By following this guide, you can set up a crypto wallet and connect instantly to your first web3 application. This lesson will give you the confidence to join the world of web3 in just a few minutes. All you need is a trusted browser (we recommend the Brave browser), a piece of paper, and a pen.
A crypto wallet is your gateway to the blockchain and web3. A single wallet address can be used to prove ownership of your cryptocurrencies, transfer tokens throughout the world, store and trade NFTs, and instantly connect to thousands of web3 applications. Remember: your crypto assets are not stored in a physical wallet, a bank deposit box, or even a cloud server. Instead, your assets are stored on the decentralized blockchain, where your assets can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world. To prove ownership on the blockchain and securely manage your assets, you will need the “crypto version” of a username and password. These are known as your public key and private key.
Your public key, more commonly referred to as your wallet address, proves your public ownership of crypto. This string of numbers and letters functions like a username for your assets on the blockchain. Your wallet address can also be used to connect to web3 applications without any tedious sign-up process. Knowing a person’s wallet address allows you to see their crypto and NFTs. However, you will need a password to take control of the wallet. In crypto, we use auto-generated and astronomically-secure passwords called “private keys.”
Your private keys provide access to your funds and give you the ability to approve transactions. Your private key is a randomly generated 256-character “password” that helps keep your wallet so secure that no computer on earth can guess it within the lifetime of the entire universe. You will likely never need to see your private keys. Instead, you will unlock your wallet with your seed phrase, which is a 12-24 word “master password” generated by the wallet. Your seed phrase grants full and premanent access to your wallet. Even if you lose your computer or its shattered into bits, you can migrate your wallet to a new device using your seed phrase. You’ll hear us say this a few times throughout our lessons: do not ever share your private keys or seed phrase. Do not share your seed phrase with friends, family, or even customer service representatives. Once again, no one but you should ever see your private keys or seed phrase!
Crypto wallets come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing in common for every trustworthy wallet is that you are the only person who is ever in control of your seed phrase and private keys. Alright, now get your pen and paper ready and we will get you started with your digital wallet.
Phantom Wallet New User Sign-Up
Phantom is one of the most trusted names in Solana. Their wallet is slick, seamless, and has many integrations that make it easy to manage your tokens and NFTs. The best of all: you can have a ready-to-go wallet in the blink of an eye.
Download the Phantom extension. It is important to always double-check that you are downloading the correct extension. You can confirm that you are in the right place by visiting their official website and reading the reviews for the extension.
Once you have Phantom loaded in your browser, select “Create New Wallet.” You will be asked to create a password and agree to the terms of service. This is not your private key. This is simply a password that will grant a user access to the Phantom plug-in. Create a strong and secure password.
Phantom will automatically generate your “Secret Recovery Phrase,” also known as your seed phrase. This is a collection of 12 words that serve as a master key to open your wallet. Do not share this string with anyone. Knowing your seed phrase gives you complete access and control over every wallet attached to your Phantom wallet. Instead, write your 12-word seed phrase on your piece of paper. Many people choose to write their seed phrases on two pieces of paper and store them in secure locations where they will not lose them. For example, you might store one piece of paper in a locked box at home and the other in a safe-deposit box at a bank.
After you continue from your seed phrase, Phantom will show you some new features, plug their social media, and then auto-generate your first wallet address.
There you have it! You now have your crypto username (your wallet address) and your crypto password (seed phrase). You might be wondering, what was the point of generating that password in the very beginning? Instead of entering your seed phrase each time you want to use Phantom, you only need to type in your custom password to unlock your wallet on your device. Therefore, you can go ahead and stash your seed phrase in a secret location. You will only need your seed phrase again when you want to access your wallet address from a new device or migrate your wallet address to a new crypto wallet provider.
Now for the fun part! Let’s see how easy it is to connect to a decentralized application on web3 using your wallet address.