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NFT Mini-Course for Beginners

10 min read

gm fren…

(Since this is an article about NFTs, I’ll open it in the NFT style. It means “Good morning, friend.”)

This article is about how to get started trading NFTs and making some money.

It’s about how to mint, buy, sell, and bid NFTs.

(If you don’t know what “mint” means, no worries. We’ll talk about it soon.)

This is what I do in the NFT space.

I trade NFTs. I don’t create or sell them as an artist.

If you’re expecting to learn how to create an NFT and make money from selling your JPEGs, I’m sorry. This article is not for you.

I’ve never done it before, so I can’t explain how to do it.

I only mint, buy, sell, and bid on NFTs to make money. That’s what this article talks about.

Full disclosure: I’m NOT “a pro” in this space yet.

I started trading NFTs in October 2021, and I learn new things in this space every day. I’ve made many mistakes, but also (a few) right moves.

Today, I’ll share how to get started in NFTs and avoid some of the missteps I made.

After you finish reading, you’ll be able to start trading NFTs on your own.

(hopefully)

The best way to learn anything, especially NFTs, is to learn by doing.

You need to mint, buy, sell, and bid on NFTs yourself to really understand how it works.

When I explained NFTs to a friend, he asked,

“Where did you learn all this stuff?”

I was a bit surprised. I had no idea how to answer him at first. I hadn’t taken any courses in the subject. I just jumped in and did (many) wrong and (some) right things.

I spent a lot of money on bad projects that are worth ZERO nowadays. But I also invested in good ones that today are worth 2-10x my initial investment.

That’s how I learned about NFTs.

There are many articles and videos about NFTs you can find on the internet.

But when my friend asked me that question, I realized that, to a beginner, the subject is complicated.

There are tons of resources out there, but they’re not well organized. As a result, some people who are eager to learn just don’t know where to start.

That’s why I wrote this article. I’ll arrange the content in a way that will allow you to grasp the basics of NFTs and move on to a point where you can start trading them yourself.

(I won’t say start to finish, because there is no finish point with NFTs.)

Let’s get started.


What is an NFT?

NFT stands for non-Fungible Token.

Basically, it’s a digital asset. It can be a picture (which we’ll focus on in this article), music, an item in a game, or a video.

An NFT asset must be unique. If you own a picture of a Monkey (like Bored Ape Yacht Club, or BAYC), it will be unique to you. No one will have the same monkey you have.

What about right-click and save as?

Well, people can save your JPEG, but it will still be unique to you. They won’t be able to trade it.

Think about the Mona Lisa. People can Google and print it, but only its owner (the Louvre art museum in Paris) can sell it.

NFTs are the same, and I think they’re the future of art collecting.


Why do NFTs sell for so much money?

You might wonder why an image of the Monkey in the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection is worth over 100 ETH (or over $300,000).

Last year, it was selling for around $240. Its price has increased by over 1,000x in less than a year.

That’s a crazy return on investment.

But scores of collections are worth ZERO as well. Many of them are worth less than the initial price they were sold for.

Why are some NFTs worth millions while some are not?

It’s complicated.

It depends on how highly people value the JPEGs.

Luxury

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a sort of Ferrari in the NFT space. The project has also provided many benefits to its holders.

The project gives its holders more NFTs (Mutant Ape Yacht Club and Bored Ape Kennel Club), APE Coins, and recently, land (Otherdeed for Otherside).

If you’ve held BAYC from the start, you’ll get NFTs worth millions of dollars (from a $240 investment).

Team

Another new release, Moonbirds, was worth over 30 ETH (or around $90,000) a few days after its release.

People value this collection because the person behind the project, Kevin Rose, is a top internet entrepreneur who co-founded Digg and Revision3.

Community and Utilities

Genesis CyberKongz is also worth over 40 ETH (around $120,000) because of its community and utilities.

People who hold BabyKongz (which is worth 4 ETH) will get access to the Wall Street Kong Channel in Discord.

In this channel, people talk about crypto investments, and many people are profiting from the analysis in this group.

