Digital wallets are blockchain-native applications that allow for creating, selling, and collecting NFTs on MakersPlace. This article introduces this technology and how it works on MakersPlace.
What is a Crypto Wallet?
A digital wallet is an application built on blockchain technology that serves as your identity and the mechanism to sign and store the digital artworks you create and sell.
Every artwork uploaded to MakersPlace uses the creator’s digital wallet as a unique signature to issue authentic copies of each artwork. Collectors value art on MakersPlace because of the authenticity and verifiability of each artwork due to this signature.
How Do Digital Wallets Work on MakersPlace?
When you first sign up on MakersPlace, you can either:
- Immediately sign in to the platform using your personal digital wallet (AKA “non-custodial wallet”) or
- Use a digital wallet issued and managed by MakersPlace (“custodial wallet”).
Using a MakersPlace-Issued Custodial Wallet
Custodial wallets are automatically generated for users when they perform actions that would require a wallet, but they do not have one connected yet.
- For creators, this involves minting (publishing) an NFT if they haven’t yet connected a personal (non-custodial) wallet.
- Collectors automatically receive a custodial wallet if they made a purchase but do not have a collection wallet set up yet.
- Custodial wallets are also required for anyone who purchases with a credit card on our site, even if they have a personal wallet connected. Any purchase with a credit card must be stored in a MakersPlace custodial wallet for 72 hours before being transferred or put on sale. This gives our finance team time to do their due diligence in preventing fraudulent purchases, unfairly disputed payments, and a successful transfer of ownership. Once an NFT hits a personal wallet, we can no longer get it back on our own.
If you’re completely new to blockchain technology, we recommend using the MakersPlace-issued custodial wallet until you become more familiar and comfortable. It is trivially easy to move assets between wallets, so you can be confident that everything can be moved into your non-custodial wallet whenever you see fit.
There are a few technical hurdles and concepts to familiarize yourself with as you begin creating or buying NFTs, including managing your private key, understanding blockchain transaction fees, speeding up transactions, etc.
With a MakersPlace-issued wallet, you can start creating and collecting without necessarily understanding these concepts, although we highly encourage you to learn these concepts over time.
Things to note about a MakersPlace-issued custodial wallet:
- This wallet is entirely managed by MakersPlace. Access to these wallets is limited for security purposes.
- This wallet is dedicated to you and will serve as the proof of authenticity for all artworks that you create on MakersPlace.
- This wallet is only used for creation. Do not send any funds or tokens to this wallet. Gaining access to these wallets is deliberately very difficult for security reasons.
Using a Personal Digital Wallet (Non-Custodial)
If you are familiar with the world of blockchain, we recommend you connect your non-custodial wallet to your account. Using your digital wallet when navigating MakersPlace (and beyond) grants you the autonomy to fully manage artwork sales, purchases, transfers, transaction fees, etc.
How To Set Up Your Non-Custodial Wallet
IMPORTANT: Please follow these best practices when using a personal wallet. Artists have lost access to all of their artworks for not following these best practices.
At the moment, MakersPlace only supports Ethereum-based digital wallets — though we are actively working on cross-chain expansion.
If you don’t own a digital Ethereum-compatible wallet, we recommend MetaMask.
Your Private Key
When you create a digital wallet, you will be assigned a 12-word keyphrase. This is your private key.
This private key acts as a recovery phrase if you lose your password or are locked out of your wallet for any reason. You must store this key in a safe and secure place. If you lose it, you will lose access to your wallet’s contents forever.
Best practices for storing your private key include:
- DON’T STORE IT DIGITALLY. Many people never even type their private keys once. The most secure place for a private key is in the “meatspace” physical realm.
- NEVER GIVE IT TO ANYONE. There is never any reason to give anyone your private key. Don’t do it.
- STORE YOUR HARD COPY SECURELY. Don’t lose it or store it in a place where the material on which your private key is written could be compromised (e.g., excessively humid).
Once you have created your blockchain wallet (and stored your key in a super safe place), follow these steps to connect your wallet to your MakersPlace account:
- Go to your Account Settings page: https://makersplace.com/profile/
- Click on Approve Your Digital Wallet
3. Connect your Digital Wallet
4. Give our Smart Contract escrow access to your artworks.
This last step ensures that MakersPlace can transfer your artworks to buyers of your artworks upon sale. Please use a reasonably high gwei when providing this approval to complete your request in time.
5. Verify that you see your digital wallet set as your Primary Address under your creation wallet addresses. If your wallet does not show up here as your primary address, you may have missed a step.
Connecting a Coinbase Account
If you decide to use a MakersPlace-managed custodial wallet, you can receive payment directly to your Coinbase account, which you can set up in your Payment Settings. Coinbase is one of the most reputable cryptocurrency exchanges and allows you to convert your Ethereum to your local currency.
