Depending on how long you’ve been involved with the cryptocurrency sector, you may have noticed a variety of websites and platforms that have a “Connect Wallet” option when first arriving on the site.
Platforms such as OpenSea, Uniswap, Unstoppable Domains, and many more allow you to use a non-custodial cryptocurrency wallet in order to log into or sign up for the site. This is in lieu of using the traditional email and password registration and log-in, and in many cases it allows you to be far more anonymous and expedient when logging in.
Before diving into how you can do this, let’s outline non-custodial crypto wallets.
Non-custodial Crypto Wallets?
A non-custodial crypto wallet is a wallet in which you hold the private keys. This means that you created the wallet, wrote down a recovery phrase, are the sole party responsible for its safekeeping, and are the one who has to approve transactions. Non-custodial crypto wallets are in contrast to a custodial crypto wallet, such as the ones provided on cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance. The cryptocurrency wallets you have on exchanges like these can be used by you, but the exchange is the party who actually executes your requested transactions. Without the exchange’s involvement, you can’t move your funds.
There are many different types of non-custodial wallets available. There are browser extensions such as MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, and Trust Wallet. There are also desktop software wallets such as Exodus and Atomic Wallet, and hardware wallets offered by companies such as Ledger and Trezor. While all three types of non-custodial wallets can be used as a log-in for a variety of sites, we’re going to show you how it works using the MetaMask browser extension, as they’re the simplest way to do so.
How to Use Your Crypto Wallet to Log-in
Using your crypto wallet like MetaMask to log-in to a site is extremely easy, the only factor that truly matters is whether the platform has the option to log-in by connecting a wallet. For the purposes of this how-to, we’re going to log into Unstoppable Domains. Before being able to do this, you will need to have already created a wallet using MetaMask or a similar browser extension. Here are the steps to use that wallet to log-in:
Step 1: Navigate to the site which you’re looking to log into with a crypto wallet, then locate the log-in or sign up button. As you can see in the image below, Unstoppable Domains allows you to sign up with an email, by connecting your wallet, or by using your Google or Twitter account. Click “Connect Wallet”.
Step 2: After clicking “Connect Wallet”, you’ll be shown the below. This is a fairly standard array of wallets that most crypto platforms accept. Click on the wallet you wish to connect with. In the case of this guide, we’re clicking MetaMask.
Step 3: Your wallet will then pop-up with a notification to connect to the site. If you have more than one account on your wallet, pick the one which you want to connect with, then click “Next”.
Step 4: You’ll then be shown the below prompt before connecting. Review what you’re allowing the site to do, then click “Connect” once satisfied.
Step 5: The final step is to sign the transaction confirming that you want to connect your wallet to the platform. Click “Sign” assuming you trust the site.
Step 6: That’s it, you’ll be automatically signed into the site and have an account that’s only associated with your public wallet address rather than your name. This process can be repeated for as many sites.
Why Use a Crypto Wallet Log-in?
There are two main reasons in which you may want to use a crypto wallet to log-in to a site rather than registering using a traditional email and password. The first reason is increased anonymity. You can register for a site with a crypto wallet without using your name in many cases, meaning that you’re more anonymous than if you used an email.
The other reason is security, as using a crypto wallet, especially an Ethereum one, means your account is essentially secured by blockchain rather than an email and password. Essentially, unless someone can get access to your device, or your recovery phrase (in order to restore your wallet on a device they control), there is no way for your account to be compromised. This is in contrast to an email and password, as they can be compromised much more easily.
Is Using a Crypto Wallet to Log-in Safe?
It’s important to note that while in most cases it’s safe to use a crypto wallet to log-in, you need to always verify what you’re allowing the site to do, and be sure not to blindly accept connections to sites.
There are many platforms that are less secure than something like OpenSea or Unstoppable Domains that will automatically ask to connect to your wallet when you visit them. It’s a good practice to not connect to any site until you actually plan on using it for something in order to avoid accidentally giving permissions to a site that isn’t safe. As with all crypto security, due diligence is key.