Would you want an online art collection that belongs to you exclusively? What if blockchain technology could prove that your art was yours alone—unique among all art in the world? This is possible with NFTs, which are digital tokens attached to:
- Digital collectibles, such as trading cards
- Online video game items
- Virtual land
- And even physical assets
When a piece of art is authenticated with an NFT, it can’t be counterfeited. You are proven to be the only owner. You may be able to resell your art at a later date. And you can display it on your wall with a digital canvas, own a piece of history, and/or support an artist you love. In this post, we’ll explore how to buy NFT tokens.
Where to Buy NFT Art
NFTs are often sold through online marketplaces. Some marketplaces specialize in just one type of NFT, while others sell several. Some popular marketplaces include:
- Nifty Gateway: Visit Nifty for visual art from popular artists, including 3LAU, Grimes, and Steve Aoki. You can also resell art on Nifty. Transactions can use either ether (the currency of Ethereum) or a credit card.
- NBA Top Shot: This is a source of official NBA (National Basketball Association) collectibles, which are like virtual, multimedia versions of traditional basketball cards. They can include famous video clips, for example, and can be resold.
- OpenSea: Visit this marketplace on Ethereum for a wide variety of collectible NFTs, including visual art, video game items, and more. Use a web3 cryptocurrency wallet to make purchases (more on wallets in the next section below).
- Sorare: This platform is for fans of virtual soccer trading cards, with more than 125 teams represented—and growing. A fantasy soccer game is also available on Sorare.
- SuperRare: Imagine a social network devoted to people who buy and sell NFTs. That’s SuperRare. It features unique pieces of NFT art, which are purchased with Ethereum’s currency.
Starting a Digital Wallet
Many NFT transactions are completed using cryptocurrency. And that requires a digital wallet. For example, people use ether (from Ethereum) on the popular platform OpenSea. There are various digital wallets available, so let’s just look at the process to use one of them, MetaMask, which is available as a plug-in for the web browser Chrome:
- Go to the OpenSea website, and create an OpenSea account.
- Click on the Profile icon in the upper-right, and click on My Profile.
- On the page that opens, click “Get MetaMask.”
- Follow the instructions to install the plug-in to Chrome or on your mobile device.
- A Welcome page should appear; click “Get Started.”
- If this is your first wallet, click “Create a Wallet.”
- If asked to share feedback, you can click “No thanks.”
- Make a password.
- Record the secret phrase you are given (very carefully and securely so that you won’t lose it).
- Click on “Next,” and verify your secret phrase.
- Click on “Next,” and you’ll connect your MetaMask wallet with your OpenSea account.
- Click “Connect.”
Finally, you will buy ether or another cryptocurrency and place it in your digital wallet. You could use Robinhood or Coinbase to do this, but you can also just stick with MetaMask.
To buy ether, you can click on your MetaMask extension in your browser, then click on “Buy,” click “Continue to Wyre,” select an amount of ether to purchase, and follow the instructions to buy ether. Transaction fees apply to each purchase, so you might want to buy in bulk.
Using an Existing Digital Wallet
Not interested in signing up for something new? PayPal existed as a digital wallet for years before the popular rise of cryptocurrency, and PayPal users are easily able to buy popular currency like ether and bitcoin.
Buying NFTs through Auctions
Once you have cryptocurrency in your digital wallet and have associated your wallet with an online marketplace for NFTs, you can start buying—or at least bidding.
Many NFT purchases are made through auction, so you may have to bid against other buyers to win the piece you want, although you can buy some items immediately. If you’ve ever bought items on eBay, you’ll basically know how to buy NFTs.
On OpenSea, for example, click on “Explore” to see a list of current auctions. The prices listed on each are in ether, so they are often in fractions or decimals, since each ether token is worth many times more than a dollar.
Click on a piece that catches your eye. On its description page, it may have a:
- “Buy Now” button, which you can use to purchase it immediately at the listed price
- “Make Offer” button, if you want to offer a different amount, based on what you think it’s worth or are willing to spend
- “Place Bid” button, if the piece is being auctioned
If you click on “Buy Now,” for example, you will then click on “Checkout” and “Submit,” after which you’ll agree to the transaction fees required to complete the purchase.
The Next Step Is Yours
Now that you understand how to buy NFT tokens, the rest is up to you and your collecting and/or investing strategy. None of this is official investment advice, of course, but we think it’s smart to learn as much as possible about any investment you get into. If you have fun becoming an expert about your collectibles, you’ll have a better chance of buying very valuable art you can enjoy for the long term.