Getting Started with NEAR Wallet

Near protocol (NEAR) is a scalable computing and storage platform for decentralized applications (dApps). It is designed to be developer-friendly and facilitate the creation of dApps with the platform priding itself as one of the fastest paths to market for developers. The protocol was so highly anticipated that its token sale crashed the exchange hosting the offering in 2020. NEAR is also interoperable with Ethereum using NEAR’s Rainbow Bridge

Web3 users looking for an easy way to interact with this groundbreaking blockchain will need to look no further than Near Wallet. This guide will teach you how to create a Near Wallet, and your first steps before transacting on the network.

Creating a Near Wallet

Your first step will be to head to wallet.near.org to create your NEAR account. This is what you will use to interact with dApps on NEAR and safely store your various tokens and collectibles. 

Click Create Account and then Get Started.

Security Method 

After you have followed the prompts to get started, you will be presented with a choice of your preferred security method that will be used to secure and recover your account. The default choice is a Passphrase, similar to MetaMask but users can also choose to secure their digital wallet with their Ledger Hardware wallet. You can also choose to receive a verification code and account verification link for convenience but it is not advisable to do so for security reasons.

For this guide, we will be using a passphrase.

Passphrase

After confirming your security method will be provided with a Passphrase. This collection of words is a 12-word phrase that will act as the ‘master key’ to your wallet and funds. This passphrase acts as a reset key for your Near account so keep it somewhere safe and secure with multiple backups.

It is advised that you should record your secret phrase in a safe real-world location, off of any unprotected digital device. Safe storage examples include a trusted password manager, a safe deposit vault, or a personal lockbox. Memorizing the passphrase is possible and advised but not the only means of storage. Please ensure you have at least two instances stored in separate locations to further decrease your risk. 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, never share your Passphrase with anyone!

The application allows you to generate new passphrases and copy the phrase to your clipboard. 

Note: It is possible to get repeating words in your passphrase (e.g. two instances of the same word). For added security, we do not recommend keeping your passphrase if it has repeating words. It may seem small but each additional unique word adds an extra layer of security. 

Double Up Example

Once you have recorded your passphrase in the correct order, you are ready to continue 

You will be prompted to verify the phrase by entering a specific word from your recovery phrase. 

Click Verify and Complete. Congratulations you have successfully created a NEAR wallet address!

Purchasing NEAR

Before you can get started using your NEAR wallet, you will need at least 0.1 NEAR in your wallet address. After you complete the verification process for your passphrase you will be presented with the option to buy NEAR from UTORG or MoonPay

Note: Both UTORG and MoonPay have a minimum spend on purchasing NEAR tokens. 

Either option will open a new web page to transfer/purchase NEAR tokens. Keep the original webpage open as that will open to the NEAR wallet interface once it recognizes that the minimum amount of NEAR is in the wallet. 

Supported Exchanges

Users are also able to send NEAR tokens from a centralized exchange to their new address. NEAR is available for purchase through the following exchanges and can be transferred from these exchanges if you have an account. 

UTORG

UTORG is a zero-service fee cryptocurrency exchange that allows buying of top cryptocurrencies using 20 FIAT currencies. It offers support for most popular credit and debit cards and it\’s available in 195+ countries. 

To purchase using UTORG, you will need to provide an email address and your country of residence. Once you provide your email address, the service will send you a verification email with a login code. Input the verification code and you will be brought to the payment screen.

Input your credit card information and double-check your order details and it will automatically buy NEAR and send it to your NEAR wallet.

UTORG purchase page

MoonPay

MoonPay is another fintech offering that allows users to purchase cryptocurrencies using FIAT currency. Users can buy crypto with credit cards, bank transfers, or Apple Pay.

Confirm your target spend amount in the currency you wish to use. 

You’ll have to provide an email address for a login confirmation email. Once you input your login code, MoonPay will ask for your name, date of birth, nationality, and address in order to process your payment so consider this before using this service.

MoonPay purchase page

Exploring your NEAR Wallet

Refresh the wallet.near website after you have added funds and you will be brought to your brand new NEAR wallet.

Adding a Custom Address

You will be offered the ability to create a secondary custom address. This will create an account ID that will be used to send and receive assets, just like your original NEAR wallet address. 

Your account ID will be whatever name you choose followed by ‘.near’. For example, John.near. 

You will be prompted to choose another security method for your account ID. This process will be identical to the process mentioned above.

Balance and Collectibles

The Home page of the NEAR wallet defaults to the Wallet tab which displays your token Balances and Collectibles (NFTs). You can find additional tabs on the navigation bar on the top left of the webpage. 

Balance Tab

The balance will display your portfolio as well as provide options for conducting transactions, purchasing NEAR, and swapping NEAR for wrapped NEAR (wNEAR).

Staking

The second tab of the browser wallet is Staking. Staking allows users to earn NEAR rewards in return for delegating their tokens to a validator. This is an essential process in Proof-of-Stake (POS) blockchains which ensures security and decentralization.

From here, you can choose to stake your NEAR tokens, review your total amount staked and earned rewards as well as a list of your current validators

This is an entirely optional part of using the NEAR wallet. You can stake and unstake at any time. If you unstake your NEAR, it can take between 52 – 65 hours after unstaking to access your NEAR tokens. 

If you do choose to stake your tokens, you will have to choose a validator. The staking pools allow validators to choose what fee they charge on the rewards earned by their staking pools. 

The staking pool currently allows validators to choose what fee they charge on the rewards earned by their staking pools.

There are several community-run validator lists that detail who they are, how much stake they have, and other information. These can help inform where you delegate your tokens. It\’s important to do your own due diligence before any transaction, including delegating your NEAR.

NEAR Explorerhttps://explorer.near.org/nodes/validators
DokiaCapitalhttps://staking.dokia.cloud/staking/near/validators
Stardust NEAR Poolhttps://near-staking.com/

Account Management and Help

Account management is where you will find your wallet ID, wallet balance, and staking status. 

You will also be able to enable and disable various other security and recovery features such as Ledger Wallet connection and two-factor authentication.

Note: Your wallet will require a minimum available balance of 4 NEAR before you can activate two-factor authentication.

Click the Help tab for support from NEAR’s Zendesk.

NEAR Zen Helpdesk

Conclusion

You are now fully equipped to dive into the NEAR ecosystem! The wallet conveniently offers a portal to explore the dApps and DeFi available on NEAR via Awesome Near.

Awesome NEAR provides users with a curated list of all projects developing on NEAR and Aurora ecosystems. Click any project to be taken to a brief summary page with related news and tweets to begin conducting your own research. Check out NEARWEEK, a weekly NEAR protocol newsletter that provides readers with the latest news, research, and content within the budding ecosystem.

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