Attempting to Set up a Crypto Wallet in Less than 10 minutes

- 5 mins

Attempting to Set up a Crypto Wallet in Less than 10 minutes

Note: This is my personal blog. It doesn’t represent the views of my employers, and just because it’s crypto related, I’m not endorsing the purchase of any kind of cryptocurrency, or any kind of crypto apps / software / wallets. The apps I used were chosen for simplicity’s sake, and $ETH was an arbitrary pick.

I’ve been reading more about Web 3.0 lately, on sites like web3 University and, and after spending a couple of hours reading about the technology and asking friends some questions, I decided to see how quickly I could set up a crypto wallet and then purchase $100 worth of Ethereum ($ETH).

In my readings, I learned that there are custodial, where you trust a 3rd-party to store and secure your private keys, but then I also learned that you can be responsible for your own private keys in what are known as “non-custodial” wallets. It sounds like non-custodial wallets are better received in the crypto community in general: Not your keys, not your coins.

As far as I know, the most popular crypto wallets seem to be Coinbase Wallet, a custodial mobile wallet, in which you use Coinbase’s exchange to purchase the crypto and their wallet to store it, and MetaMask, a non-custodial mobile wallet, where you can buy $ETH or transfer coins from other wallets. I decided to start off with MetaMask since I liked the sound of a non-custodial wallet, and had two goals in mind:

  1. Can I get a wallet set up in less than 10 minutes?
  2. Regardless of (1), will it be easy to buy $100 worth of Ethereum?

Setting up MetaMask Wallet

This is when the timer started. I signed up for an account on MetaMask, and filled out all the information that was requested. I then connected Apple Pay (I needed to already have a debit card in Apple Wallet) to MetaMask to issue a transaction using Wyre. I then tried to purchase $100 worth of $ETH, but then the transaction failed due to an error, in which there was no further information or messages. Some quick reading in the MetaMask and Wyre forums didn’t yield any promising results.

About 2 minutes had passed by this point, so I wanted to see if Coinbase would be any faster, and then, maybe, I could transfer $ETH to MetaMask from Coinbase.

Setting up a Coinbase Account

So then I downloaded the Coinbase iOS app, and I set up a Coinbase account, filling out the information it asked for, and had to verify my identity via my driver’s license. I tried this step several times and it failed, so I had to message Coinbase support to help me with this issue. I messaged them saying my driver’s license verification did not work, and then a human told me:

Upon reviewing your account, I need to coordinate with one of our specialists to further assist you regarding your concern. In line with that, I’ll be transferring you to the email queue. Once again, we appreciate your patience and understanding.

and then the bot in the chat window closed the conversation. Hm. Not very helpful!

I checked my email, and saw a message from from Coinbase support:

Thank you for contacting us.

After reviewing your account, we see that the legal name provided on your account is , which does not appear to match the name of the ID being provided for verification.

Can you please help us to clarify this? Please reply to this email.

I told the support agent that my legal name and the name on my ID are actually matching, that I wasn’t sure why their system thought they were not, and that I was hoping they could help validate this on their end to fix this issue.

Waiting for their reply, I watched some TV, went to bed, and eventually received a response the next day. This clearly went past the 10 minutes I had hoped for, but I pushed forward and stuck to second goal I had set.

Hi Freddie,

Thank you for contacting us.

We’ve reviewed and verified the identity documents you uploaded earlier.

We appreciate your patience during this process. Please let us know if you have additional questions by replying to this email.

I went to my Coinbase account to confirm this, and once I did I downloaded Coinbase Wallet, connected my Coinbase account to the wallet, and began the process of purchasing $ETH.

Purchasing $ETH on Coinbase

I clicked on the Coinbase Buy button, chose $ETH, entered my dollar amount, and confirmed my purchase. I then received an email frm Coinbase saying my transaction went through.

Concluding Thoughts

The process of sending through a transaction seems quick enough, but the sign-up process for a wallet felt a little painful.

I feel like if these services want to have a low barrier to entry for users of their apps, removing or mitigating these small headaches would probably help a lot with their growth.

I won’t be digging much further into this, but I wonder if there are wallets out there that have figured out how to have none of the issues I had and have a quick and easy process (most likely by this point?).

Thanks for reading!

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