: Buy Ether
Keep in mind that the price of ETH may rise or fall depending on the day and time that you make a purchase. Always use good judgment and as with any investment, never spend more than you can afford to lose.
- Open your Coinbase app.
- On the home screen, click the blue button with arrows near the bottom of the screen and select Buy from the dropdown menu. You’ll then see a list of cryptocurrencies to choose from.
- Click on ETH for Ethereum, taking note of the current trading price while doing so.
- Once you’re on the next screen, you’ll enter the amount of ETH you want to buy then click the Preview Buy button.
- You’re then taken to the Order Preview screen to confirm your purchase. Again, keep in mind that it is possible for the trading price to change before you’ve finalized your purchase. You’ll review your payment method, the transaction fee from Coinbase, and the total amount charged.
- Once you’ve reviewed your purchase click the blue Buy Now button. A confirmation page will be sent to your email once the transaction goes through. Congrats, you bought your first Ether!
Step 3: Send Ether to Your MetaMask Wallet
Now it’s time to send the crypto you just bought to your MetaMask Wallet.
- Open your MetaMask app and find your public address. This is a long number starting with 0x listed underneath your account name. Tap on this number to copy it to your clipboard.
- Now open your Coinbase app and navigate to the Portfolio tab on the bottom of your screen. From there, click on Ethereum and then on your ETH Wallet.
- Then, click on the Send icon on the right hand side of the screen.
- Enter how much ETH you’d like to send to your MetaMask address.
- Lastly, paste the address you copied from MetaMask in the To bar, add a note if you’d like, and click Preview Send.
Step 4: Link Your Hardware Wallet to you MetaMask Wallet
This last step is optional but recommended for additional cold storage security. Cold storage wallets store your private keys independently of an internet connection on a USB or thumb drive-like device. Two of the most trusted and commonly-used hardware wallets are Ledger and Trezor. It’s a good idea to pair your MetaMask with a hardware wallet for larger sums of crypto.
MetaMask conveniently comes equipped with a Connect Hardware Wallet option on the desktop extension. Keep in mind that the wallet address of a hardware wallet is different from the one created during the setup for MetaMask so make sure you use the correct address. MetaMask does not allow you to remove the address you created at the first setup of the MetaMask extension.
Now you’re ready to purchase Ether on Coinbase and transfer it securely to your MetaMask wallet! There’s a lot of exciting things happening in the digital currency space and now you’re part of the crypto revolution!