Aug 17,2023 ·
1 min read
Page last updated a day ago
When I tried to get started using Starknet, I found it difficult to know exactly what to do. While I’ve heard a lot about the wonders of Starknet and how it can save me money in fees while providing security and trustlessness, I’m a blockchain newbie. In my quest to onboard to Starknet and try out some of the applications in the ecosystem, I found a lot of helpful information, but I also didn’t find a lot of information.
So this post provides the information that I couldn’t find and provides links to information that someone else made the effort to provide elsewhere.
What can you do on Starknet? You can swap tokens, invest using financial dApps, play games and build your NFT collection. For more information, visit the dApps page on Starknet.io.
MetaMask has support for Starknet in the form of a MetaMask Snap. A Snap is the MetaMask term for a plugin. It’s in Beta, and I wanted to try it out. There’s a special section below just about installing and funding a MetaMask wallet.
Currently you can only send and receive L2 funds (it’s only in Beta!), but other features are in the pipeline, so I’m looking forward to being able to use MetaMask as a full-fledged Starknet wallet for more Starknet activities, such as minting NFTs.
Although this is a guide for newbies, you will gain more out of using Starknet and this tutorial, if you understand Ethereum basics. You should understand the terms Layer 1 (L1) and Layer 2 (L2), and on-chain and off-chain, and what they mean in the context of Ethereum.
You should also understand what wallets are, the difference between hot and cold wallets, EOAs and contract accounts. You can find this information on the Ethereum website.
Each of these steps is detailed either in other sections of this blog post, or in external documentation on another site.
NOTE: You can also add funds directly to your Starknet wallet from a credit card or bank by using an on-ramp service, such as Banxa or Ramp. At the moment, Ramp is the only such service that works with the MetaMask Starknet Snap. If you choose to use an on-ramp service, go directly to step 3
After you complete these procedures, you’ll be ready to start actually doing something.
For example, this tutorial walks you through swapping ETH for another cryptocurrency using Jediswap. There are lots of other things you can do, such as providing liquidity to a pool, buying NFTs, minting your own NFTs, and playing games.
For information on using MetaMask, skip to Using MetaMask as a Starknet wallet below.
Once you have an Ethereum wallet with some ETH, you can install and set up a Starknet wallet.
See the up-to-date list of available Starknet wallets on the Starknet site. For more information on a specific wallet, including installation instructions, see that wallet’s site. Whichever one you choose, make sure that you install it as a browser extension.
After you finish installing, you need to set up the wallet by adding funds to it. You can use StarkGate, a bridge that transfers funds between your Ethereum wallet on L1 and your Starknet wallet on L2. StarkGate fully supports Braavos and Argent, and MetaMask support is in active development and should be in place soon. You can go to StarkGate from a link in the wallet, or go to https://starkgate.starknet.io/.
and this is what appeared when I clicked Braavos:
StarkGate completes the connection.
Your Starknet wallet is now connected, and it prompts you to add funds. In order to deploy your account on Starknet, you need to add funds.
NOTE: Deploying an account incurs a small gas fee on Ethereum. But don’t worry, you only have to deploy the account once.
After a short time, typically a few minutes, StarkGate should show updated balances in your Ethereum and Starknet wallets:
I wrote this section as I walked through the installation process. It’s actually fairly straightforward, so you might not even need to use these steps, but I know that I find steps like these to be helpful, so you can follow along if you like.
NOTE: Because the Snap is being actively developed, the process you go through might differ from what appears here. But even if it does, this section should give you a general idea of what you need to do.
When I opened MetaMask in my browser, this is what I saw:
I clicked Learn More, and a page opened at https://metamask.io/snaps/ that explains what Snaps are and how they work. Here are the steps I followed to install the Starknet Snap:
After the installation finishes, this message appears: Installation completed successfully.
A message prompts you to connect your wallet.
Now you need to fund your wallet. StarkGate should have support soon, but at the moment, to fund your wallet, you must receive L2 funds from another Starknet wallet or use the onramp service Ramp with a credit card, to fund it.
Once you have funds in your wallet, you can send funds to another Starknet address. Like I said, more features are coming soon.
JediSwap is a community-driven Automated Market Maker (AMM) on Starknet that enables you to swap one type of token for another. The JediSwap documentation provides information on swapping and on adding liquidity. This procedure demonstrates swapping ETH for WBTC.
Now that you've taken those first steps into Starknet, it's time to plunge deeper into the ever-expanding Starknet ecosystem. As a permissionless network, Starknet sees new developers constantly creating novel dApps and features
To safely navigate the uncharted waters of Starknet, make sure to:
By staying alert and doing thorough research, you can enjoy the full benefits of Starknet's ever-growing array of dApps and integrations. As with any new technology, educated caution is very important. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. With some common sense, you can explore Starknet safely.
This guide was written by Steve Goodman, Principal Technical Writer at StarkWare Industries. You can send questions to @CityOfNewOrleans on Twitter.
Share this post: