The main focuses of NEAR:
If you want to read an in-depth explanation of what NEAR is, here are two very detailed sources:
Let’s start our path and create an account/wallet.
With NEAR, you directly create a name, your NEAR ID. This is pretty cool because you don’t have to create this domain ID separately and because you don’t have to manage a long hash address. Mine is roseight.near.
The next step is to choose a method to secure your account that you’ll use to verify important activities, recover your account and access your account from other devices.
NEAR has a very convenient option to create your wallet via email. That’s amazing if you need to create your account in just a minute or if you are very new to blockchains. But if you want to handle a lot of money with your wallet, you should go for the Passphrase or, for maximum security, for the Ledger Hardware Wallet. You can also combine those methods or add them later.
I don’t have a Ledger (yet), so I chose the secure passphrase. Keep your seed phrase safe, and never give it to anyone. Especially not to supposedly customer support people who ask for it. No one needs your seed phrase to help you with your wallet. But you will need it to restore your wallet, for example, on a new device. Everyone who has your seed phrase has full control over your wallet.
Of course, you need to fund every new wallet with its first tokens. It’s always a challenge to fund a wallet for the first time. NEAR describes three different options for doing it and takes the blockchain newcomers by hand for this task.
Assuming you don’t have a NEAR wallet yet, we can consider the last two options. You can fund your wallet with a Credit Card and buy crypto with fiat money. You will get a single-use funding address, which is the same for all three options.
You will be directed to MoonPay where you can buy NEAR. You have to buy for a minimum amount of $30.
You can technically fund your wallet with Meta Mask, as NEAR is EVM compatible if you have a Meta Mask wallet. First, you need to add the Aurora Mainnet to your Meta Mask because Aurora provides Ethereum compatibility for the NEAR protocol.
You can add Aurora Network directly to your Mewta Mask by clicking “get started” on the Aurora website.
But here comes the downside: you will need to bridge tokens to the Aurora network before you can send them to your NEAR wallet. And bridging costs Ethereum fees.
There is no possibility to go from one network to another without bridging.
If you don’t have Binance, you need to set up an account, which will require you to have a passport, a bank account, and an address matching your passport or bank account (same for Coinbase or other centralized exchanges). I know, that sucks. So if you can’t or don’t want to set up a Binance account, you need to get crypto directly to your wallet, for example, by working in a DAO or for someone who pays in crypto.
To fund your new NEAR wallet with Binance, you search for NEAR, click on Withdraw NEAR, type your single-funding address and choose the NEAR network. Binance transforms the address into the NEAR ID, so you see how convenient it is to have the ID and not the complicated address. Binance warned the transaction could take 25 min, but fortunately, it only took 3.
Note that the address is just a temporary one; use your ID from now on!
The most complicated is done! You can now claim your account, and you will see the tokens that you transferred and a calculation into $.
What now? You can start to discover DeFi and NFT Dapps; swap tokens with Ref.finance or pool your tokens with Meta Pool. You can buy your first NFT on the marketplace Paras. This is what I did, and my NFT is now displayed in my NEAR wallet.
Using NEAR as the first crypto wallet is easily understandable and convenient. The general problem of funding the wallet for the first time still exists, but NEAR helps find a solution. It’s amazing to have a NEAR ID without the need to buy one (like you need to do for Ethereum and Solana). Receiving more tokens after the first transaction is easy. You use your ID or the generated QR code.
I hope this was helpful. Have fun with NEAR!