People who hold Genesis CyberKongz also get another utility that generates $BANANA tokens daily. The holders get 10 $BANANAs a day.

A $BANANA is worth around $10 at the time of writing.

$BANANA can be used in the CyberKongz ecosystem or exchanged for real money.

As you can see, there many factors that can cause an NFT project’s value to skyrocket.

That said, MANY projects have a nice roadmap but fail to execute.

This type of project might be highly valued in the first few days because of the hype they get, But it can fail miserably if people discover its team can’t deliver what it promised.

I’ve invested in bad projects like this in the past…

When you invest in an NFT, be sure to check the team behind the project, what they plan to do, and also what people are saying about the project.


The Basics of NFT Trading

Okay, now you understand what NFTs are and why people buy some of them at a very high price.

Next, let’s zoom out and see how to trade NFTs and make money.

Basically, there are four processes involved in acquiring and selling NFTs:

Minting, Buying, Selling, and Bidding.

Minting is when you purchase an NFT at its initial price directly from the owner. The owner sets up a website, and you mint the NFT from the website.

Once you successfully mint an NFT, it will be sent to your wallet.

(I will talk about how to set up the wallet later in this article)

Buying, Selling, and Bidding are activities on the secondary market.

The secondary market is where you trade NFTs.

Some of the most famous marketplaces for buying and selling NFTs are OpenSea, LooksRare, and X2Y2.

These marketplaces mainly use Ethereum, which is one of the top cryptocurrencies used to trade NFTs.

Other NFT marketplaces use other cryptocurrencies. For instance, Magic Eden uses Solana as its cryptocurrency.

In this article, I’ll focus on trading NFTs on the Ethereum chain because this is where I have done most of my trading. It’s also the most popular way to trade NFTs.

Okay, these are all the basic activities you need to know about before you start trading in NFTs.


Basic Wallet Setup

After you understand the basic concepts of NFT trading, it’s time to act.

So, let’s set up your wallet.

Your wallet is where you can keep your NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

There are two kinds of wallets: the Software Wallet and the Hardware Wallet.

You can install a Software Wallet easily on your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Brave).

It’s very convenient to use. You carry out all your transactions through the software wallet.

The two most popular wallets used for trading NFTs are MetaMask (for the Ethereum Chain) and Phantom (for the Solana Chain).

You can buy a Hardware Wallet from manufacturers such as Trezor or Ledger. You connect it to your computer and use it to verify transactions.

In this article, I’ll focus on the MetaMask wallet. It’s more convenient. If you’re just getting started, you don’t need to buy a hardware wallet yet.

You can get one later, once you have some valuable NFTs or more cryptocurrencies.

Okay, let’s set up a MetaMask wallet on your computer.

First, install Google Chrome, Firefox, or Brave on your computer.

I recommend that you use a NEW web browser you’ve never used on your computer before.

If you’ve ever browsed through some risky websites (such as porn sites), they might have left a virus or spyware that could access your wallet.

If you regularly use Google Chrome, use Firefox or Brave. And use only that browser for your crypto activities.

Once you select the web browser you’ll use to enter the crypto world, install the MetaMask Wallet. It’ll be an extension of that web browser.

Visit the MetaMask website here – https://metamask.io/

Next, create your wallet. Choose “create a new wallet” and follow the instructions.

Mainly, there are two things you have to do: set the password for your wallet and keep your seed phrases somewhere safe.

You’ll use your password to access your MetaMask wallet.

Seed phrases are 12 random words you can use to import your wallet to a new computer or new browser.

Keep them safe. If people know your seed phrases, they can gain full access to your wallet.

Don’t store them on your computer. Write them down on paper and keep it somewhere secure.

After you finish setting up, click the MetaMask icon next to your browser’s address bar.

It will show your wallet details, including its address (which begins with 0x) and your cryptocurrency balances.

How to Protect Yourself from Scammers

Okay, now you have a wallet where you can store your NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

Next, let’s talk about how to stay safe in the crypto world.

It’s dangerous out there.

Many NFTs are stolen every day. I’ve been in this industry for six months, and I’ve seen several BAYC monkeys get stolen.

