2021 was a hot year for the NFT and its popularity was at its peak during December when many decided to gift NFTs for the holiday season. What many people discovered for the first time, is that they need to have a cryptocurrency wallet to purchase or receive NFT as a gift. A cryptocurrency wallet is what holds your cryptocurrency, provides access to compatible apps, and verifies NFT asset ownership.
So where do you get started? Among many choices, MetaMask and Coinbase Wallet are leading the pack for both the beginner and advanced user bases. While you can technically hold multiple wallets, most users are better off sticking to one to make their life simpler. In this post, we will briefly review each wallet and conclude which wallet to get started with your NFT ownership.
You might be surprised to hear that MetaMask has existed since 2016 as a Chrome Extension. They eventually released mobile apps for iOS and Android in 2020. It is by far the most popular wallet in the market, especially for beginners entering the NFT space.
In many cases, you don’t even have a choice. Because MetaMask has the largest user base, apps leveraging Web3 technologies, including Spatial.io, only support MetaMask. Although apps with a larger user base, including Decentraland and OpenSea, support multiple wallets, they still list MetaMask as the first and most prominent option when users sign-up/log in.
To make it even more competitive, MetaMask is sometimes the only wallet you can use for both web and mobile, including the largest NFT market place OpenSea. All other wallets only work on either web or mobile, making MetaMask a no-brainer option to use across platforms.
To simply put, using MetaMask is the most recommended option for everyone to consider as their first and primary wallet.
Just like choosing a financial institution, trust is key for giving wallets access to your assets. While newer and not as widely supported compared to MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet is another contender for your cryptocurrency wallet. Coinbase Wallet is created by Coinbase, a publicly-traded American company with the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange platform. In fact, many MetaMask users exchange cryptocurrency on Coinbase prior to sending the funds to their wallets.
Because Coinbase owns both the exchange and the wallet, they are able to create a more consistent user experience and support for swapping assets between the exchange and wallet. Additionally, Coinbase is growing its offering with upcoming support for the NFT Marketplace that further provides a cohesive NFT-purchase experience for its users.
While MetaMask supports only Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) Networks, the hard forks off of Ethereum blockchain, Coinbase Wallet also supports other popular networks including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, etc. Based on your need, wider network support could be a gamechanger for some users.
Which one to use?
The great news is that both wallets are widely adopted. There is even a wallet integration service, WalletConnect, which lets you log in to supported apps even if Coinbase Wallet is not supported as a first-class authentication option.
If you have a MetaMask wallet today and want to make a switch, Coinbase Wallet lets you import a MetaMask wallet. The opposite, however, is not true. At the moment, you cannot import Coinbase Wallet into MetaMask.
Unless you already love and are excited about the consistent single-platform experience that Coinbase offers, the recommendation is to go with MetaMask for its wide adoption in the virtual community. As noted above, you can always import MetaMask wallet to Coinbase Wallet later if you change your mind.
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