Once your funds arrive in your Coinbase account, you can transfer them directly to your bank account or transfer them to another wallet. This must be done within Coinbase, not MakersPlace.
Collection vs. Creation vs. Payment Wallets
It is important to know the difference between the wallets you use to store your collection, mint your creations, and collect your payments.
Collection Wallet: This wallet will host your NFT collection, which you connect in your Account Settings.
If you purchased artworks before connecting your own ETH wallet, they would be stored on a MakersPlace-issued custodial wallet. You can send these artworks to your own ETH wallet in Send Creations. If you set a price on the artwork, you need to Edit Price > Cancel Sale in the Manage Creations before sending. Please be aware that gas fees will be required to make transfers.
Creation Wallet: If you are a creator, this is where you will mint, sign and store your creations. You will set this wallet up during onboarding in your Account Settings.
Payments Wallets: Any sales you make on the site, whether a primary sale from one of your creations or a secondary sale from an artwork you collected, will be paid out into your payment wallet. Connect your payment wallet in Payment Settings. It can be an ETH wallet like MetaMask or a conversion wallet like Coinbase.
Other Things You Should Know About Digital Wallets
Hardware vs. Software Digital Wallets:
There are two types of wallets
- Hardware Wallet, AKA “Cold” — An external drive that must be plugged in to access digital currency. This is the most secure storage method, but it is also the least convenient if you decide to store cryptocurrencies or other digital assets that you regularly interact with.
- Software Wallet, AKA “Hot” — A non-physical program that you download onto your computer, usually an extension or app. This method isn’t as secure but is helpful when validating ownership in exchange for the utility of a given NFT.
Hardware wallets provide additional security since they are not directly connected to the internet. You can learn more about the differences between hardware and software wallets here. We recommend a mix of both, depending on your holdings.
Software wallets, like MetaMask, are connected directly to the internet. You can connect hardware wallets to your MetaMask wallet.
If you decide to use another hardware wallet, please let us know beforehand so we can test and verify it for you.
Gas — Blockchain Fees
Every transaction on the Ethereum blockchain requires a gas fee, which compensates the operators of the ETH network. You can think of gas fees as a blockchain sales tax. Gas fees fluctuate depending on ETH blockchain usage. Instances of high traffic result in higher gas fees; lower-traffic instances result in lower gas fees.
Every transaction involving your digital wallet on MakersPlace will require a gas fee. You can check this site to monitor current gas prices and make your transactions when GWEI (the gas price measurement metric) is low.
Here are a few terms to help you understand how gas fees are calculated:
- Gas Limit — The number of units required to complete the specific transaction. For example, the gas limit required for minting an artwork is much higher than accepting a bid. Gas limits will change depending on what transaction you are trying to complete.
- Gas Prices — Gas prices are defined by GWEI, which is defined by current Ethereum blockchain usage.
Three gas price options determine how quickly the transaction is carried through.
- The trader option is the fastest (and priciest). Transactions should process in under a minute with the trader option.
- The fast option is the (perhaps counterintuitively) second quickest and priciest, with transactions completed in 2–5 minutes.
- The standard option is, you guessed it, the slowest and the cheapest, with transactions completed in 5 minutes or more.
When you speed up a transaction on MakersPlace, we will escalate from the standard option to the fast option.
Your MetaMask will autofill gas limits and gas prices in a pop-up when you are completing a transaction.
HOWEVER, you mustn’t blindly click through. Be sure to look over the gas fee and gas limits. Carelessly clicking could result in paying way more than you need to in gas (learn more below). If you manually input the gas limit and prices, act with extreme caution or risk ending up like this guy.
“Help! I Can’t Connect My Digital Wallets!” — Troubleshooting Tips
If you have issues connecting your digital wallet to your account, look at these troubleshooting tips. If none helps you, reach out to our support team via email or Discord.
- Double-check that the wallet is not associated with any other MakersPlace accounts
- Make sure that you are using a MetaMask Wallet.
- Make sure that you’re logged into your digital wallet and have connected MakersPlace to your wallet. If done successfully, the top left corner should say “Connected” in green
4. Make sure that the proper wallet address is selected
5. Make sure you are connected to the correct network (Main Ethereum Network)
“Help! I Am Seeing An Extremely High Gas Fee” — Troubleshooting Tips
If you see high gas fees of over $1000 for transactions that you know require much less, follow these troubleshooting tips to get to the bottom of the inflated fees. If none helps you, reach out to our support team via email or Discord.
- Ensure that you have enough funds in your wallet to cover the actual gas fees.
2. Make sure you are properly logged in and connected (see above)
3. Trying logging out and back into your wallet.