Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other blockchain assets are a new frontier that provide exciting opportunities for buying, selling, trading and investing.
To get started, you’ll need a wallet address to receive and store blockchain assets. This beginner-level guide discusses what a wallet address is and how to create one.
What's in this Article?
A wallet address, also known as a public key, is a string of 25-40 characters that identifies the wallet on the block chain, where you can store cryptocurrency and NFTs.
If you think of your crypto wallet as a bank account, then the wallet address is like the account number that identifies it as belonging to you. And if your wallet address (aka public key) is like your account number, then your private key is like your password or pin number that proves ownership and provides access to the account.
To make them secure, private keys are much longer and more complex than a four-digit ATM pin. In fact, they are more like a series of 40 four-digit ATM pins using numbers and letters.
Your public wallet address can be shared in order to receive crypto and NFT assets, like how you would share your bank account number with an employer to set up direct deposit.
But your private keys SHOULD NOT be shared as they provide access to the assets in your wallet.
Creating a crypto wallet address to store an NFT is quick and easy. Just follow the steps below.
Hint: Grab a pen and paper, because there are a few codes you’ll want to manually record.
- Set up an account in a crypto exchange market such as Coinbase
- Create a Coinbase wallet. In Coinbase, this is separate from the account you created in step 1
- Connect your Coinbase Account to your Coinbase Wallet. Refer to these FAQs if you get stuck
Now, Coinbase is great for trading cryptocurrency, but OpenSea is geared for NFTs. So the next step is to link your Coinbase Wallet to OpenSea.
(Hint: Don’t look too hard for a sign up or log in feature, as they don’t exist. Connecting your wallet creates a profile.)
- Go to OpenSea, hover over the profile icon in the upper right, and choose profile from the drop down. It will prompt you to connect a wallet.
- Select Coinbase wallet and complete the steps to connect the wallet you created in the previous section
- Once the wallet is connected, go back to profile and your wallet address will be underneath your username
- Or, click the wallet icon in the upper right and the same wallet address will be in the upper right corner of the sidebar
You now have a 40-some character public wallet address that you can use to receive and share NFTs!
Like a real wallet or a bank account, you’ll want to keep your crypto wallet secure.
Remember, it’s okay to share your public wallet address. In fact, that’s how you receive assets. However, you should keep your passwords and private keys as safe as possible.
Here are some tips for keeping your crypto wallet secure:
- Store your private keys offline. Remember that pen and paper I mentioned? It’s generally recommended to use paper wallets or hardware wallets to store your private keys and passwords and remember where you put them. There isn’t exactly an “I forgot my password option” for crypto wallets
- Use secure passwords. Seems obvious, but “password123” won’t cut it. Take the time to create a strong, secure password
- Spread your assets. It’s generally recommended to diversify your wallets and assets so on the off-chance one gets breached or locked out, you don’t lose everything. If you followed the instructions above, you already have multiple wallets!
- Don’t share your private keys. Private keys allow access to your blockchain assets – it’s best not to share them with anyone
Once you have a crypto wallet set up and a plan to secure it, you are ready to invest in and store assets on the blockchain!
The information in this article does not constitute financial planning advice. Please consult a financial planner regarding your specific situation.