To be honest, I almost fell prey to a scammer a few weeks ago.

That day, I saw a notification from a Discord group run by one of the influencers I follow.

His message said: “Free mint for 300 supporters. This is a pass to get access to my private Discord Channel” in his Discord.

The message was fake. But it fooled me.

Still, I felt something wasn’t quite right, so I used my Burner Wallet to mint.

I clicked the “sign” button on MetaMask without reading the fine print. I wanted to be one of the top 300 people who got this special pass.

I didn’t know that the fine print asked for access to one of the NFTs in my wallet.

Luckily, most of the NFTs in this wallet were junk.

I immediately went to Discord and this influencer’s Twitter page.

Turns out the Discord had been hacked and the announcement I read was sent by the scammer.

There were many victims. I revoked all access from my wallet and found a wallet I didn’t know about had access to one of my NFTs in this wallet.

I was safe this time.

I used this wallet address to search the activities on OpenSea and Etherscan.

This guy had transferred a bunch of valuable NFTs from other wallets to his or her own wallet…every minute!

BAYCs, Doodles, Azukis, and many blue-chip NFTs were sent to this wallet. The scammer was selling them at very low prices.

Many people lost valuable NFTs that they can’t get back. It’s a decentralized system and no one protects their assets. It’s pretty sad.

So, now that I’ve shared my cautionary tale, let’s learn those little tricks that will keep you safe in this crazy world.

Burner Wallet and Main Wallets

The first thing to do to keep yourself safe is to create at least two MetaMask wallets.

These two wallets should be in different web browsers.

I call them the Burner Wallet and Main Wallet.

The Burner Wallet is the one you use to connect to any website. It contains assets you’re willing to lose if you got scammed.

Don’t keep valuable assets inside this wallet. Just add some money to it in case you want to mint or buy something.

My burner wallet kept me safe during that recent scamming incident.

I often use this wallet to connect to tools (such as NFTNerds or Icy Tools) and websites that I need to connect to my wallet in order to mint an NFT.

If this wallet is hacked, I’m okay with it because it contains nothing I can’t live without.

I’ll keep my valuable assets in my Main Wallet.

In fact, I have multiple Main Wallets where I store my NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

When I have to mint an NFT from a website I don’t trust, I’ll use the burner wallet to mint it. If I like the NFT I minted, I’ll transfer it to my main wallet.

In short, the main wallet won’t be connected to websites I don’t trust. I’ll transfer the valuable assets in my burner wallet to the main wallet.

Revoke Permissions

If you fall for a scammer, then revoke their access quickly.

Go to Revoke.cash and check whether someone has permission to access your NFTs.

You can use this site for Crypto Tokens as well.

It will look like this:

(Image from MetaMask Twitter)

Click the revoke button for any address you don’t know.

I used this suite after I unwittingly connected my burner wallet to the scammer’s website. The NFTs in this wallet were safe because of this.

Don’t click on any link you don’t trust.

There are many scammers out there trying to send links to you on Twitter or Discord and asking you to connect your wallet address to their websites.

If you connect a wallet and click on the sign button, they’ll be able to do anything they want with your wallet.

So, it’s better to close direct messages in Discord to protect yourself from scammers.

You can do this by going to Discord’s “User Settings” menu, then to the “Privacy & Safety” menu, then turning off the option “Allow direct messages from server members”.

This will protect you from scammers.

Also, most NFT Project’s Discord channels will have a channel called #official-links. It’s safer to click links from here to do anything related to the project.

Scammers will still try to scam you in other ways. They might hack the Discord and put a scam link there.

So, be sure to check the website and permissions before you sign any message in your MetaMask wallet.


—ifourth | Nifty Nuggets #446

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This course is not finished yet. I’ll keep adding new content once a week until I’m done. I’ll also keep writing and adapting the article based on the feedback I get.

If you want to be notified whenever I add new content to this article, subscribe to my blog below. I’ll send you an email notification when I add the new content.

Also, if you have any feedback or would like to know anything about NFT trading, feel free to contact me via email.

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