by Bloomberg/Alastair Marsh
GETTING STARTED WITH CRYPTO WALLETS
- Go to your browser’s extension page (Chrome, Brave, Firefox, Opera).
- Search for “metamask”.
- Install it.
- Click on the fox in the extensions area of your browser.
- Accept the terms of service.
- Create a password to protect your wallet (they call it a Den). Make it amazing.
- STORE THE 12 WORDS YOU NEED TO RECREATE YOUR ACCOUNT. Please assume your computer will be stolen and that you’ll forget or lose the amazing password you generated in step 6. Those 12 words are the only thing that will allow you access to your money under those circumstances!
You now have a wallet in which you can store your ETH!
If you have an account on an exchange, you can now send money to your wallet from your USD, GBP, etc. bank account.
If you don’t have an account on an exchange, read our handy Guide to Crypto Exchanges.
If you’re impatient or don’t plan on opening an account on an exchange:
- Find your wallet address.
- Give it to a friend who has Ether.
- Ask him/her to send you some.
Voila! You now have a working wallet with some money in it. Now run Graypay, and get started!
OTHER WALLET OPTIONS
If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, you should put this guide aside until you’re ready to learn more. If not, read on!
MetaMask is a “hot wallet”, i.e., it’s online whenever your computer/browser is online. There are two other types of wallets you should know about, both of which will work with MetaMask:
Hardware wallets are also called “cold wallets”. They are hardware devices that are not (or hardly ever) connected to the Internet, so are extraordinarily difficult to hack. When you need to add/remove money from a hardware wallet, you connect it to your computer and confirm transactions via the device itself. It’s slightly magical the first few times you do it!
MetaMask currently supports hardware wallets from:
Check your version of MetaMask to find out what hardware wallets it supports.
These can be hot or cold. They are wallets that are kept by a custodian, typically, an exchange.
If you open an account on the Coinbase exchange, for example, they will create a wallet for you and give you access to it via their account credentials (e.g., username and password). It’s completely transparent and therefore convenient. Most exchange users don’t even realize that the exchange is their wallet custodian.
Some custodians, like Xapo, keep a copy of your wallet in cold storage in a Swiss mountain (that’s not a joke). It’s extremely safe, but very slow. Definitely not the right solution for Graypay users (!), so we’re going to focus on hot custodial wallets.
Remember those 12 words that were generated when we created our MetaMask wallet? When you create a hot wallet with a custodian, you also get 12 words! Handy. It turns out that you can use those 12 words to import (or access) your custodied wallet from within MetaMask. All you need to do is “Import using account seed phrase” instead of logging in.