If you’re reading this, without a doubt I’m sure you’ve heard of NFTs. You’ve seen people out there making thousands of dollars and hyping up the next big NFT project, and for some, it’s a little hard to understand the purpose or the hype behind NFTs and how you can even get started with them in the first place. But here’s the problem; NFTs are hosted on different blockchains, specifically, the main one where NFTs are being purchased is Ethereum with Solana taking the second place spot. The thing with Ethereum, is because of what’s called ‘Gas Fees’ sometimes buying an NFT can cost you hundreds more dollars than the actual purchase price. And for those unfamiliar, gas fees are the computational cost accrued in order for a transaction to take place on the blockchain. When you make a purchase, this cost is absorbed by you, the consumer.
The thing about Solana and why this guide is being written, is that Solana completely and utterly solves this problem. That’s why it is increasing so heavily in popularity. Solana has virtually no gas fees associated with transactions and makes buying digital assets such as NFTs a breeze.
So what do you need to buy an NFT with Solana?
- First you’ll need a bank account, debit card, or a PayPal account (for use in Coinbase)
- Secondly, you’ll need a computer with the Chrome browser by Google
It’s most common to use a combination of Coinbase to buy the crypto and Phantom wallet to buy the NFTs you’re looking to purchase. There are many other options available, but honestly, I think these are the safest, quickest, and most efficient options.
Step 1: Set up your free Coinbase account
- Go over to Coinbase and click Sign Up.
- Complete the prompts to create your account.
- With your account set up, click the Buy/Sell button in the top right corner of the web page.
- Now you’ll need to add your payment method. Coinbase will ask you to connect your bank account, debit card, or if you’re a little worried you can even connect to PayPal.
- Once you have your payment method set up, you’ll see a screen that looks similar to this in your Buy / Sell interface.
- But in this case, we aren’t buying Bitcoin, as we are obviously buying NFTs on the Solana blockchain. In this case, you’ll need to buy SOL.
7. Click the arrow and type in SOL and you’ll see the following.
From there, you’ll be able to select and buy whatever amount of Solana you’re looking to get. A word of warning though, please never invest money in cryptocurrency that you aren’t willing to lose. Nothing is guaranteed, but Solana is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to buying NFTs because of the nearly non-existent gas fees. To start, I’d suggest getting 2-5 SOL, whatever you can afford. Hold some of it and see what happens, and use the rest to make more Solana by flipping projects that you’ve researched.
8. Once you have the amount you want to buy, make sure you click ‘Preview Buy’.
9. Click ‘Buy Now’ on the next screen to finish your purchase on the blockchain.
And now, a massive congratulations is in order for you, as you just bought your very first cryptocurrency!
Step 2: Creating A Solana Wallet
In this case, we’ll be using Phantom wallet. There are other options such as Solflare or Sollet, but Phantom is the market leader and in my opinion, the way to go.
- Head over to Phantom Wallet.
- Depending on the browser you’re using (I suggest Google Chrome), you’ll see an ‘Add to Chrome’ button in the top right of the screen. Tap that thing at the speed of light.
- Follow the prompted instructions to add it as an extension to your browser.
- Once added, you’ll see a screen that looks just like this
- Click ‘Create New Wallet’
- On the Secret Recovery Phrase screen, you’ll see a string of random words. It’s more important than anything to write all of this down on physical paper and keep it in a safe place. I also suggest taking a picture for safe keeping. If you lose access to this, you’ll lose access to your cryptocurrency. Much like a bank account.
- Create a password on the next screen and continue through the prompts. You’ll now see the Phantom icon in your menu bar in the top right.
- Clicking this icon will attempt to open your wallet. Keep your security credentials on hand and enter them when prompted. At this point, you haven’t transferred any funds from Coinbase to here, so it will be empty.
Step 3: Transfer $SOL to your Phantom wallet
On the blockchain, think of your wallet as a house with an address. This address is public, you can find it in the phonebooks of Solana, except, there isn’t a security issue for giving out your wallet address to someone on the internet unlike a real house. Your wallet address can be copied and seen on the top menu bar, as seen in the photo below where it says Wallet 1.Clicking on this will copy your wallet’s complicated address to your computer’s clipboard.
It’s time for our final step, where we are bringing everything full circle and together. In order for us to buy NFTs that are on the Solana blockchain, we need to use SOL as our currency. There are sites we will be using to purchase NFTs on the Solana blockchain, such as MagicEden. We will be connecting our Phantom wallet and this is how we will be spending our SOL on NFTs.
Now at this point, you’re probably curious as to why we can’t buy SOL directly in our Phantom wallet and why we need to purchase it on Coinbase instead. The answer is simple; Phantom is used to store our assets and doesn’t have the ability to process direct payments. So we need to send our Solana from Coinbase to our Phantom wallet.
- In Coinbase, click the ‘Send/Receive’ button in the top right corner of the page.
- Click the Phantom wallet icon in the menu bar of your browser and copy your wallet address as previously mentioned.
- In Coinbase, in the ‘To’ section, paste you Phantom wallet address.
- You don’t need to include a note.
- In the ‘Pay with’ section, change it to Solana like we did earlier when we made our initial Solana purchase.
- Click ‘Continue’ to go to the confirmation screen, make sure you complete the checks.
- Click ‘Send Now’
After this, you will wait a couple of minutes and refresh your Phantom wallet. You’ll now see the Solana that you send directly from your Coinbase.
Step 4: Let’s buy an NFT
This is the part where you can make or break a profit. As of this moment, NFTs are still new to the Solana blockchain. Congratulations, you’re quite early! With that said, all of the big NFT projects on SOL aren’t locked at the top like those on the Ethereum blockchain.
All websites where you buy NFTs which are marketplaces like MagicEden will prompt you to open your wallet in the top right like we have done in the past. With that said, scroll around on MagicEden and find some projects you might be interested in, whether it’s the utility or the art. Make sure you join their communities and see what they have to offer; don’t just ape into any old NFT.
As a whole, NFTs communities tend to live on Twitter and on Discord. Get involved with their communities and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If they aren’t giving you answers, or the project doesn’t have much utility, I’d personally stay far, far, away. The potential for you in this new, untapped, NFT space is essentially endless, I wish you all the very best.