Crypto currencies. NFTs. Web 3. Smart contracts. Bitcoin. Ethereum. There’s something completely fascinating about these things and we need to at least learn the basics because it is shaping the future of humanity. I’ve written this post for those of you who are interested in getting your toes wet. Keep in mind, I am not an expert nor am I offering financial advice. I am simply sharing my enthusiasm with you and will continue to do so here on my blog and on Twitter (@annemarieinsf).
First you will need a crypto wallet.
Your wallet is your portal to the decentralized web. But, what exactly is it?
Wallets might seem like complicated new tech at first, but using them is similar to simply sending an email or adding a file to a folder. Let’s think of the blockchain as a community-owned cloud storage service. Within this cloud, you have your own digital folder. And like any digital folder, this one has a name.
This digital folder is your crypto wallet, and its name is your public key.
Your public key, which appears as a long string of letters and numbers, acts similar to an email address. Instead of sending and receiving emails, though, your wallet is used to send, receive, and store digital assets like NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Anyone who knows your public key can send a digital asset directly to your wallet. In the same way it is generally safe to give someone your email address, it is safe to give someone your public key.
Now that you know what a wallet is, you’re probably thinking, “where do I get one?” MetaMask is the most popular one that interacts with the Ethereum blockchain. It’s super easy to use and has a Chrome plugin. Go to metamask.io and sign up to get a wallet.
You can either transfer money from a crypto currency exchange platform like Coinbase or you can buy through Wyre, Transak or a direct deposit.
You can move your NFTs to your wallet.
Another wallet is Phantom. It’s a popular wallet for Solano marketplaces. The cool thing about Solano is that the gas fees are way lower than on the Ethereum blockchain. Phantom has a Chrome plugin too: phantom.app
At one point it is a good idea to invest in an external wallet like Trezor or Ledger, to keep your crypto currencies and NFTs safe.
Crypto Exchange Platforms
If you are in America, Coinbase is a reputable cryptocurrency exchange platform. With a Coinbase account, you can purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and even Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB). And lots more. If you sign up using this referral link, we both receive $10 in Bitcoin when you buy or sell $100 or more (on Coinbase): https://www.coinbase.com/join/ward_yf5
Apps & Sites
Eventually you will use and you may want an account on Etherscan.io. According to an article on Yahoo!:
Etherscan was created to facilitate blockchain transparency and accessibility, Etherscan is the go-to resource for users wishing to discover, verify and approve transactions that have taken place on the Ethereum blockchain.
Etherscan is known as Ethereum’s leading “block explorer”. It is essentially a search engine that lets users look up, confirm and validate transactions on the Ethereum decentralized smart contracts platform. By entering an address into the search box, you can view the balance, value and all the transactions made through that address.
Etherscan is not wallet service provider, it does not store people’s private keys and it has no control over the transactions that take place over the Ethereum network. It is also unable to troubleshoot transaction failures.
What can Etherscan be used for?
Users can register and create an account in Etherscan. Normal users can add an address to the “watch list” and be notified by email for an incoming transfer transaction. Developers can access a set of API services that can be used to either build decentralized applications or serve as data feeds for Ethereum blockchain information.
Since Etherscan doesn’t provide wallet services or have access to your private keys, addresses on the watch list can only be used for portfolio tracking or monitoring. To send or transfer Ether or tokens from your account, you’ll need a compatible wallet such as Ethereum Wallet, Parity Waller, MyEtherWallet or Metamask.
Exploring Ethereum addresses
You can use Etherscan to search all transaction histories, including token transfer and contract execution, of any address at Etherscan.io. You simply paste an address into the search bar and the address details will appear.
And here’s some words and phrases to keep you in the know by @punk6529: